Boulder-based drug researcher Clovis Oncology is selling $275 million in new stock in order to raise money for more research. Their plan also includes the commercialization of two new cancer drugs and the development of other promising medicines.
The company’s lead medicines currently are rociletinib, an oral drug for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, and rucaparib, an oral drug used to combat ovarian cancer. The pharmaceuticals are in phase II and III of, respectively, of their clinical trials, and with the sale of new stock the company hopes they will be able to commercialize them.
Clovis says they are raising money ahead of time in case the drugs receive marketing approval for domestic and European Union sales from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency.
The FDA has given both drugs “breakthrough therapy” designations because of their potential efficacy in treating conditions with limited options for treatment. This designation may help them speed up the review process and get the drugs to market more quickly. CEO Pat Mahaffy says they expect to have a new drug application with the FDA in by the end of July, and a marketing application with the EMA in August.
The money from stock sales will also include the acquisition and licensing of other potential medications. Stock buyers will have a 30-day option to buy additional stock which would be equal to 15% of shares sold in the offer.
In January 2014, almost 14.5 million people were living with a history of cancer. These drugs could be a saving grace for not only them but for the millions of others in cancer treatments. In 2015 alone, almost 1,658,370 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States while 589,430 people will die from the disease.