Tiziana Life Sciences Plans to Raise $3.3 Million in London IPO

Mar 30, 2014 7:47 am ET

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Tiziana Life Sciences Plc, a U.K. developer of an experimental treatment for late-stage breast cancer, is planning to raise 2 million pounds ($3.3 million) in a London initial public offering.

Tiziana aims to sell 16.7 million shares for 12 pence each and list them on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s market for smaller companies, co-founder and executive Chairman Gabriele Cerrone said in an interview. The founders will retain about 75 percent of the company, he said.

Tiziana is founded on research at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute in Cardiff, Wales. Scientists there have identified the BCL3 gene as a drug target to halt the spread of metastatic breast cancer to other parts of the body, potentially preventing the disease from becoming life-threatening. A study in mice showed that suppressing the BCL3 gene inhibited the development of metastatic tumors. Human trials may begin in 2016.

Cerrone has founded eight other biotech companies, including Trovagene Inc., Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. and FermaVir Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Inhibitex Inc. in 2007.

Current options for patients with metastatic breast cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and targeted drugs such as Roche Holding AG’s Herceptin and GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s lapatinib for those who are HER2-positive. If successful, Tiziana’s product will likely be combined with existing therapies, said Richard Clarkson, one of the scientific founders of the company.

There’s also early evidence that the BCL3 approach could be translated to other solid tumor cancers such as colorectal, prostate, and ovarian, Clarkson said.

Cairn Financial Advisers LLP and Beaufort Securities Ltd. are advising the company on the share sale.

Cerrone is also founder of Gensignia, which will also list in London by the end of the third quarter.