Another strong week for Canadian deals. Light on securities, but heavy on M&A, licensing and partnerships. MedGenesis and Cyplasin brought assets in, Canada and Australia are doing a do-sa-do (Topigen-Pharmaxis, YM-Cytopia), and Trillium Therapeutics signed an out-license to Biogen, while Medicure is shopping its lead program around. Less good news for Haemacure and Forbes Medi-Tech, but plenty of other deal info, including 7 HTX investments, to be found
Licensing, M&A and Commercial deals
- TOPIGEN Pharmaceuticals Inc., is being acquired by Australian public company Pharmaxis Ltd. (ASX: PXS) in an all-stock transaction. The transaction provides for Pharmaxis to issue 3.2 million of its shares (currently worth about AUS$9 million), with an additional 5 million shares issuable as earn-out/milestone consideration.
- MedGenesis Therapeutix Inc., in-licensed glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) from Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), and entered a deal with Biovail Corporation (NYSE: BVF; TSX: BVF) subsidiary Biovail Laboratories International SRL to co-develop GDNF in Parkinson’s disease and other CNS indications. MedGenesis also granted to Biovail a license to its Convection Enhanced Delivery platform for use with GDNF. No financial terms were disclosed, although Amgen took a “small equity stake” in MedGenesis.
- Trillium Therapeutics signed a licensing agreement with Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB), but did not dislcose the program being licensed or the financial terms.
- Microbix Biosystems Inc. (MBX: TSX) and Therapure Biopharma Inc. signed a partnership agreement to manufacture and market water-based products. Microbix will maintain the sales and marketing functions, and Therapure will manage manufacturing and product development. The products will remain under the Microbix brand. Financial details were not disclosed. The first product will be Microbix 22™, a new 22% alcohol and water-for-injection (WFI) pre-mixed used for chromatography column storage.
- As expected following December’s thumbs-up from the Australian court, Cytopia shareholders voted on YM BioSciences Inc.’s (NYSE Alternext US:YMI, TSX:YM, AIM:YMBA) acquisition offer this week, giving the deal a very strong vote of confidence. Over 92% of shares were voted and those were voted over 99% in favour of the deal. Court orders were lodged (pdf) and trading in Cytopia shares was suspended (pdf) today.
- Cyplasin Biomedical (OTC: CPBM), which had been considering an RTO transaction with Virionics Corporation, decided instead to assume (take over) Virionics’ license to HepC vaccine technology. Virionics had licensed the technology from the NIH, and Cyplasin will be responsible to the NIH under the same terms.
- Medicure Inc. (TSX: MPH), following some expressions of interest, announced that the board initiated a process to explore financial alternatives, fundraising options, or the partnership, license or sale of AGGRASTAT®. Bloom Burton & Co. has the financing mandate and Beal Advisors LLC, in San Francisco, has the AGGRASTAT mandate.
- Patheon (TSX: PTI) signed two five-year manufacturing deals with Sanofi-Aventis, expanding the companies’ relationship. Neither the products involved nor the financial aspects of the deals were disclosed.
Collaborations with Academia
The Health Technology Exchange invested over $1.7 million in seven emerging medical technology companies, bringing the program’s total investment since 2006 to over $4 million. HTX’s Business Investment Program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, through HTX and the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc., and NRC-IRAP. Funding supports business driven R&D undertaken by a team from a recognized Ontario research institution in collaboration with a partnering company. The recipients are:
- Colibri Technologies, which is developing 3D imaging catheters in collaboration with Sunnybrook;
- Sentinelle Medical‘s hardware and software work in the field of prostate imaging, also with Sunnybrook;
- DVS Sciences, which is developing a novel high-throughput instrument to detect multiple biomarkers in individual cells in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry at U of T;
- NexJ Systems‘ Bluetooth and BlackBerry-based remote patient monitoring system, which is being developed in collaboration with the UHN’s Centre for Global eHealth Innovation and with York University;
- eSight, which is developing a head-worn assistive vision device that consists of a high-resolution video camera and two “micro-displays”, in collaboration with the Vision Research Program of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute;
- Certo Labs‘ automated sample preparation system, which is being developed in collaboration with the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo and with the Toronto-based engineering company, Kangaroo Design and Innovation Inc.; and
- WordQ is writing software that helps predict words for individuals with disabilities, and is working together with Bloorview Kids Rehab.
YM BioSciences Inc. (TSX: YM) announced the successful conclusion of a proof-of-principle experiment arising out of collaborative research with the University of Toronto regarding the development of radionucleotide-conjugated antibodies for treating cancer, a dual-targeting strategy that they hope will reduce side effects. No details of the financial aspects of the collaboration were reported.
Forbes Medi-Tech to appeal NASDAQ ruling
Forbes Medi-Tech Inc. (NASDAQ: FMTI) is planning to try to maintain its NASDAQ listing. It has provided the NASDAQ with notice that it will appeal the Nasdaq Staff Deficiency determination and regain compliance. If unsuccessful in its appeal, the company says it will seek to have its securities traded on the OTC Bulletin Board.
Haemacure files under the BIA and Chapter 11
Haemacure Corporation (TSX: HAE) is filing under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act in Canada and its U.S. subsidiary is filing under Chapter 11. Haemacure’s secured creditor Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ANPI, TSX: ANP) has agreed to finance Haemacure’s bankruptcy proceedings and operations up to a maximum of US$1 million. In June, Angiotech made a $2.5 million bridge loan to Haemacure and the companies entered into a three-part commercial collaboration in June. Mr. Marc Paquin, Director of Haemacure and former president of its U.S. subsidiary, announced his resignation from the company.
Thanks again to Jacob Cawker for his help with this week’s deal review!