Tengion soars on raising $34M in support of organ regeneration platform

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North Carolina regenerative medicine company Tengion (NSDQ:TNGN) raised $33.6 million in support of clinical studies of its leading programs, the Neo-Kidney Augment and Neo-Urinary Conduit programs. TNGN shares jumped 15.3% to 68¢ around 12:40 p.m. today, up from an opening price of 64¢.

Tengion touted a $15 million cash payment from Celgene Corp. in exchange for 1st negotiation rights for the Neo-Kidney program. The companies also entered into a collaboration agreement that grants Celgene an exclusive option to acquire assets that include technology related to Tengion’s neo-esophageal implant.

Tengion also raised $18.6 million through sale of senior secured convertible note financing, joined by new and existing investors, according to a company statement. Funders included existing investors RA Capital Management LLC, Deerfield Management Co. LP, Bay City Capital and HealthCap, as well as new investors Perceptive Life Sciences and QVT Financial LP.

"The completion of these transactions allows us to continue our focus on advancing both the Neo-Kidney Augment and the Neo-Urinary Conduit to key clinical milestones," president & CEO John Miclot said in prepared remarks. "We are eager to make progress towards our primary objectives of establishing new standards of care for patients with chronic kidney disease and for bladder cancer patients undergoing cystectomy, or removal of their bladder."

The company plans to use the new funds to forward R&D work, including a pair of Phase I clinical trials for the Neo-Kidney Augment program in the U.S. and in Sweden, as well as complete enrollment in the Phase I trial for its Neo-Urinary Conduit program.

Tengion’s Neo-Urinary Conduit program was nearly put to a stop late last year when a pair of patient deaths spurred deeper investigation. The study continued enrollment after researchers determined that the deaths were unrelated to the device or the surgical procedure.

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