Denmark’s NeuroSearch has completed a major financing which has raised nearly 98 million euros, one of the biggest seen in Europe this year.

The Ballerup-based firm has raised net proceeds of 728.7 million Danish kronor in a discounted rights issue of almost 2.8 million new shares in a financing among existing shareholders which was 99.6% subscribed. The offering represents a significant cash boost for NeuroSearch which has just posted a third-quarter net loss of 223 million kronor, up from 133 million kronor in the same period last year. Revenues were up 40.8% to 69 million kronor.

The sizeable cash injection will come in very handy for NeuroSearch which has a well-stocked pipeline, made up of 20 development programmes with a total of 17 drug candidates. Its lead products are ACR16 for the treatment of Huntington’s disease and tesofensine in obesity, both of which are scheduled to enter Phase III trials shortly.

Five other development programmes are in Phase II “with a view to obtaining a number of important milestones”, NeuroSearch said, including proof-of-concept for indications such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and pain.

Chief executive Flemming Pedersen said that the firm’s innovative drug discovery platform “continuously supplies new, unique” candidates to our “increasingly valuable pipeline”. He added that “we now also have strong capital resources which give us the necessary basis for making the right strategic decisions to ensure that NeuroSearch can make the next quantum leap forward”.

NeuroSearch, which says that the first nine months of the year have been “highly satisfactory”, believes that with its pipeline and enough cash to fund operations until the end of 2009, it has put in place “the best possible conditions for entering into attractive licence agreements with collaborative partners”. Nine projects are partnered and while ACR16 is being developed with Japan’s Astellas for schizophrenia, NeuroSearch is presently going it alone with the Huntington’s indication and also with tesofensine.