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McCulloughs help effort to fund anti-leukaemia drug

McCulloughs help effort to fund anti-leukaemia drug

MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON is assisting ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals to raise $21 million to fund its research into developing a drug treatment for leukaemia.The company — formed from the merger…

MCCULLOUGH ROBERTSON is assisting ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals to raise $21 million to fund its research into developing a drug treatment for leukaemia.

The company — formed from the merger of Californian and Victorian-based pharmaceuticals companies in 2004 — has raised the first $10.5 million through Alta Partners in San Francisco and GBS Venture Partners in Melbourne, as well as other institutional investors.

ChemGenex plans to raise the rest through a rights issue prospectus lodged last week.

The new funds will be used to accelerate the development programs for the use of Ceflatonin® to treat acute myeloid leukaemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.

“As a flagship capital raising for ChemGenex, there was a real desire to get this deal into the market. Working across a number of jurisdictions to complete the transaction has made the legal process all the more complex and interesting,” said senior associate Reece Walker, one of the lead lawyers working on the deal.

“It has also been great to work on this particular transaction knowing that the benefits of this capital raising will ultimately assist hundreds of people who need this important drug research and development to succeed.” He said it is a substantial deal for the Australian life sciences industry and will ensure the company’s clinical trial program is fully funded until 2008.

The rights issue prospectus, designed to give eligible shareholders the opportunity to participate at the same price as institutional investors, was completed in a little over two weeks.

As well as Walker, partner Malcolm McBratney and solicitor Anthony Stanton led the deal team.

Alta Partners is recognised as one of the leading venture capital companies in the US, with nearly US$2 ($2.5) billion under management.

GBS Venture Partners is one of Australia’s leading life science venture capital groups.

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