YM BioSciences Raises US$3.2 Million in Support of JAK 1/2 Program
News Jun 04, 2010
YM BioSciences Inc. has announced that it has raised approximately US$3.2 million through a non-brokered private placement of 2,500,000 common shares to be issued at US$1.27. The sale price is at no discount to the closing price of the shares on the NYSE Amex on June 1, 2010.
Listing of the common shares sold has been approved by the NYSE Amex and conditionally approved by the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) subject to the Company fulfilling all the requirements of the TSX.
The investment was made by an international health-care-specific investment fund management company recognizing the increased demands on YM's cash resources from the recently announced expansion by the Company into the earlier-than-planned Phase II component of its trial at Mayo Clinic with CYT 387 in myelofibrosis.
"The recent decision by the company to accelerate the current Phase I/II clinical trial of CYT387 in myelofibrosis through an earlier-than-planned initiation of the Phase II component supports our belief that CYT387 has excellent potential for clinical success," said David Allan, Chairman and CEO of YM BioSciences. "We anticipate that headline safety and tolerability data from the Phase I arm of this study will be available in the next quarter with preliminary Phase II data expected to be submitted for presentation at the American Society of Hematology conference late in 2010. The company is also exploring opportunities for significant further expansion of the program, in light of the favourable findings to date."
The previously announced expansion will allow for more patients to be dosed during 2010, in turn allowing innovative selection of doses for registration-enabling Phase III studies in myelofibrosis. Since JAK 1/2 inhibitors have broad therapeutic applicability with prospects in numerous indications beyond myelofibrosis, including oncology and autoimmune diseases, YM, in addition to the expansion of this trial, is planning for the development of CYT387 in hematology, and oncology indications with unmet medical needs.
An April 19, 2010 paper, published in the premier hematology journal Blood, described an extensive body of work demonstrating the potent activity of CYT387 in in-vitro cell assays and in an in vivo model of the myeloproliferative neoplasms and a recent internal study at YM BioSciences has been reported to demonstrate that CYT387 possesses similar potency against JAK1/2 enzymes as INCB18424. Moreover, in the same study CYT387 was demonstrated to have improved selectivity over JAK3 and TYK2 than INCB18424, which would be expected to result in a superior therapeutic window for CYT387.
CYT387 was acquired by YM BioSciences through merging the Australian biotechnology company, Cytopia Ltd. into YM in early 2010. The founder of Cytopia, Dr. Andrew Wilks, discovered the JAK1 and JAK2 enzymes and his seminal work led to the discovery and subsequent development of CYT387.
The company also holds patents over the enzyme targets of JAK1 and JAK2, and intellectual property over the JAK2 crystal structure. The YM compound has been shown to possess excellent JAK 1/2 potency and selectivity in a panel of assays.