After merger, Cytocom secures $90M in financing

FORT COLLINS — A busy week for Fort Collins-headquartered pharmaceutical company Cytocom Inc. (Nasdaq: CBLI) has become even busier.

Just a day after closing on a merger with Cleveland BioLabs Inc. and beginning trading on the Nasdaq exchange, Cytocom secured a commitment for $90 million in debt and equity financing from investors GEM Global Yield LLC, Avenue Capital and Adit Ventures.

Cytocom intends to draw down the first $15 million within the next month, the company said in a news release.

“Having now completed the merger between Cleveland BioLabs and Cytocom, this financing is an essential component to our growth strategy as a public company and should ensure that we have access to capital to continue advancing a cutting-edge clinical pipeline of immune-modulating therapies,” Cytocom CEO Michael Handley said in the release. “Our goal as a company is to become a recognized leader in immune-modulating treatments targeting emerging viruses, including COVID-19, cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The successful merger, coupled with the acquisition of ImQuest Life Sciences and the previously announced Nasdaq listing, should set the stage for multiple catalysts that we believe will serve to showcase the power of our drug development technologies, generate shareholder value, and raise our visibility within the investor community.” 

Cytocom was first established in a suburb of Orlando, Florida. The company moved into its head offices in the CSU Research Foundation building last December and will maintain its other offices in Maryland and Florida after the merger is complete.

Handley is a Colorado State University graduate who previously was chief executive for local pharmaceutical companies Armis Biopharma Inc. and Aletheia Therapeutics Corp. from 2012 to the fall of 2019.

Cytocom’s main drug of focus is naltrexone, which is approved for use in treating alcoholism and opioid addiction. It’s a similar compound to naloxone, the generic name for Narcan used in treating people with life-threatening opioid overdoses.

The company is studying the potential for low doses of naltrexone to treat Crohn’s disease.

In February, the company submitted an Investigational New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its COVID-19 drug candidate CYTO-205, which is thought to help patient immune systems maintain the correct levels of cytokine release when fighting infection or illness.

The company said that the drug candidate has reduced the replication of COVID-19 in lung cells cultured in a lab.

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