Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA), an international leader in diagnostic nuclear medicine, has completed a capital increase of €40 million, which will help fund expansion plans and finance clinical trials of its promising portfolio of Radio Metabolic Therapy and diagnostic products.
The fundraising was subscribed by existing and new shareholders, including private investors and pharmaceutical companies. New shareholders include the leading Italian biopharmaceutical company Dompé, which has acquired a 7.7% stake in AAA. Mr. Eugenio Aringhieri, CEO of Dompé Group, was elected by AAA shareholders on June 28, 2011 to the company’s Board.
Following the capital increase, the number of shareholders in AAA has risen to 116 from 88. Since its foundation in 2002 as a spin-off from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) AAA has raised more than €74 million to finance the construction of its laboratories and its R&D activities. The company has been profitable since 2006.
AAA develops and commercializes innovative diagnostic and therapeutic applications and products. Its main research focus is on molecular imaging and personalized medicines for the treatment of diseases including cancer. It is today a European leader in the production and commercialization of PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) products, with 11 production and R&D facilities in France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and the USA.
In addition to funding further expansion of its international network of production sites, AAA has a growing portfolio of Radio Metabolic Therapy products, including Lutathera®, which is in clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of Gastro-Entero-Pancreatic Neuro Endocrine Tumours (GEPNETs). Lutathera® has orphan drug status and has already been used in thousands of patients by specialist clinicians with significant results. AAA is now taking Lutathera® through the full development and regulatory process, with market approvals in the US and Europe expected in 2016. Lutathera® was acquired in June 2010 when AAA bought BioSynthema, a molecular nuclear medicine research company based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
In 2010, AAA announced an investment of up to US$6 million in the Canadian company Atreus in order to enable it to move its leading SPECT diagnostic product Annexin V-128 for rheumatoid arthritis into phase II trials. Annexin, labelled with Technetium-99m, can highlight cellular apoptosis and necrosis, which is associated with a wide range of serious conditions including RA, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and acute myocardial infarction. It can also evaluate the response to treatment for lymphoma and lung cancer.
Stefano Buono, CEO of AAA, commented, “We were delighted by the strong support for our latest financing from current and new shareholders. The money raised will help us to accelerate our international growth and finance the development of our promising product pipeline, including Lutathera®. We will also continue to seek complementary acquisitions which will enable us to achieve our goal of making AAA the leading global company in the field of innovative Radio Metabolic Therapy products. We welcome Eugenio Aringhieri to the Board of AAA. His industry insights and his experience of working with pharmaceutical and biotech companies will be of great value to us as we continue to execute our strategy.”
“In line with its mission, Dompé has decided to support AAA, which is a dynamic company on the therapeutic innovation side”, Mr Eugenio Aringhieri, CEO of Gruppo Dompé stated. “In the current pharmaceutical environment, change is determined by the companies that can take the lead and the risk of re-thinking the reference paradigms and monitor the ‘hot areas’ of research. One of these areas is Personalized Medicine, especially if we consider that the new paradigm of pharmaceutical research will be based on a far more focused and personalized approach, which will allow us to offer future generations the possibility of treatments which were previously unthinkable.”