Motif Bio raises £22m as it tries to speed the progress of new drug

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Motif Bio hopes to bring its new antibiotic, iclaprim, to the market soon

Just two months after first listing, Motif Bio reached another milestone yesterday as it announced a £22m capital injection, raised through the placing of 44m new shares.

The Aim-listed biopharmaceutical company also revealed it had appointed Zeus Capital as its nominated adviser and joint broker, with immediate effect.

Motif Bio, which floated on the junior market in April, specialises in developing antibiotics. It is currently working on iclaprim, which will be used to treat the most common and serious bacterial infections, including those caused by resistant bacteria such as MRSA.

Analysts at Northland Capital said yesterday that the new funding will allow the group to rapidly progress iclaprim into the clinic.

“Iclaprim is set to fill a major market void,” the broker wrote in a note. “The drug’s safety and efficacy is well supported, having already been tested on more than a thousand patients.” Northland Capital, which also acted as joint broker on yesterday’s placing, added that if approved, iclaprim could achieve over $1bn (£636m) a year in sales.

Motif Bio boss Graham Lumsden said yesterday: “Following so quickly on from our Aim-listing in early April... I am very pleased to see this level of support and confidence from institutions.” He added: “At our IPO, we indicated that we would, with sufficient funding, be in a position to commercialise iclaprim within 36 months of our listing, and this fund-raising is key to realising this exciting goal. We are confident that we remain on target.” Shares in Motif Bio were up by 1.56 per cent yesterday.

Behind the deal

Phil Walker, Zeus Capital

1. Walker has just been appointed director of corporate finance at Zeus Capital, specialising in healthcare, life sciences and technology deals.

2. He previously worked at Nomura Code Securities, which he co-founded, and has also worked at WestLB Panmure and Panmure Gordon.

3. Walker, whose appointment at Zeus was announced less than two weeks ago, has advised on more than 50 transactions, including IPOs, secondary fundraisings and M&A. Also advising... Walker was joined on the deal by his Zeus colleagues John Treacy and Dominic Wilson. Gerry Beaney, David Hignell, John Howe and Mark Treharne from Northland also worked on the placing.

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