London Stock Exchange welcomes Mereo
London Stock Exchange welcomed Mereo BioPharma Group plc (Mereo or the Company) to the start of dealings in its shares and admission to AIM, today, 9 June 2016, under the ticker MPH, with a market capitalisation of £142.2m.
Mereo is a clinical stage, UK-based, biopharmaceutical company, launched in July 2015 with a focus on rare and specialty disease areas. Mereo’s initial portfolio of three Phase 2 product candidates was acquired from Novartis and the Company has already commenced two new Phase 2 clinical studies in 2016 and it also intends to commence registration studies for its lead product during H2 2016.
In addition to today’s Admission, the Company has completed a supplementary Capital Raise with total gross proceeds of £14.8 million comprised of a private placement of its Ordinary Shares raising gross proceeds of £11.35 million at a price of £2.21 per Ordinary Share and a cash investment by existing shareholder Novartis by way of a convertible loan, in the amount of £3.46 million. The Capital Raise follows a private placement in July 2015 raising £76.5 million, of which £20 million was initially drawn down with the remaining £56.5 million of committed funds drawn down immediately prior to the private placement.
Having publically traded shares aligns with Mereo’s strategy to build, over time, a diverse portfolio of additional candidates, focused on rare and orphan diseases, which are likely to be primarily sourced from large pharmaceutical companies.
Denise Scots-Knight, Chief Executive Officer of Mereo, commented:
“We are very excited to be joining AIM, allowing the Company to take the next logical step towards realising our vision of becoming a leading speciality biopharma company. We have raised over £90 million from institutional investors since July 2015 which has allowed us to acquire three carefully selected clinical stage pipeline assets from Novartis and quickly advance these product candidates into new clinical studies. We intend to initiate registration studies for our lead product in the second half of this year.
“Our strategy is to build, over time, a diverse portfolio, and having publically-traded shares, will provide additional flexibility to secure the next product candidates which are likely to be primarily sourced from large pharmaceutical companies. Such product candidates are expected to have compelling market potential, robust preclinical, clinical and manufacturing data packages, and a clear path to a significant value inflection point. We also aim to retain optionality on how we realise value from each asset downstream.
“We are well positioned to leverage our early mover advantage in a novel business model that aligns our interests with those of large pharmaceutical companies for drug development and we are confident that we have the right ingredients and experience to build a scalable and sustainable specialty pharmaceutical business”
The nominated adviser to the Company is Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, also a joint broker alongside RBC Capital Markets. Evercore is Financial Adviser to the Company.