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12:00 AM
Mar 05, 2012
 |  BioCentury  |  Finance

Putting debt to work

Private debt fuels public biotechs: Japan's NanoCarrier; Korea's CrystalGenomics

It's notoriously difficult for development-stage public biotechs in Asia to raise enough money to support their clinical programs. To get around the problem, Japan's NanoCarrier Co. Ltd. and Korea's CrystalGenomics Inc. have turned to debt structures that resemble the venture debt typically employed by private companies in the U.S.

NanoCarrier is planning to raise ¥3.7 billion ($45.9 million) through the sale of convertible bonds and stock options to Whiz Partners. The financing is contingent on shareholder approval at a meeting on March 19.

The financing includes ¥2 billion ($24.8 million) in stock options with an exercise price that is a 21.1% premium over the volume-weighted average share price over the prior six months. CFO Takuma Nakatsuka said the stock options mature in six years.

The remaining ¥1.7 billion ($21.1 million) is in convertible bonds. Their conversion price for the bonds is a 13% premium to NanoCarrier's volume-weighted average share price over the prior six months.

Nakatsuka told BioCentury the structure will...

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