Pharming Group of the Netherlands has announced plans to raise up to 12 million euros ahead of what it hopes will be a thumbs-up from regulatory authorities in Europe for its hereditary angioedema treatment Rhucin.

In April, the Leiden-based biotechnology firm hired the services of two banks (Kempen & Co and Petercam) to investigate the possibilities of attracting additional funding. It has now received “a number of pre-commitments from existing and new shareholders” to participate in a private placement with investors who subscribe for a minimum amount of 50,000 euros.

The proceeds of the equity offering will be used for corporate activities, “most notably for the ongoing regulatory approval processes and start of commercialisation” of Rhucin (recombinant human C1 inhibitor). The treatment is a human protein developed through Pharming's proprietary technology in the milk of transgenic rabbits.

In March, Pharming shares plunged after the company said it expected the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use to uphold its negative opinion on Rhucin. Although the panel had no specific concern on the safety and efficacy data, the CHMP felt there was insufficient evidence in the file to confirm the clinical benefits of the treatment in repeat use and, in particular, to address the potential for undesirable immune responses following repeated administration.

Pharming has submitted its response to the EMA and said earlier this week that it expects a final opinion by the end of June. Earlier this month, the company noted that it is reducing its financial interest in its wholly-owned subsidiary DNage, which specialises in DNA repair, “in order to reduce the cash need and fully focus on the commercialisation” of Rhucin.