It only took several months longer than we anticipated, but Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTCBB:NWBO) has finally announced that it is partnering with King's Health Partners to both manufacture and deliver a new treatment for patients with brain cancer as part of its ongoing 240-patient clinical trial for Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most lethal form of brain cancer.
According to a news release from the company, Specialists at King's College London will manufacture NW Bio's immune therapy treatment, DCVax®, for the clinical trial which will take place and involve brain cancer patients at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Both institutions carry clout in the European medical community and are part of King's Health Partners, a pioneering collaboration which brings together one of the world's leading research-led universities with three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts to reduce the time it takes for research discoveries to become routine clinical practice.
Unfortunately, shares of Northwest Biotherapeutics have not been able to get out of their own way. Likely the result of overhang from the various financings which the company has completed in order to pay for these late stage trials.
Since we've been covering the stock (2009), the firm has announced a number of high profile financings:
July 08, 2011 Northwest Biotherapeutics announced a USD 4.55 million equity investment on June 28, 2011, by The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation (the "Foundation"). The sale of newly issued common stock of the Company to the Foundation follows the investment of USD 3 million, on May 31, 2011, by investment funds managed by Whitebox Advisors, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund group headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
July 07, 2010 Northwest Biotherapeutics announced that during the second quarter it raised funding of USD 2.65 million from investors. The funding included USD 1.75 million in purchases of restricted common stock of the Company by a number of private investors, together with purchases of restricted Common Stock totaling USD 900,000 by SDS Capital and by Ms. Linda F. Powers, Chair of the Company's Board. The Company also continued to make progress on restructuring of its balance sheet, through debt conversions and extensions with its largest debt holders.
As of May 1, 2010 Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc had raised a total of USD 1.35 million through a series of small transactions in an ongoing private placement totaling 1,799,996 shares of common stock. In connection with this private placement the Company issued warrants to purchase 180,000 shares of common stock at an exercise price of USD 0.75 per share. The fair value of the warrants amounting to USD 192,096.
Source: SEC File 10-Q (5/21/2010)
Between February 22, 2010 and March 31, 2010, Northwest Biotherapeutics sold 1,451,666 shares of common stock at USD 0.75 per share for net proceeds of USD1,088,750.
Source: SEC File 10-K (5/21/2010)
March 27, 2009 Northwest Biotherapeutics completed a private placement of 1.4 million shares of our common stock and received USD700,000.
February 10, 2009 Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc has announced receipt of USD 700,000 in cash from Al Rajhi Holdings through the subscription of 1,000,000 new shares in the form of the Company's common stock at USD 0.70 per share. The new stock is expected to be admitted to trading on AIM on 16 February 2009.
It will be interesting to see how investors react to these developments, and whether the stock can actually begin to break out of it's steady downtrend-- just as it attempted to do last month.
"We are pleased to be leading the way in bringing these novel immune therapies to patients in the UK," commented Dr. Ashkan Keyoumars, Consultant (i.e., Specialist) Neurosurgeon, Reader (Associate Professor) in Neurosurgery and Lead for Neuro-Oncology at King's College Hospital. "Brain cancers are some of the most lethal cancers, and there is a great need for new and better treatments. The positive data from the Phase I clinical trials in the U.S. were very encouraging in delaying disease progression and extending survival times, without significant toxic side effects. We are hopeful that similar results will be seen in the large, randomized clinical trial which we are now helping to bring to the UK."
Farzin Farzaneh, Professor of Molecular Medicine and head of cGMP cell product manufacturing at King's College London, said: "At King's, we are excited to be undertaking the manufacturing for the DCVax® immune therapies in the UK. Such immune therapies represent an exciting new class of products, and we are pleased to apply our expertise and facilities for cell therapy to help bring DCVax® immune therapies to the UK and Europe."
"We are excited about partnering with such prestigious institutions as King's College London and King's College Hospital," commented Linda Powers, CEO of NW Bio. "This partnership can help accelerate our brain cancer clinical trials, and also help extend lives through compassionate use treatments for other patients while the trials are ongoing. This partnership also expands our manufacturing capacity and flexibility in a highly cost effective way – a great arrangement both for patients and for our programs."
There are several key components and benefits to this news development for Northwest Biotherapeutics.
The scientific and patient community believe there is real merit to this technology, particularly enthusiasm can be seen among some of the brain cancer survivors who have been treated in previous trials and lived well beyond the expected time frames set by their own doctors. Still, the jury is still out as to when and if investors will begin to get behind NWBO as excitedly as they have other immunotherpies in the same space; especially given the expensive trials and development costs the company is middle of right now.
We will attempt to follow up as we learn more details.
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