Transgene has announced plans to raise 100-150 million euros through a rights issue to help the French biotech achieve its goal of becoming “an integrated biopharmaceutical company by 2015”.

The Illkirch-headquartered group issued a statement following press reports that some sort of financing was being considered. Transgene said the “precise amount of the rights issue is yet to be defined” and the timing has yet to be finalised.

However it did disclose that major shareholder Institut Merieux, which holds 55.2% of Transgene's capital, intends to subscribe pro rata to the issue. The company had cash and equivalents of 64.7 million euros at the end of last year, and much of that will be spent on TG4010, an immunotherapy which uses the Modified Vaccinia Anakara virus vector, for the first-line treatment of non-small cell lung cancer and other potential cancer indications.

Earlier this month, Novartis paid $10 million for an option to acquire the licence for TG4010, depending on the outcome of a Phase IIb trial, a deal which worried investors who believe Transgene is still carrying too much of the risk. However if the Swiss major takes up the option, and the vaccine achieves its various milestones, the company is eligible to receive a total of 700 million euros.

Meantime earlier this week, Transgene announced its financials for 2009 which revealed that revenues fell 15.1% to 11.8 million euros, while net loss was 27.3 million euros compared to loss of 18 million euros a year earlier. Of the aforementioned cash sum, Transgene expects to spend 33 million euros in 2010.