AFT Pharmaceuticals closes important financing to spur global growth

Innovative Australasian pharmaceutical sales and development company, AFT Pharmaceuticals Ltd has finalised an equity and structured debt funding package with Capital Royalty Partners [Houston, Boulder, New York] and equity funding with New Zealand-based Milford Asset Management [Auckland].

Capital Royalty and Milford Asset Management have collectively invested US$14M in equity in AFT, with Capital Royalty providing additional long-term capital of up to US$30M from a structured loan facility. AFT’s founders and only shareholders to date, Atkinson Family interests, will retain almost 90% ownership of the company going forward. Ferghana Partners [New York, London, Boston], a specialist life sciences and healthcare investment bank, originated the transaction and advised AFT.

“We see the Capital Royalty investment as a strong vote of support from a USA-based investment expert in the health sciences field,” said Dr Hartley Atkinson, Founder and CEO of AFT. “The involvement of Milford Asset Management is also a very important kiwi link which will assist AFT in its eventual plans to IPO locally. This new capital will be pivotal as we drive the business through the next stages of sales and pipeline growth. We are also pleased to maintain our existing banking relationship with the BNZ-NAB.”

AFT grew sales from NZ$50M to $66M in the last financial year and is targeting $80+M for the present financial year, driven by strong growth in Australian product sales and international royalties from its portfolio of novel drugs licensed to overseas biopharma companies.

AFT has an extensive, growing development portfolio of patented drug combination and ‘orphan drug’ products, and a unique drug device for intranasal delivery of therapeutic agents. AFT will use the proceeds to increase its R&D activities and to build up its existing business in Australia and its new markets in Asia, where AFT has offices in both Malaysia and Singapore. AFT has recently launched its patented combination analgesic, Maxigesic, in Australia and is targeting launches in further territories around the world.

AFT will also continue to out-license its prescription and over-the-counter products in distant countries where it does not have an operating presence. “To date, we have out-licensing and distribution agreements in 42 countries around the world and building upon these arrangements will be a key activity,” said Dr Atkinson.

“We are also pleased to strengthen our existing Board of Directors with the addition of Nate Hukill, President of the Capital Royalty Investment Committee. We see access to its in-house expertise and its high-powered advisory Board as important in helping to drive our business to the next level,” said Dr Atkinson.