Monday Biotech Deal Review: November 2, 2009
November 3, 2009
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In this week’s Deal Review: SemBioSys hops on the SIFT Tax bandwagon; new deals from Microbix, OPMEDIC and GeneNews; and good updates from iCo Therapeutics, QLT, Noveko and Oncolytics.
SemBioSys Joins the SIFT Tax Conversion Crew:
SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (TSX: SBS) has signed up a SIFT tax plan of arrangement with Cathedral Energy, along the lines of earlier deals by ConjuChem (with Colabor) and Vasogen (with Cervus and IntelliPharmaCeutics). SemBioSys gets non-dilutive gross proceeds of $3.3 million. It’s hard to separate this announcement from other recent SemBioSys events, but the immediate reaction to the announcement was negative, to the tune of shaving almost 25% off the share price.
Other New Deals:
- Microbix Biosystems Inc. (TSX: MBX) signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement with the Hunan Biopharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (a Hunan Province state-owned enterprise) to build and operate a $200-million facility, located in Changsha National Biomedical Park near Changsha City, the capital of Hunan Province. The facility will use Microbix’s proprietary VIRSUMAX™ technology and will have the capacity to produce more than 100 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine annually, and up to 300 million doses of a pandemic influenza vaccine. Construction will begin in early 2010 and the plan is to be fully operational by 2013. Hunan contributed the land to the joint venture, is building the facility through the first phase of financing, will provide additional funding through debt and has guaranteed the purchase of 100 million influenza vaccine doses. Plus Microbix will receive royalty payments and hold exclusive marketing rights outside of China. Microbix covered this deal and a number of other internal firm activities in a later press release.
- OPMEDIC GROUP Inc. (TSX: OMG) [ed: OMG!], which offers fertility and genetic services, sperm banking services and surgical and endoscopic services and facilities, announced a $2.1 million firm-commitment offering by Laurentian Bank Securities. Laurentian has agreed to purchase 1,050,000 common shares at $2.00 per share. Net proceeds are expected to be about $1.875 million. Laurentian is also placing 550,000 shares from the three founding doctors of OPMEDIC.
- GeneNews Limited (TSX: GEN) entered into an agreement allowing Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) “select access to research from its osteoarthritis genomic blood biomarker program.” Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
- iCo Therapeutics Inc. (TSXV: ICO) closed the “first tranche” of the private placement launched last week, co-led by Loewen, Ondaatje, McCutcheon Limited and Versant Partners Inc. iCo was aiming for $4,000,000 gross proceeds, and has pulled in $2,880,000 so far. That yields the agents $230,400 plus 240,000 12-month options at $0.60.
- QLT Inc. (NASDAQ: QLTI) (TSX: QLT), which has been a beehive of activity lately, announced (as we noted on Twitter) and gained TSX approval for its normal-course issuer bid, intending to purchase for cancellation up to another 5% of its float.
- Noveko International Inc. (TSX: EKO) announced that the agents for the unit offering it launched in September have exercised their option to purchase another $4 million of units. Desjardins Securities Inc., GMP Securities L.P., National Bank Financial Inc. and Paradigm Capital Inc. will be picking up the units at $2.20 each. The units are one Class A Share and one-half of one Class A Share purchase warrant, with the whole warrant exercisable at $3.00 per share, for 36 months subject to a 20-day $4.50 acceleration trigger.
- Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (TSX: ONC) (NASDAQ: ONCY), which accelerated warrants at the end of September following an unexplained run-up in its share price, announced that all 3,235,000 warrants were exercised, yielding proceeds of $5.8 million.