Analysts at Maxim Group said Friday that BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.’s (NASDAQ:BCLI) capital raise ensures the biotech has sufficient capital to complete its ongoing Phase 3 trial of NurOwn in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other promising R&D programs in its pipeline.
The New York-based biotech is engaged in developing adult stem cell therapies for debilitating neurodegenerative disorders, such as ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
Renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
BrainStorm announced Thursday that it was raising US$12.3mln through the exercise of warrants at US$5 per share for 2.5 mln shares.
For each warrant exercised, BrainStorm has agreed to issue one new warrant to the holders to purchase unregistered shares of common stock at an exercise price of US$9 and an expiration date of December 31, 2020.
“The capital raise extends the runway to 2020 and likely to the end of the P3 pivotal trial of NurOwn in ALS. The company is also now positioned to expand NurOwn to additional indications,” wrote Maxim Group analysts Jason McCarthy and Caroline Palomeque in a note to clients.
The Wall Street securities brokerage estimated that the biotech has US$18mln in cash, not including the US$9mln remaining from CIRM to support the P3 study of NurOwn in ALS.
“Given the support from CIRM, we expect operating expenses to remain in the US$2mln-US$3mln per quarter range in 2018 and increase to US$5mln per quarter in 2019 as the P3 trial moves to full enrollment,” wrote the analysts.
“Our model already factors in dilution and as such there is no change to our 12-month price target,” they added.
The Maxim Group has a Buy recommendation and US$9 price target on BrainStorm. The share was trading 4% lower to US$4.52 on Friday.
NurOwn has been administered to approximately 75 patients with ALS in clinical trials conducted in the United States and Israel.
The company said that in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in the U.S., a “clinically meaningful benefit” was demonstrated by higher response to NurOwn compared with placebo.