Bain Capital Life Sciences led the investment round, joined by EcoR1 Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, RA Capital, Domain Associates, Skyline Ventures and others. Bain Capital Life Sciences managing director Dr. Adam Koppel plans to join Dicerna’s board of directors when the preferred stock transaction closes.
The company said it expects to use proceeds from the offering to develop its GalXC pipeline programs. The transaction is expected to close on or before April 11.
“With a committed and focused management team and a next generation platform for RNAi therapeutics, Dicerna is well-positioned to advance several projects in the coming years,” Koppel said. “We are pleased to join and partner with existing stockholders, the board and management to help the Company achieve its goals on behalf of patients and stockholders.”
The preferred stock will be convertible into common shares at $3.19 apiece, Dicerna said, and the company can require conversion if the price of its stock hits $6.38 per share for 45 of 60 days after specific business and clinical development milestones. Those who have preferred stock will be entitled to a 12% cumulative annual divided, which can be lessened to 4% after certain milestones.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based company posted a loss of -$14.1 million, or -68¢ per share, on sales of $.13 million for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, for bottom-line growth of 10.6% on sales growth of 100% compared with the same period last year.
Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were -68¢, ahead of consensus on The Street.
“2016 was an important year for Dicerna as we completed the transition to our GalXC RNAi technology platform and focused our efforts squarely on driving the development of our GalXC pipeline programs,” president & CEO Douglas Fambrough said in prepared remarks. “The ability of GalXC to enable development of subcutaneously delivered RNAi therapeutics to silence any disease-causing gene in the liver provides substantial opportunities for growth. Our $70.0 million convertible preferred financing, announced today, to be led by Bain Capital Life Sciences and a syndicate of current and new investors, further supports the broad applicability of our GalXC RNAi technology and will be key to progressing our pipeline and strategic plan over the next two years.
“Our 2-pronged strategy includes internal development of product candidates for rare diseases that are genetically and molecularly defined, have high unmet medical need, and offer efficient development paths. Our lead product candidate, DCR-PHXC, for primary hyperoxaluria type 1, as well as our second development program aimed at an undisclosed rare disease, fall into this category. Additionally, we are aggressively pursuing key partnerships for programs that address complex diseases with multiple gene dysfunctions and larger patient populations, including DCR-PCSK9 for hypercholesterolemia and DCR-HBV for hepatitis B virus.”