Recently, Woodlands, Texas-based Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPXA) has been making headlines in the MS community with its new Tcelna Multiple Sclerosis treatment study, which the company has been aggressively raising money for through a new round of public stock offerings. The “Abili-T” clinical study, which seeks to test Opexa’s novel multiple sclerosis treatment in patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS), is currently 70% enrolled with patients, however, the company is still seeking more participants in the study, who could potentially benefit from Tcelna.
After announcing the launch of a new public offering of stock, Opexa has followed up with updated pricing on the sale of common shares. According to a company press release, ” . . . the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 4.12 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $1.70 per share,” with “the gross proceeds to Opexa from this offering are expected to be approximately $7 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other estimated offering expenses. All of the shares in the offering are to be sold by Opexa. Opexa has also granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 618,000 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any. The offering is expected to close on or about December 23, 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.”
While a portion of the $7 million that Opexa hopes to raise will go toward other corporate administrative costs, the crux of this new fundraising effort is to further test, develop, and commercialize Tcelna for the treatment of MS. While there are several other multiple sclerosis treatments currently being tested throughout the United States, Opexa’s Tcelna offers a unique approach to the treatment of the disease, by custom tailoring the treatment to each patient’s individual disease profile. The Tcelna treatment process involves collecting blood samples from MS patients; isolating their peripheral blood mononuclear cells; generating an autologous pool of myelin-reactive T-cells (MRTCs) raised against selected peptides from myelin basic protein (MBP), myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) and proteolipid protein (PLP); and then returning these expanded, irradiated T-cells back to the patient.
DISCLAIMER: BioNews Texas is a publishing company that occasionally focuses on the clinical trials industry. The information provided in this article is designed to help educate patients on clinical trials that may be of interest to them, based on the topic of the story, and to help patients contact the centers conducting the research. BioNews Texas is neither promoting this research nor involved in conducting any of these trials. Some study summaries have been edited for clarity purposes to make them easier to understand.