April 13, 2018 / 8:33 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Bergenbio raises $24 mln, to present promising data

(Adds analyst)

April 13 (Reuters) - BERGENBIO ASA:

* Raises NOK 187.5 million Norwegian crowns ($24.18 million) in oversubscribed share issue at a price of NOK 40.5 per share

* Intends to use net proceeds to fund the ongoing clinical development of pipeline candidates, strengthen working capital and general corporate purposes

* Says promising pre-clinical data supporting BerGenBio’s pipeline to be published and presented at upcoming leading conferences

* “This patient data and pre-clinical findings in IPF and cirrhotic NASH are very compelling and suggest that selective AXL inhibition may have potential as a new approach to treating life-threatening fibrotic diseases,” Richard Godfrey, CEO of BerGenBio said

* “While our focus remains clearly on completing our phase II clinical programme with Bemcentinib ... we are intrigued by the possibility of therapeutic benefit from our AXL inhibitors in fibrotic diseases”, he said

* “Will continue to support this research and look forward to integrating it into our pipeline development strategies,” CEO added

* ABG Sundal Collier: “Timing wise it is very positive that they announce other indication outside cancer, as it validates and confirms the rational for the share issue,” analyst Andrew Carlsen told Reuters

* “The fact that they raise money to pursue other indications is positive in itself, but also provides a buffer in potential negotiations with partners later on, provided that data is positive, and that is something that we take special note of, and probably contributes to the increased share price this morning,” he added

* The brokerage holds a buy recommendation with a price target of NOK 47

* Shares were up 7 percent in early trade, easing to 4.5 percent or NOK 46.3 at GMT 1024 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: ($1 = 7.7559 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting By Camilla Knudsen, editing by Terje Solsvik)

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