The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Monday Biotech Deal Review: October 18, 2010

Despite the short week, it was a busy one in the Canadian biotech sector. Read on to learn about the Labopharm / Paladin licensing deal, Ondine’s new facelift (and 15:1 equity liposuction), and various other biotech updates and news. 


Securities and Investment

As part of its strategic review process (covered here), Lab Research Inc. (TSX: LRI) has retained agents led by Versant Partners Inc. and including Dundee Capital Markets to market a proposed $10 million public offering, pursuant to a $25 million base shelf prospectus filed August 30, 2010. The offering is expected to close before the end of November 2010. The agents will be granted an option to purchase 7% of the securities sold, exercisable any time up to twelve months after close.

Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (TSX: TKM) announced that it has, together with its collaborators at the University of Texas Medical Branch, received an NIH grant worth $2.4 million to research and develop RNAi therapeutics for the treatment of Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever using Tekmira’s lipid nanoparticle delivery technology.

Afexa Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: FXA) renewed its normal course issuer bid (NCIB) with the TSX commencing October 18, 2010 and ending October 17, 2011. As of October 5, 2010, Afexa had 104,258,814 common shares issued and outstanding, and under the NCIB, Afexa may acquire for cancellation up to 5% of its shares over the next year.

CCAA protected Ambrilia Biopharma Inc. (TSX: AMB) provided its bi-weekly Default Status Report under NI 12-203. Ambrilia reported that, since its previous default announcement on August 4, 2010, there have been no material changes. The next report is intended to be filed October 27, 2010.

University of Toronto spin-off company Xagenic is receiving a $300,000 “performance-based loan” from the newly launched Health Technology Exchange for the development of a rapid, point-of-care device for disease diagnosis that has potential to displace current methods using PCR. Xagenic was created by Dr. Shana Kelley.

Labopharm / Paladin Licensing Deal

Labopharm Inc. (TSX: DDS) (NASDAQ: DDSS) entered three licensing and distribution agreements with Paladin Labs Inc. (TSX: PLB) for two of Labopharm’s products in certain jurisdictions. Under the first agreement, Labopharm granted Paladin the exclusive right (subject to Labopharm’s co-promotion right) to market and sell its INTELLITAB™-based oxycodone-acetaminophen in Canada (a market IMS Canada estimates to be worth over $32 million annually). Paladin will share equally in development costs to meet Canadian regulatory approval requirements. Paladin has a right of first opportunity on a second INTELLITAB-based pain product for Canada.

Under the second and third agreements, Labopharm granted to Paladin the exclusive right to market and sell its INTELLITAB™-based oxycodone-acetaminophen and tramadol-acetaminophen in certain countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, with development and regulatory costs to be borne by Paladin.

Labopharm will also receive a transfer price on product supply based on percentage of the anticipated selling price, and is also eligible to receive up to $7.2 million between the agreements in regulatory and sales milestones. Paladin also advanced $10 million to Labopharm against future product supply of TRIDURAL™, to be repaid by Labopharm through partial credits against future products supplied. The advance bears interest at 16% per annum, and matures May 1, 2012.

Labopharm also announced its twice-daily tramadol-acetaminophen received a positive opinion under the European Union Decentralized Procedure for eight countries (Czech Republic, Iceland, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain). 

Ondine Share Consolidation and Name Change

As previously announced, (covered here), Ondine Biopharma Corporation (TSX: OBP) (AIM: OBP) consolidated all of its issued and outstanding common shares on a 15:1 basis, and changed its name to Ondine Biomedical Inc. Fractional shares were cancelled, with post-consolidated shareholdings rounded down to the nearest whole number. The trading symbol did not change.

Collaborations

Sirius Genomics and Golden Helix entered an agreement to collaborate on the development of a diagnostic to identify individuals who respond favourably to Vassopressin and similar compounds in the treatment of septic shock and related conditions.

Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG) has been awarded $946,000 in funding by PATH pursuant to a collaboration agreement, under which Medicago and PATH will work on a broad coverage influenza vaccine based on Medicago’s proprietary technologies for the developing world.

Financials and Appointments

Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:TLN) announced operational and financial results for its Q3 2010. Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: LOR) (OTC: LRUSF) reported financial results for Q1 2011. Theratechnologies (TSX: TH) announced the upcoming retirement of Mr. Yves Rosconi on November 30, 2010 and the appointment of a new CEO and President, Mr. John-Michel T. Huss, effective December 1, 2010. Theratechnologies also announced its financial results for Q3 2010.

YM BioSciences Inc. (AMEX: YMI) (TSX: YM) appointed Dr. Nick Glover as CEO to be effective at the AGM, which will be held November 18, 2010. The company will also nominate Dr. Glover as a director at that time. YM Chairman and current CEO Mr. David Allan will continue with the company as Chairman.

Product News  
PMI Labs completed its redesigned next generation ClearCyte™ quantitative cytology platform., boasting a 65% reduction in per-slide scanning times.

Stem Cell Therapeutics Corp. (TSXV: SSS) received a request for a “full program proposal” for the NTx®-265 stroke therapy program in Traumatic Brain Injury from the US Department of Defense, following a pre-proposal submitted for the Combat Casualty Program.

Sunshine Biopharma, Inc. (OTC: SBFM) filed for worldwide patent protection and expects to enter Phase I clinical trials for Adva-27a at McGill University Healthcare Center.

Lantheus Medical Imaging, Inc. announced the Canadian launch of ABLAVAR® (gadofosveset trisodium injection), an injectable magnetic resonance angiography blood pool imaging agent, useful in evaluating the presence of vascular disease.

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