A Northern Ireland biotech firm is to raise £3m to help it expand its work to include Covid-19 treatment.
Fusion Antibodies in Belfast, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), said the share placing would enable it to expand its antibody library to include Covid-19.
It will also fund its other work in the treatment of cancer, and will be used for general working capital.
Chief executive Paul Kerr said: "In these currently extremely challenging times, we now have the resources to undertake the additional proof-of-concept work on the Mammalian Antibody Library Discovery Platform in respect of Covid-19, as well as for our existing oncology targets, whilst continuing to support our clients in their vital role.
"We remain confident that our products and services can help to accelerate finding a solution to this global health crisis."
Fusion Antibodies has also announced it's now part of an antibody development alliance, set up to help in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The company specialises in pre-clinical antibody discovery, engineering and supply.
In a company note, market analyst Allenby said Fusion Antibodies' work was "gamechanging". It stated: "While markets clearly remain volatile, these new opportunities help demonstrate the continuing high relevance and versatility of antibodies in developing healthcare solutions."
The company announced earlier this month that it would be working with Queen's University as part of the Coronavirus Antibody Development Alliance. It's now working with Professor Ultan Power, of the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine; Professor Chris Scott, in The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research; and Dr Fuquan Lui, in the School of Biological Sciences, to prepare antibodies that will potentially neutralise the virus.