Spain’s Zeltia has received a major financial boost with the news that it has signed an equity line agreement with one of the country’s leading banks which could give the firm access to 100 million euros.

The one-year deal with Banco Santander Central Hispano’s Global Banking & Markets unit means that Zeltia can raise capital through the issue of several tranches of stock to a maximum of just over 15 million new shares which, if fully utilised could raise up to the aforementioned 100 million euros. Catherine Moukheibir, head of capital markets at Zeltia, said that using an equity line “allows us to access capital in a flexible, measured and relatively inexpensive way”.

The funds raised will be used to finance the activities of PharmaMar, Zeltia’s biotechnology subsidiary, which has Yondelis (trabectedin) as its lead product. The firm expects that the drug, partnered with Johnson & Johnson, will shortly be approved by the European Medical Agency as a treatment of soft tissue sarcoma.