pcJ News Briefs – Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NSDAQ: ABUS) has closed a first tranche of previously announced financing with Roivant Sciences Ltd., issuing 500,000 convertible series A preferred shares to Roivant for gross proceeds of US $50 million.
The remaining amount of US $66.4 million is expected to close upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions including regulatory and shareholder approvals, as applicable, under Canadian securities law.
On August 9, 2017, Basel, Switzerland based Roivant Sciences announced the closing of US $1.1 billion equity investment led by the SoftBank Vision Fund with participation of existing investors.
photo credit: Arbutus Biopharma Corporation
Arbutus Announces Closing of $50 Million First Tranche of $116.4 Million Strategic Investment from Roivant Sciences
Vancouver, BC and Warminster, PA — Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (Nasdaq: ABUS), an industry-leading hepatitis B virus (HBV) therapeutic solutions company, and Roivant Sciences Ltd. announced today the closing of the issue and sale of 500,000 convertible series A preferred shares by Arbutus to Roivant for gross proceeds to Arbutus of US$50 million (Tranche 1).
The Tranche 1 closing represents the first of two tranches of Preferred Shares comprising the previously announced US$116.4 million strategic investment by Roivant in Arbutus. The remaining amount of US$66.4 million (Tranche 2) is expected to close promptly upon satisfaction of customary closing conditions including regulatory and shareholder approvals, as applicable, under Canadian securities law. For further details with respect to the Preferred Shares, please refer to Arbutus’ Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on October 3, 2017.
The Preferred Shares which Roivant purchased are presently being held for investment purposes. In addition to the acquisition of additional Preferred Shares in Tranche 2 or as discussed in Roivant’s related early warning report, Roivant and Arbutus intend to explore working together to leverage Roivant’s infrastructure, including to accelerate more efficient development of Arbutus’ drug pipeline, expand Arbutus’ geographic footprint and enhance the value of Arbutus’ assets.
About Chronic Hepatitis B
Chronic hepatitis B (cHBV) is a serious infection of the liver caused by HBV and is considered a major global health problem. cHBV infection can cause chronic liver disease, which increases a patient’s risk of death from liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that up to 350 million people globally may be chronically infected with HBV. According to the World Health Organization, more than 780,000 people die every year due to HBV. Most currently available therapies aim to suppress viral replication but do not lead to a cure in the overwhelming majority of patients.
MTS Securities, LLC is serving financial advisor for the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Arbutus. Arbutus’ Canadian legal advisor is Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP, with Dorsey & Whitney LLP as Arbutus’ US legal advisor. Roivant’s Canadian legal advisor is Lawson Lundell LLP, with White & Case LLP as Roivant’s US legal advisor.
About Arbutus Biopharma
Arbutus Biopharma Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing a cure for patients suffering from chronic HBV infection. Arbutus is headquartered in Vancouver, BC, and has facilities in Warminster, PA. For more information, please visit www.arbutusbio.com.