Oramed raising $4.6M for oral insulin trial

Fresh off the launch of a Phase IIa trial for its oral insulin pill, Oramed ($ORMP) has inked a deal with investors to sell $4.6 million worth of shares. The company will use the cash to complete the study and push its compound toward commercialization.

Under the agreement, Oramed will sell 657,144 common shares at $7 apiece, expecting to net $4.2 million and close the transaction by July 16. With the proceeds, the company will move forward with a 30-patient safety study of ORMD-0801, plotting to kick off a larger Phase IIb in early 2014.

The treatment features an enteric coating that allows it to pass through the stomach intact, reaching the liver and bloodstream and relieving patients from daily injections. Oramed is targeting early-stage Type 2 diabetics in its trial, believing ORMD-0801 can increase patient adherence and, as potentially the first oral insulin on the market, cash in on a huge unmet need.

The latest fundraising comes after Oramed scuttled plans to sell $13 million in stock back in June, citing market conditions.

While Oramed is the furthest along in oral insulin R&D, Novo Nordisk ($NVO) is right on its heels, earlier this year completing a Phase I trial of a similar treatment co-developed with Merrion Pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) has teamed up with India's Biocon on an oral insulin formulation.

- read the announcement

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