Arbutus Vaults on Roivant Hookup

Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS) rose midday Monday, after the company disclosed that it will receive a $116-million strategic investment from Roivant Sciences.

The company based in Warminster, Pa., with offices in Vancouver, B.C., announced Monday it had signed a share purchase agreement with Roivant for the sale of convertible preferred shares for gross proceeds of $116.4 million, which it intends to use to further develop and advance its clinical and preclinical HBV pipeline programs.

According to CEO Mark Murray, “We are pleased to receive this strategic investment from Roivant, Arbutus’ largest existing shareholder and a company known for its innovative approach to drug development.

“This financing meaningfully extends Arbutus’ operating runway to enable the generation of important clinical data for multiple pipeline programs,” Murray continued. “I look forward to leveraging Roivant’s infrastructure and capabilities to complement Arbutus and to accelerate our mission of developing a curative therapy for HBV.”

Roivant and Arbutus intend to explore working together to leverage Roivant’s infrastructure to accelerate more efficient development of Arbutus’ HBV drug pipeline.

The company also says it anticipates working with Roivant to expand its geographic footprint in HBV drug development and to maximize the value of Arbutus’ non-HBV assets, including Arbutus’ LNP and GalNAc platforms for the delivery of novel therapeutic modalities including RNA interference, mRNA, and gene editing technologies.

The company’s stock price soared 73 cents, or 11.7%, as the clock approached noon ET on Monday, to $6.93, within a 52-week trading range of $2.35 to $7.85.