The Bionomics Ltd (ASX: BNO) share price is charging higher today, up 16.67% at the time of writing on the back of a subscription agreement announcement.
Bionomics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that develops treatments for central nervous system disorders, such as anxiety, depression and Alzheimer's disease.
Bionomics has a portfolio of drug candidates from early to mid stages of clinical development. This portfolio is fed by the company's proprietary technology platforms for each step in the drug discovery and development process.
Before we dig into the announcement, it's important to note that we're very much at the smaller end of the ASX here. Bionomics shares are currently changing hands at 5.6 cents per share, taking market capitalisation to around $30 million.
Why the Bionomics share price is jumping higher today
This morning, Bionomics announced it has entered into a subscription agreement with Apeiron Investment Group to recapitalise the company and assist in securing further equity capital.
Over the last few years, Apeiron has made investments in several European and US-based biotech companies, with a particular focus on the development of novel treatments for various mental health disorders.
Under the subscription agreement, Apeiron agrees to subscribe or procure subscriptions of 135.83 million shares at an issue price of 4 cents per share – raising $5.43 million. This is to proceed in 2 tranches of 81.5 million shares and 54.33 million shares, with the second tranche being subject to shareholder approval.
On top of this, Apeiron also agrees to underwrite further capital raisings by Bionomics within a 15-month period from an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders (EGM) to be convened. This will have the effect that Bionomics will raise up to $15 million at a minimum issue price of 6 cents per share – subject to approvals from shareholders and the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).
What does this mean?
Overall, if shareholder and FIRB approvals are received, Bionomics expects to raise between $20.4 million and $22 million. This would ensure that the company has significant funds to progress phase 2 clinical trials for its lead compound, BNC210, for the treatment of PTSD and other anxiety and stress-related disorders.
In November 2019, BNC210 received Fast Track Designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of PTSD.
The recapitalisation will commence with the issue within Bionomics' existing placement capacity of 81.5 million shares – the first tranche raising $3.26 million. Following completion, Apeiron will own approximately 13% of Bionomics and will be invited to nominate a director to the board.
After this, Bionomics will then call an EGM seeking approval to place a further 54.33 million shares – the second tranche raising $2.17 million. If this proceeds, Apeiron will own approximately 19.9% of Bionomics and will be invited to nominate a second director to the board.
As part of the subscription process with Apeiron, after the completion of the second tranche, an entitlement offer will be launched for eligible shareholders to purchase up to 54.33 million shares at 4 cents per share – the same price as the Apeiron subscriptions across the 2 tranches.
Commenting on today's update, Bionomics chair Dr Errol De Souza said:
"We are pleased to have secured the support of a world-class and like-minded life science investor of the quality of Apeiron . . . The funding will ensure that we can initiate our second Phase 2b clinical trial in PTSD, which the Board believes will provide shareholders the best prospects to realise value in the Company."