Listed cancer diagnostics company Pacific Edge plans to raise up to $21 million through share placement and rights issue to fund the establishment of a laboratory in the United States.

Pacific Edge said it had raised $5.1 million from a placement of 23 million shares at 22c a share to institutions and habitual investors. It planned to raise a further $16 million from a three for seven rights issue, at 19c a share.

First NZ Capital Securities was placement agent and lead manager of the capital raising. Pacific Edge said it was in late-stage negotiations to establish a headquarters in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where it planned a laboratory and marketing activities.

Proceeds will give Pacific Edge the cash to commercialise its cutting-edge diagnostic and prognostic tests in the United States for the management and detection of cancer.

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Chief executive David Darling said there were about 58 million people on the eastern seaboard of the US, and the proposed laboratory would be sited within a two-hour average drive of several large US cities.

Bladder cancer is the fourth-most-expensive cancer to treat and incurs the highest total medical cost per patient of all cancers. The company said its bladder test enables the early detection of bladder cancer from a small volume of urine.

Pacific Edge shares closed yesterday at 26c, up 2c.