Immuron sits back as US funds compete to get a piece of its gut technology
Shares in gut-focused biotech Immuron have surged this week as the company delights in attention from US institutional funds.
Trade was halted on Monday pending the announcement of a capital raise via a major US investment fund — news of which sparked the interest of several others, Immuron said.
Immuron (ASX:IMC) told shareholders the US funds just couldn’t get enough and it would resume trading of its shares while the board considered its options.
“While under the trading halt, Immuron has been approached by several other large US institutional funds also willing to enter negotiations with the company surrounding a potential significant investment,” the announcement read.
“The board believes it is critical that the company’s securities resume trading while the board evaluates all of the alternative investment offers which it has received.”
Investors too are keen to get in – shares closed up 20 per cent at 47c.
Increased interest in the dual-listed stock (ASX:IMC, NASDAQ:IMRN) comes after the company released a world-first break through in inflammation reduction last week.
The study found that the company’s oral treatment demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in serum lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels – a major factor in liver inflammation.
More broadly, the demonstrated mechanism of action of its lead product IMM-124E has potential for wider therapeutic applications beyond the recent results and that’s what has the investment community particularly excited.
“This is a major milestone for the validation of product and the technology,” chief Jerry Kanellos told Stockhead.
“It has been designed to specifically target LDS, the endotoxin in the gut, and not to get into the bloodstream.”
New results will be key for the chief’s planned US non-deal roadshow this week.
“Through all of our previous commercial discussions one of the key issues that is always raised is around our mechanism of action, now we can show point blank data that verifies what we have been hypothesising,” Dr Kanellos said.
“These results will reignite our partnering discussion with companies we have spoken to previously and put some new companies on our radar.”
It comes after increased interest in ASX biotechs from US big pharma – multi-billion dollar Merck earlier this year announced a $500 million bid for Viralytics (ASX:VLA) as well as a partnership with Immutep (ASX:IMM) to jointly develop treatments earlier this week.
Shares have climbed steadily since the company announced positive sales for its Bali-belly remedy and successful testing by the US Department of Defence.