What a year it has been for Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (“ACT”). Developments really kicked it in gear during the final quarter of 2010, ending the year with a host of positive news and the strength of a $25 million stock purchase agreement to continue to shore up the Company’s finances.
The Company has been in the forefront of the biotechnology world with its FDA clearance to use embryonic stem cells for Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy and has gone from being a quiet developmental biotech to the center stage of the industry. Reinforcing this idea, Dr. Robert Lanza, Advanced Cell’s Chief Scientific Officer, was featured and interviewed as “one of the leading scientists making breakthroughs in his field” on Explorations in Science with best-selling author and television personality, Dr. Michio Kaku.
ACT is in the process of securing its position on a global level as well. Last week it was announced that the Company has filed for Orphan Drug Designation with the European Medicines Agency for its Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells for use in treatment of Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy. If Orphan drug status is granted, ACT should reap several benefits including ten years of marketing exclusivity for embryonic stem cell derived RPE cells upon market authorization for the indication, financial incentives such as fee reductions or waivers, provision of free scientific advice during the drug development process, and access to a centralized review process for all 27 member states.
The Company has also recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Roslin Cells LTD of Scotland, in which the two companies will negotiate a definitive collaboration agreement in the near future. They will work together to establish a bank of Good Manufacturing Practice-grade human embryonic stem cell lines using ACT’s proprietary “single-ceblastomere” technique for deriving embryonic stem cells without damage to the embryo.
Just before New Year’s, Advanced Cell announced that it has secured a $25 million funding commitment through a non-convertible stock purchase agreement with Socius CG II, Ltd, a subsidiary of New York and Los Angeles-based Socius Capital Group with a distinguished history of investments in emerging life sciences companies. Upon closing, Socius purchased 400 shares of Series C Preferred for an aggregate purchase price of $4 million. ACT also has the right to sell up to 2,500 shares of non-convertible Series C Preferred Stock to Socius over a two-year period. These new funds add further strength to ACT’s balance sheet and provide funding for the Company’s continued clinical activities.
Impressively, ACT expects to start the New Year with approximately $15 million in cash and equivalents and less than $1 million in debt. These totals were achieved through this recent funding as well as by selling 750 shares of non-convertible Series B Preferred Stock to Optimus Life Sciences Capital Partners, LLC under a previously announced $10 million Preferred Stock transaction and eliminating more than $10 million of indebtedness through conversions and settled more than $10 million of other liabilities.
More information on Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., its pipeline and the investment opportunity presented can be found on the Company’s website at www.advancedcell.com