Advanced Cell Technology Inc. (OTC:ACTC) secured a $25 million investment to support clinical trials.
The funding commitment came from Socius Capital Group subsidiary Socius CG II Ltd. and is comprised of a $25 million non-convertible stock purchase agreement.
The agreement stipulates that ACT may sell up to 2,500 shares Series C preferred stock to Socius over a two-year period. When the deal closed, Socius also purchased 400 shares of Series C preferred for a total investment of $4 million.
ACT is in its "strongest financial position" in its 16-year history, interim CEO Gary Rabin said in prepared remarks. ACT ended 2010 with $15 million in cash or equivalents and about $1 million in debt, according to the company.
"Through a combination of the cash on hand and ability to sell Socius additional preferred stock, we believe we have the financial resources to take our lead program in Stargardt’s Disease, a form of juvenile macular degeneration, well into clinical development and to move our program for treating Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration through the clinic if we receive [Food & Drug Administration] clearance," said Rabin.
Rabin has filled the chief executive role since chairman and CEO William Caldwell IV passed away suddenly Dec. 16.
ACT filed for Orphan Drug Designation with the European Medicines Agency for the company’s retinal pigment epithelial cells for use in treatment of Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, also known as Stargardt’s disease. Orphan Drug Status was established by regulatory agencies such as the EMA and FDA to encourage companies to come up with treatments for rare diseases such as Stargardt’s.
The company won FDA clearance for its investigational new drug application to initiate a phase I/II study using human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells to treat patients with Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration. ACT filed the IND application in early December. Dry AMD, afflicting between 10 million and 15 million Americans, is the most common form of macular degeneration in the world and there are currently no treatments for the disease, according to the company.