12:00 AM
 | 
Nov 03, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Finance

Ebb & Flow

Cardiovascular and pulmonary company Dyax (NASDAQ:

DYAX) has found a bevy of ways to bring in cash this year, despite the poor funding environment. Its latest move was to set up a $50 million committed equity financing facility (CEFF) with Azimuth Opportunity last week.

Dyax may sell up to $50 million of its common stock to Azimuth over an 18-month period. It did not pay a commitment fee or issue warrants to secure the facility.

Isser Elishis, CIO of Acqua Wellington, which runs Azimuth, said he looks for companies with experienced management and significant catalysts in the next 12-18 months.

He said the challenging financing climate has made the fund an increasingly popular option for biotechs and that the fund is "jumping on some of the values we see." He added: "When there are good deals to be had, we try to ramp up the number of deals that we do."

Still, Elishis said the criteria for Azimuth deals remain fundamentally unchanged. The fund has only about 15 deals on the books at any one time, a number that will remain unchanged.

EVP and CBO Gustav Christensen told Ebb & Flow that, prior to this deal, Dyax had raised $78 million in net cash this year. At Sept. 30, the company had $74.5 million in cash.

In February, Dyax received $25 million up front when sanofi-aventis (Euronext:SAN; NYSE:SNY) licensed worldwide rights to DX-2240, a human mAb targeting tyrosine kinase receptor 1 (Tie1) that is in preclinical development to treat cancer. As part of the deal, the pharma also got a non-exclusive license to Dyax's antibody phage display technology to discover antibody candidates (see BioCentury, Feb. 18).

In April, the biotech received $15 million up front from Cubist (NASDAQ:CBST) for exclusive rights in North America and Europe to DX-88 ecallantide to prevent blood loss during surgery (see BioCentury, April 28).

Dyax netted another $15 million after it used a $50 million loan from Cowen Healthcare Royalty Partners to pay $35 million to repurchase revenue rights to its phage display Licensing and Funded Research Program (LFRP) from Paul Capital (see BioCentury, Aug. 11).

Italian company Dompe Farmaceutici also bought $10 million in equity through the purchase of 2 million shares at $4.98 in exchange for an exclusive negotiation period for European rights to DX-88 in angioedema (see BioCentury, July 21).

The remaining $13 million came from other new agreements and milestone payments, Christensen said.

He said the company's top priority is to commercialize DX-88, a recombinant plasma kallikrein inhibitor. In September, Dyax completed submission of a rolling BLA to treat hereditary angioedema (HAE) (see BioCentury, Sept. 29).

Dyax is starting a European trial of DX-88 in acquired angioedema and a U.S. trial in drug-induced angioedema.

The company's shares ended the week up $0.21 to $3.35.

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