Cel-Sci secures funds to go "the whole way" in $50m battle with inVentiv

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags U.s. securities and exchange commission Inventiv

Cel-Sci secures $5m fighting fund
Cel-Sci secures $5m fighting fund
Cel-Sci has secured a $5m fighting fund for its battle with CRO inVentiv Health Clinical LLC which it says is enough to go “the whole way.”

The funds have been made available by Lake Whillans – a company which provides financing for parties involved in litigation - to cover costs in Cel-Sci's dispute with inVentiv, which is scheduled to go to court this month.

Cel-Sci began proceedings against inVentiv in October 2013 after dismissing the US contract research organisation (CRO) and accusing it of failing to enrol patients in a Phase III trial of the investigational immunotherapy Multikine (Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection).

Cel-Sci is seeking $50m from inVentiv.

The argument was originally due to go to trial in May​.

However inVentiv rejected the claims and, according to a document​ filed with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in April, has accused Cel-Sci of breach of contract and defamation. The CRO is seeking more than $20m in damages

The hearing has been tentatively rescheduled for October 27​.

The funds secured from Lake Whillans are important for several reasons according to CEL-SCI CEO Geert Kersten.

First, it allows us to focus all of our financial resources on our Phase III cancer immunotherapy drug Multikine​” Kersten said.

Second, we believe that the financing confirms that CEL-SCI has a strong case, and third, it makes clear to anyone involved in the arbitration that CEL-SCI has the funds to finish the arbitration and go the whole way, if needed​.”

inVentiv did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

Trial recruitment

Cel-Sci hired Icon subsidiary Aptiv Solutions and Ergomed to continue the Multikine trial​ and enrolment has improved. In January​, the firm announced that there had been an eight fold increase in recruitment compared with 2013.

The firm had enrolled 570 patients in the trial by the end of September​.

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