Oxygen Biotherapeutics, a small Durham company developing products to treat various ailments and injuries by increasing the delivery of oxygen to damaged tissue, filed plans late Friday to raise as much as $75 million by selling more shares.
The so-called shelf registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission allows Oxygen to sell shares from time to time. Oxygen plans to use any money raised for expansion and to pay for further clinical testing of new products.
The company, which employs 21 people, has outgrown its current space and is considering whether to lease or buy bigger space in this region, said CEO Chris Stern.
Stern, who took over the company when its previous CEO died unexpectedly in 2008, lived in in this region and decided to shift Oxygen's headquarters to Durham last year.
"This is the best area for an emerging biopharmaceutical company," Stern said. "It's the workforce. This is where you'll find the best people."
Oxygen is currently testing its therapy on brain-injury patients in Switzerland and Israel. The company also announced today that it's ready to begin selling its first cosmetic product, the Dermacyte skin gel designed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
And the U.S. Navy is testing Oxygen's therapy as an emergency treatment for decompression sickness, Stern said.
The company's shares have surged in the past year, climbing nearly 65 percent. The stock rose $1.07 to close at $5.71 today.
"It's certainly proof that we've done things right," Stern said.