Sangamo Jumps Amid New Public Offering

Joel Anderson  |

Sangamo BioSciences (SGMO) announced a public offering of 6.1 million shares of common stock today, helping spark a morning jump in share price of over 4 percent. The offering, which was initially propsed yesterday afternoon, set a price at $10.58 a share, yesterday’s closing price, and is expected to raise about $65 million before underwriting expenses are deducted. Sangamo has also given underwriters an additional 30-day option to sell 915,000 more shares on the same terms to cover any over-allotments. The offering has Lazard Capital Markets LLC (LAZ) , JMP Securities LLC (JMP) , and Piper Jaffray & Co. (PJC) working as joint book-running managers and Cowen and Company, LLC (COWN) as the co-lead manager.

Sangamo intends to invest this fresh injection of cash into general corporate purposes, including its continuing research into gene therapies. Sangamo’s research is focusing on using zinc finger DNA-binding proteins to drive therapeutic outcomes. In some of its most exciting research, Sangamo is working on what could potentially be a functional cure for HIV/AIDs: SB-728. The treatment would remove infected white blood cells from HIV-positive patients, remove the protein gateways that allow HIV to infect the immune cells, and return them to the patients. Over time, the expectation would be that these HIV-resistant white blood cells would multiply and be able to fight off infections that result from HIV. Sangamo currently has ongoing Phase 2 and Phase 1/2 clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of this possible treatment.

Today’s bump comes amid a strong year for Sangamo. Year-to-date, Sangamo’s stock has gained some 85 percent from where it ended 2012. News of the stock offering comes on the heels of news last Thursday of data from its ongoing Phase 2 trial that demonstrated functional control of the virus at or below the limit of detection for HIV-infected subjects treated with SB-728-T. It was announced as a “late-breaker” presentation at the 53rd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC).

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