Astion Pharma, a Danish biotech company focusing on research and development of products for the treatment of inflammatory dermatological and immunological diseases, has raised a DKK 50 m (USD 9 m) investment from its existing shareholders. The money will be use to accelerate development of its drug candidate, ASF-1096, for the treatment of the serious skin disease, cutaneous lupus erythematosus.
Phase II studies of ASF-1096 have progressed so well, that Astion Pharma expects to start phase III development in the next 12 months, about six months earlier than planned. Henrik Moltke, CFO of Astion Pharma says: "The capital injection ensures the company time to develop ASF-1096, and it also means that we do not have to reduce the pace of developing our other drug candidates."
The new capital increases Astion Pharma's cash holdings to approx. DKK 100 m (USD 18 m), which cover its costs until early summer 2008. To raise more money, the company is considering an IPO. "Clearly that is something we are looking at because it is an important source of income for biotech companies". "The clinical data we obtain during the summer will influence our decision on a possible IPO," says Moltke.
Astion Pharma, which is based in Copenhagen, has three clinical development candidates in phase II for the treatment of hand dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and cutaneous lupus, as well as a diverse portfolio of product candidates and research programmes in earlier stages of development.
The news was reported by financial daily newspaper Børsen and on Astion Pharma's website.