Shares in Danish biotechnology company Pharmexa are continuing to slide this morning as investors react badly to a share issue that has raised three times less than expected.

The Copenhagen-based firm has issued over 18.2 million shares in a rights issue that has raised 91.2 million kroner, or around $18 million. After expenses, net proceeds will be 80.2 million kroner.

Pharmexa said it was pleased to raise this sum “in a difficult market” but the company had previously stated that it had been hoping to raise over 340 million kroner through an offering of over 69 million new shares.

Now, on the back of the disappointing issue, Pharmexa says it will “initiate specific investigations of the strategic alternatives available to the company”. This “thorough evaluation of the options” will include a possible sale and the firm’s management said it will introduce cost-saving measures and “prioritisations in the project portfolio”. A specific plan will be unveiled on February 18.

The company’s research programmes include GV1001, a peptide vaccine that has entered Phase III trials in pancreatic cancer and Phase II trials in liver cancer, plus a number of HIV and
hepatitis vaccines in Phase I/II.