AGTC nets $34M in public offering, plans expansion


Published: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 5:18 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 5:18 p.m.

After raising nearly $52 million in an initial public offering in March, Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. raised another $34 million through a second public offering last week.

The Alachua-based company closed the offering on 2 million shares of common stock July 30 and underwriters exercised their option to purchase another 300,000 shares, which closed Aug. 1.

AGTC is developing gene therapy treatments for genetic eye diseases from technology licensed from the University of Florida. It trades on the Nasdaq stock exchange under the symbol AGTC.

The company plans to use the proceeds of the offering to fund preclinical and clinical trials, expand manufacturing, to license or acquire additional eye disease gene therapies, and for working capital.

The manufacturing expansion relates to a small pilot plant the company plans to build in its existing facilities to process materials to use in animal studies for preclinical trials, and will involve hiring staff, said Sue Washer, president and CEO. The company occupies nearly 9,000 square feet spread over four locations within Progress Park.

AGTC has grown from seven employees to 19 over the last two years and expects to ramp up to as many as 30 over the next 12 months, she said, with jobs in science and technology, regulatory and clinical affairs, and financial or general administration.

The preclinical and clinical trials involve a treatment for wet AMD, an acquired retinal degeneration disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people in their later years, Washer said. The disease is a new target for AGTC, in addition to its ongoing work on inherited eye diseases.

The additional licenses or acquisitions could be of intellectual property now in academic or commercial settings, Washer said.

“The idea is that we want to maintain our leadership position within gene therapy ophthalmology,” she said.

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