VCR ventracor limited

aust biotech news article

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    Doesn't really add much but maybe points to how directors were thinking....

    Investors boost Ventracor coffers by $33.5m
    Melissa Trudinger, Australian Biotechnology News

    27/08/2003 14:58:06

    Artificial heart company Ventracor (ASX:VCR) has taken advantage of its market popularity to raise AUD$33.75 million in an unexpected placement to institutional and sophisticated investors in Australia, Europe and Asia.

    Fifteen million shares were placed in the oversubscribed offering at a price of $2.25, to institutions and clients of ABN AMRO Morgans. The company is now considering offering a rights issue to existing shareholders at the same price, and plans to make a decision in the next two weeks, according to Ventracor chairman John Massey.

    Massey said the decision to offer the placement was triggered by a recent roadshow updating investors on the company's annual results, where institutions showed interest in the company.

    "The demand from institutions both internationally and in Australia was very strong," he said.

    The upshot is that Ventracor now has a healthy bank balance for its current pilot trial and upcoming pivotal trial of its VentrAssist Left Ventricular Assist System. Prior to the placement, the company had $10.5 million cash available.

    "If the trials continue to be successful, we now have the money to accelerate the program," Massey said. In particular, the funds will allow the company to enrol more hospitals in its pivotal trial, which will be conducted both in Australia and overseas.

    Ventracor's share price has risen sharply in recent weeks, following the first successful implant of the device in a human patient at the Alfred Hospital in June. The patient, who was suffering from end-stage congestive heart disease, has since returned home.

    Massey said the next patient in the trial was likely to receive the implant very shortly.

    At the time of writing, shares in Ventracor had dropped slightly to $2.87, after closing yesterday at $3.15 after announcing the placement.

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