Disposal of interest in Intensity Therapeutics Inc
FastForward Innovations Ltd / AIM: FFWD / Sector: Closed End Investments
11 July 2019
FastForward Innovations Ltd ("FastForward" or the "Company")
Disposal of interest in Intensity Therapeutics for approximately $1.3m
FastForward Innovations Ltd, the AIM quoted company focusing on making investments in fast growing and industry leading businesses, is pleased to announce that it has completed the sale of its entire holding of shares in investee company Intensity Therapeutics Inc. ("Intensity").
· Sale of 1.99% stake in Intensity for a consideration of US$1,298,061 (an equivalent of £1,040,000 based on today's exchange rate) representing a 92.9% return on investment (or, a return of 124.5% based upon the sterling equivalent amount)
· Interest sold to Canadian Securities Exchange Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage") for the consideration of 12,980,061 new shares in Portage
· Sale insulates the Company from risk associated with early stage drug development and provides exposure to Portage's extensive pharmaceutical focused portfolio
Lorne Abony, CEO of FastForward, commented, "Intensity represented a strategic investment for the Company; I am delighted that we were able to make an excellent return on it, demonstrating that our investment strategy can generate significant value for us.
"Selling Intensity in exchange for shares in Portage represents a strategic spreading of risk by virtue of exposure to a portfolio of interests in other pharmaceutical companies held by them, whilst maintaining an exposure to Intensity through Portage's ongoing 8.9% interest in it. Portage has a proven track record in the development of its portfolio companies and its management team has significant experience in the biopharma field. Additionally, the sale of Intensity in favour of taking a position in a more liquid investment is in line with FastForward's current investment strategy."
The Company has sold its 1.99% holding in Intensity on a fully diluted basis which was valued at £995,000 as at 30 September 2018 to Portage Biotech, Inc., a company listed on the Canadian Securities exchange (PBT.U, OTC Markets:PTGEF), for US$1,298,061 (approximately £1,040,000 at today's exchange rate) with consideration being the issue of 12,980,061 new shares in Portage at a price of US$0.10 per share.
The sale of the Company's interest in Intensity represents an increase of approximately 92.9% (or an increase of approximately 124% based upon the sterling equivalent values) in value since the time of the Company's original investments in October 2015 and July 2018 when it acquired the stake for total consideration of $673,061 (an equivalent of £463,130 based on the exchange rate at the time of each purchase).
Portage Biotech, Inc. describes itself as a unique entity in the world of biotechnology, enabling research and development to produce more clinical programs and maximize potential returns by eliminating typical overhead costs associated with many biotechnology companies. They nurture the creation of early- to mid-stage, first- and best-in-class therapies for a variety of cancers, by providing funding, strategic business and clinical counsel, and shared services, to enable efficient, turnkey execution of commercially-informed development plans. Their portfolio encompasses nine subsidiary companies whose products or technologies have established scientific rationales, including intratumorals, nanoparticles, liposomes, aptamers, cell penetrating peptides, and virus-like particles. In collaboration with their subsidiaries, Portage creates viable product development strategies, to cost-effectively deliver best-in-class R&D, clinical trial design, and financial and project management, to ultimately build value and support commercial potential.
Through its management's extensive experience within pharma, Portage is able to access a broad network of drug development professionals able to determine the optimum development pathway for each compound, minimising Portage's risk profile. Management has over 80 combined years of experience in biotech in which the team has overseen the development of five separate billion-dollar drugs, built multiple companies valued in excess of US$10 billion, taken four companies public, and executed numerous multi-million-dollar licenses with Big Pharma.
Portage reported a loss for the six-month period ended 30 September 2018 of US$213,000 on nil revenue and Net Assets of US$9,228,000 at that date. Most recently, Portage has acquired SalvaRx Limited, a company that had invested in and helped form six immuno-oncology companies, which are developing nine products. SalvaRx was formed by ex-Bristol Myers Squibb executives with extensive experience in the development and commercialization of immunotherapy. On April 22, 2016, SalvaRx announced that it had invested US$2 million in cash for a 9.2% interest in Intensity as part of a Series A funding round. Following the Series B round, this holding was diluted to approximately 6.9%.
For more information, visit http://www.portagebiotech.com.
Related Party Transaction
Mr Jim Mellon, a director of the Company, is a director of Portage and he holds a beneficial interest in 309,302,067 common shares of Portage, representing approximately 28.49% of the current issued stock capital of Portage.
As a result of Mr Mellon's interests in Portage the disposal of the Company's interest in Intensity (the "Disposal") will constitute a Related Party Transaction under Rule 13 of the AIM Rules for Companies.
Mr Burns, Mr Abony, Mr de Jersey and Mr McDermott have no interest of any nature in the issued shares of Portage and are therefore independent directors for the purposes of considering and approving the Disposal (the "Independent Directors").
The Independent Directors confirm that, having consulted with the Company's nominated adviser, they consider the terms of the disposal to be fair and reasonable insofar as Shareholders are concerned.
Intensity Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering a new immune-based approach to treat solid tumor cancers. Intensity leverages its DfuseRxSM technology platform to create new drug formulations that, following direct injection, rapidly disperse throughout a tumor and diffuse therapeutic agents into cancer cells. Intensity's product candidates have the potential to induce an adaptive immune response that not only attacks the injected tumor, but also non-injected tumors and unseen micro-metastases. INT230-6, Intensity's lead product candidate, is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical study in patients with various advanced solid tumors.
INT230-6, Intensity's lead product candidate designed for direct intratumoral injection, is comprised of two proven, potent anti-cancer agents and a penetration enhancer molecule that helps disperse the drugs throughout tumors and diffuse into cancer cells. INT230-6 is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical study (NCT03058289) in patients with various advanced solid tumors. In preclinical studies, INT230-6 eradicated tumors by a combination of direct tumor kill and recruitment of dendritic cells to the tumor micro-environment that induced anti-cancer T-cell activation. Treatment with INT230-6 in in vivo models of severe cancer resulted in substantial improvement in overall survival compared to standard therapies. Further, INT230-6 provided complete responder animals with long-term, durable protection from multiple re-inoculations of the initial cancer and resistance to other cancers. In mouse models, INT230-6 has shown strong synergy with checkpoint blockage, including anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA4 antibodies. INT230-6 was discovered from Intensity's DfuseRxSM platform.
The AIM Market of London Stock Exchange plc does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. No stock exchange, securities commission or other regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the information contained herein. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential values, the future plans and objectives of FastForward Innovations Ltd. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate, achievable or recognizable in the near term.
Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. FastForward Innovations assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.
For further information on the Company please visit www.fstfwd.co or contact:
Ed McDermott /
Lance de Jersey
FastForward Innovations Ltd
Email: [email protected]
James Biddle /
Beaumont Cornish Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 207 628 3396
Optiva Securities Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 203 411 1881
St Brides Partners Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)207 236 1177
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