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.
Potential Cure for HIV/AIDs
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.
Bump Comes Amid Strong Year for Sangamo
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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