RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., June 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:FENC; TSX: FRX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of PEDMARKTM (a unique formulation of sodium thiosulfate) for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients with localized, non-metastatic solid tumors, today announced an amendment to its existing senior debt facility with the Life Sciences Group at Bridge Bank increasing the size of the facility from $18 million to $20 million.
The U.S. operating subsidiary of Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. entered into a Second Amendment to the 2019 Loan and Security Agreement with Bridge Bank. This amendment provides Fennec with a $20 million debt facility comprised of three term loans. Term Loan A consists of $5.0 million to be funded upon closing. Term Loan B consists of $7.5 million to be funded upon New Drug Application (NDA) approval of PEDMARKTM in the U.S. Term Loan C consists of $7.5 million to be funded upon the occurrence of a revenue event in 2022. The interest-only period for the facility has the ability to be extended from 18 months to 24 months from the funding of Term Loan B, provided that Term Loan C is funded, and certain conditions are met. The Company intends to use the proceeds from the loans to provide working capital for commercial readiness activities prior to NDA approval as well as commercialization activities for PEDMARK, if approved.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently accepted for filing the resubmission of Fennec’s NDA for PEDMARK TM and set a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target action date for November 27, 2021.
“We are pleased to announce this loan amendment to secure up to $20 million in credit financing with Bridge Bank, a premier lending institution with a broad scope of services,” said Robert Andrade, chief financial officer of Fennec Pharmaceuticals. “This credit facility provides a potentially meaningful extension of our cash runway, allowing continued support of our commercial strategy. We believe our senior debt facility will be a valuable financial tool and provides additional flexibility to further unlock the opportunities for PEDMARKTM.”
Lauren Cosentino, vice president in Bridge Bank’s Life Sciences Group, commented, “Bridge Bank is pleased to continue our partnership with Fennec and provide flexible debt capital to support its upcoming commercialization activities for PEDMARK™, which has the potential to address an important unmet medical need for the prevention of ototoxicity in children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy.”
About Fennec Pharmaceuticals
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of PEDMARK™ for the prevention of platinum-induced ototoxicity in pediatric patients. Further, PEDMARK has received Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. for this potential use. Fennec has filed a New Drug Application (NDA) for PEDMARK for the prevention of ototoxicity induced by cisplatin chemotherapy in patients one month to < 18 years of age with localized, non-metastatic, solid tumors. Fennec has a license agreement with Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) for exclusive worldwide license rights to intellectual property directed to sodium thiosulfate and its use for chemoprotection, including the prevention of ototoxicity induced by platinum chemotherapy, in humans. For more information, please visit www.fennecpharma.com
Cisplatin and other platinum compounds are essential chemotherapeutic agents for many pediatric malignancies. Unfortunately, platinum-based therapies cause ototoxicity, or hearing loss, which is permanent, irreversible, and particularly harmful to the survivors of pediatric cancer.
In the U.S. and Europe, it is estimated that, annually, over 10,000 children may receive platinum-based chemotherapy. The incidence of ototoxicity depends upon the dose and duration of chemotherapy, and many of these children require lifelong hearing aids. There is currently no established preventive agent for this hearing loss and only expensive, technically difficult, and sub-optimal cochlear (inner ear) implants have been shown to provide some benefit. Infants and young children that suffer ototoxicity at critical stages of development lack speech language development and literacy, and older children and adolescents lack social-emotional development and educational achievement.
PEDMARK has been studied by co-operative groups in two Phase 3 clinical studies of survival and reduction of ototoxicity, The Clinical Oncology Group Protocol ACCL0431 and SIOPEL 6. Both studies have been completed. The COG ACCL0431 protocol enrolled childhood cancers typically treated with intensive cisplatin therapy for localized and disseminated disease, including newly diagnosed hepatoblastoma, germ cell tumor, osteosarcoma, neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, and other solid tumors. SIOPEL 6 enrolled only hepatoblastoma patients with localized tumors.
The Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for sodium thiosulfate (tradename PEDMARQSI) is currently under evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). PEDMARK received Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track Designation from the FDA in March 2018.
About Bridge Bank
Bridge Bank, a division of Western Alliance Bank , Member FDIC, helps business clients realize their ambitions. Founded in 2001 in Silicon Valley, Bridge Bank offers a better way to bank for small- to mid-market businesses across many industries, as well as emerging technology companies and the private equity community. Geared to serving both venture-backed and non-venture-backed companies, Bridge Bank delivers a broad scope of financial solutions including capital, equipment and working capital credit facilities, venture debt, treasury management, asset-based lending, SBA and commercial real estate loans, ESOP finance and a full line of international products and services. Based in San Jose, Bridge Bank has 16 offices in major markets across the country along with Western Alliance Bank ’s powerful array of specialized financial services. Western Alliance Bank is the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation . One of the country’s top-performing banking companies, Western Alliance is again #1 best-performing of the 50 largest public U.S. banks in the new S&P Global Market Intelligence listing for 2020 and ranks high on the Forbes “Best Banks in America” list year after year. For more information, visit bridgebank.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Except for historical information described in this press release, all other statements are forward-looking. Words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” or the negative of those terms, and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include the Company’s expectations regarding its interactions and communications with the FDA, including the Company’s expectations and goals respecting the NDA resubmission for PEDMARKTM. Obtaining Fast Track Designation and Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA is no guarantee that the FDA will approve the NDA resubmission of PEDMARK. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company’s business that could cause actual results to vary, including the risk that unforeseen factors may result in delays in or failure to obtain FDA approval of PEDMARK, the risks and uncertainties relating to the Company’s reliance on third party manufacturing, the risks that the Company’s NDA resubmission does not adequately address the concerns identified in the CRL previously provided by the FDA, the risk that the NDA resubmission to the FDA will not be satisfactory, that regulatory and guideline developments may change, scientific data and/or manufacturing capabilities may not be sufficient to meet regulatory standards or receipt of required regulatory clearances or approvals, clinical results may not be replicated in actual patient settings, unforeseen global instability, including political instability, or instability from an outbreak of pandemic or contagious disease, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), or surrounding the duration and severity of an outbreak, protection offered by the Company’s patents and patent applications may be challenged, invalidated or circumvented by its competitors, the available market for the Company’s products will not be as large as expected, the Company’s products will not be able to penetrate one or more targeted markets, revenues will not be sufficient to fund further development and clinical studies, the Company may not meet its future capital requirements in different countries and municipalities, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. Fennec disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.
For a more detailed discussion of related risk factors, please refer to our public filings available at www.sec.gov and www.sedar.com.
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Chief Financial Officer
Fennec Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Elixir Health Public Relations