TORONTO, June 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage" or "the Company") (OTC: PTGEF, Canadian Securities Exchange: PBT.U), announces that it has raised approximately $3.4 million by closing the first tranche of the non-brokered Private Placement previously announced on May 19, 2015. Pursuant to the terms of the private placement, Portage issued 23,881,214 common shares at a price of US$0.14 per share. All shares issued under private placement are subject to statutory hold periods. Two of the directors of the Company, Dr. Bailey and Mr. Mellon subscribed US$ 800,000 each.
Due to strong investor interest and commitments received to date, Management expects a second and final tranche of approximately $ 1.6 million to close on or before June 24, 2015 pursuant to the terms of the first tranche described herein.
The net proceeds will be used for funding the Company's development activities, plan new acquisitions to expand its pipeline and finance clinical activities at Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Limited and Portage Pharmaceutical Limited.
MediqVentures Ltd., owned by the three of the directors of the Company, Dr. Bailey, Mr. Mellon and Dr. Doogan, will receive 5% finder's fee payable in restricted shares as per the consulting agreement.
Portage is engaged in researching and developing pharmaceutical and biotech products through to clinical "proof of concept" with an initial focus on unmet clinical needs. Following proof of concept, Portage will look to sell or license the products to large pharmaceutical companies for further development and commercialization.
Portage is seeking discovery and co-development partners in areas such as cancer, infectious disease, neurology and psychiatry developing novel targeted therapies, stem cell therapy and even older marketed products that have been found to have novel patentable characteristics that bring new value to patients.
Portage seeks to work with a wide range of partners, in all phases of development through in-licensing or other types of alliances. The collaboration may include direct funding or investing human capital from our extensive pool of talented scientists and physicians. Specifically Portage will invest sweat equity as well as, or instead of, capital. This internal pool of drug developers, financiers, scientists and physicians will provide unique value-add for our partners including but not limited to mitigating risks, clinical trial design, regulatory expertise and maximizing the rewards.
Portage has two operating subsidiaries - Portage Pharmaceuticals Limited ("PPL") which is wholly owned by Portage and Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Limited ("Biohaven") in which Portage holds 54% equity.
PPL has successfully validated a new proprietary cell permeable peptide platform technology derived from human genes. This proprietary platform technology has been shown to efficiently deliver an active pharmacological agent or cargo into a cell without disrupting the cell membrane. The platform has favourable pharmaceutical properties simplifying formulation development for systemic and locally administered conjugates which will allow more rapid development of drug products. PPL has converted its previously filed provisional patent application for this delivery system to an international patent application that includes a variety of structures utilizing cargos that address important areas of medical need.
Biohaven's first drug candidate, BHV-0223, is a reformulated glutamate modulating agent being developed for treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders. Biohaven plans to begin a Phase 1 pharmacokinetic and biomarker study by 3Q2015 to confirm optimized drug exposure levels of its novel formulation.
For further information, contact Dr. Greg Bailey, the Chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org  or Kam Shah, Chief Financial Officer, at (416) 929-1806 or email@example.com  or refer to a website at www.portagebiotech.com .
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. federal and Canadian securities laws. Any such statements reflect Portage's current views and assumptions about future events and financial performance. Portage cannot assure that future events or performance will occur. Important risks and factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated in our forward-looking statements.
Portage assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update the information in this News Release.
SOURCE Portage Biotech Inc.