AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AVEO) Raises Funds to Support Clinical Development Program; Shares Fall

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVEO) stock tumbled nearly 9% in early trading Tuesday, after the drug maker announced that it has secured $14 million in aggregate gross proceeds through its credit facility with Hercules Capital and the sale of common stock via its at-the-market issuance sales agreement with FBR & Co. (FBR).

Pursuant to its 2010 loan and security agreement with Hercules, as amended in 2016, AVEO intends to draw down an additional $5 million in funding from Hercules and will defer the commencement of principal payments on its aggregate loan balance by six months from July 1, 2017 until January 1, 2018. Pursuant to its February 2015 at-the-market issuance sales agreement with FBR, AVEO has issued and sold shares of common stock for gross proceeds of $9 million, effectively exhausting the balance of its aggregate $17.9 million facility. Gross proceeds of the common stock sales are subject to a commission of 2%. AVEO believes that, with the addition of these resources to its existing cash on hand, its planned operations will be funded into the fourth quarter of 2018. This guidance excludes, among other things, any potential revenues from or payments to EUSA or other portfolio partnerships.

Pursuant to AVEO’s December 2015 agreement with EUSA Pharma, the European licensee for lead candidate, tivozanib, AVEO is eligible to receive a $4 million research and development reimbursement payment from EUSA if the European Commission grants marketing approval for tivozanib, in addition to up to $12 million in additional milestones based on member state reimbursement and regulatory approvals, as well as a tiered royalty ranging from a low double-digit up to mid-twenty percent on net sales of tivozanib in the agreement’s territories. On June 23, 2017, AVEO announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has recommended FOTIVDA™ (tivozanib) for approval as a treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

“AVEO now has resources that we expect will take us well past the anticipated first quarter 2018 readout of the TIVO-3 trial, our U.S. pivotal trial in third-line RCC,” said Michael Bailey, president and chief executive officer of AVEO. “With progress made to date in all three pillars of our tivozanib strategy, including European registration strategy, our North American clinical and regulatory strategy (TIVO-3), and our immunotherapy combination strategy (TiNivo), we look forward to a number of potential transformative events in the coming months. We intend to continue to maintain our streamlined operations, while leveraging external resources and our prior investments in tivozanib’s commercial launch preparation, to ensure that our resources are directed toward maximizing the value of our pipeline for patients and our shareholders.”

On the ratings front, AVEO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 23, Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff maintained a Buy rating on the stock, with a price target of $2.00, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels. Separately, on May 22, FBR’s Vernon Bernardino reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $3.00.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Edward Tenthoff and Vernon Bernardino have a yearly average return of 1.0% and a loss of -3.2% respectively. Tenthoff has a success rate of 38% and is ranked #2304 out of 4596 analysts, while Bernardino has a success rate of 32% and is ranked #4266.

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. operates as a biopharmaceutical company, which engages in the advancement of therapeutics for oncology and other areas of unmet medical need. Its products include Tivozanib, Ficlatuzmab, AV-203, AV-380, and AV-353. It focuses on the development of its lead candidate, Tivozanib, in North America as a treatment for renal cell carcinoma and other cancers. 

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