The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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

Monday Deal Review: September 10, 2012

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for September 10, 2012. This week’s highlights include Zymeworks Inc.’s completion of a common share offering, as well as their achievement of a major research milestone with Merck.  Read on for more.

Licencing

Nuvo Research Inc. (TSX: NRI)  has announced that the United StatesPatent Office has issued United States Patent No. 8,252,838 relating to compositions and methods of using PENNSAID® (diclofenac sodium topical solution) 2.0% w/w (PENNSAID 2% Patent).  The patent expires on April 21, 2028.

Investment

Zymeworks Inc., a privately held biotherapeutics company focused on the development of best-in-class bi-specific antibody therapeutics and multi-valent protein therapeutics, has announced the completion of a common share offering totaling $11.0 million.  The financing was led by the Advanced Biotechnologies Venture Fund (ABVF) group of funds, and included investments by both new and existing private shareholders. Further financial terms are not disclosed.  Zymeworks will use the proceeds to advance its lead oncology candidates through late stage preclinical studies and into the clinic. Zymeworks also announced the successful achievement of a research milestone in its collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, related to Zymeworks’ proprietary Azymetric™ platform for the development of novel bi-specific antibody therapeutic candidates. In conjunction with the terms of the collaboration agreement, Zymeworks is to receive an undisclosed milestone payment from Merck. Under the terms of the agreement Zymeworks granted Merck, through a subsidiary, a worldwide license to develop and commercialize bi-specific antibodies generated through use of the Azymetric™ platform toward certain exclusive therapeutic targets. Both companies will collaborate to advance the technology platform, with Merck working to progress the bi-specific therapeutic antibody candidates through clinical development. Zymeworks received an upfront fee and is eligible to receive research, development and regulatory milestones with a potential value of up to US $187 million, as well as tiered royalty payments on sales of products. Merck will have exclusive worldwide commercialization rights to products derived from the collaboration.

Helix BioPharma Corp. (TSX: HBP) has announced that the Toronto Stock Exchange has approved Helix’s proposal to extend the expiry date of the 2009 Warrants (as defined below) by six months, from September 7, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. to March 7, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. No other provision of the 2009 Warrants has been amended, and none of the 2009 Warrants is held directly or indirectly by an insider of Helix.

Gemoscan Canada, Inc. (TSXV: GES) has announced that it has entered into an unsecured loan agreement with an arm’s length party. The lender has provided the Corporation a $150,000 loan bearing interest at a rate of 8% per annum and which matures on August 31, 2013. Additionally, in connection with the loan, the lender will receive a bonus 129,032 Class A Shares in the capital of the Corporation at a price of $0.2325 per Share. All Shares are subject to a statutory four month plus one day hold period from August 31, 2012. Gemoscan also wishes to announce that it has entered into an additional unsecured loan agreement with an arm’s length party. The Holder has provided the Corporation a $175,000 loan.

M & Eh

Patheon Inc. (TSX: PTI), has sold its global secondary clinical packaging and clinical distribution services business to Bellwyck Packaging Solutions, a private company with 20 years experience providing clinical trial and contract services for secondary packaging.

Arch Biopartners Inc. (CNSX: ACH) has entered into an option agreement to acquire the intellectual property rights to a new diagnostic technology which identifies irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This technology was invented by University of Alberta scientists Julia Liu, Randall Irvin and Elisabeth Davis.

Corporate Announcements

Abattis Biologix Corporation (CNSX: FLU) has announced that effective as of the opening of trading on September 11, 2012, the company will consolidate its common share capital on the basis of five (5) pre-consolidation common shares held for one new post-consolidation common share (5:1), such that the 61,767,823 issued and outstanding common shares of the Company will consolidate into approximately 12,353,564 common shares. Any fractional shares resulting from the consolidation comprising less than 1/2 common share will be rounded down to the nearest whole number, and any fractional shares comprising greater than or equal to 1/2 common share will be converted into one whole common share.Concurrent with the share consolidation, the Company will also be changing its name to Abattis Bioceuticals Corp.“. The company’s trading symbol on the CNSX will remain unchanged.

Commercial Developments

Critical Outcome Technologies Inc. (TSXV: COThas announced that Western University has engaged COTI in a commercial collaboration to discover and advance potential therapies designed to minimize Central Nervous System (CNS) scarring following trauma or stroke. Under this engagement COTI will utilize its proprietary technology CHEMSAS® to discover and optimize novel drug candidates against a specific cellular target of importance to Western researcher Dr. Arthur Brown that can effectively target a number of CNS scarring indications where current treatments are lacking or ineffective. This is an area of clear unmet medical need with at least 1.7 million incidents of traumatic brain injury in the United States alone annually with no effective therapies available to minimize the scarring that results from the injury. With any of the candidates that meet pre-determined development criteria, COTI and Western will work jointly to move the candidates towards clinical confirmation of activity and a commercial licensing transaction.

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