News Column

Chicago firm invests in medical marijuana researcher

February 20, 2014

By Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune



Feb. 20--A Chicago investment firm has agreed to invest up to $27 million in a Maryland company that says it plans to use some of the proceeds for medical marijuana research.

Nuvilex Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company based in Silver Spring, Md., on Thursday announced that it had received a $27 million funding commitment from Lincoln Park Capital Fund LLC.

The deal includes Lincoln Park buying 8 million shares of Nuvilex stock for $2 million, and agreeing to commit "up to an additional $25 million in equity capital," according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Nuvilex, which provides cell and gene therapy to treat diseases, said proceeds will be used for Nuvilex's late-stage clinical trials in advanced inoperable pancreatic cancer, as well as for research into the "emerging medical marijuana arena."

Nuvilex'sMedical Marijuana Sciences Inc. unit is seeking to develop cancer treatments based on the "chemical constituents of marijuana known as cannabinoids."

Lincoln Park declined comment beyond the press release. According to its Web site, it typically invests $250,000 to $3 million in private companies, and $1 million to $50 million in public companies.

Lincoln Park's founders and manager members are: Joshua Scheinfeld, a former McKinsey & Co. consultant who also has practiced law at Katten Muchin; and Jonathan Cope, who formerly worked for a Sam Zell investment arm and who has a master's in molecular biology.

Other public companies in which Lincoln Park also currently has stakes include Plandai Biotechnology Inc. of Seattle, Elite Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Northvale, N.J., and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. of New York.

byerak@tribune.com

Follow @BeckyYerak Follow @chibreakingbiz

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Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)


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