The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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

Monthly Archives: October 2012

Monday Deal Review: October 29, 2012

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for October 29, 2012.  Last week, we saw Warnex agree to sell their Bioanalytics Division, which specializes in bioavailability and bioequivalence analysis for pre-clinical and clinical studies, to France-based Biotrial Research. Calyx Bio-Ventures also had a busy week, not only announcing their intent to raise up to $5 million through provate placement, but also that they will be increasing their existing minority stake in Agrisoma Biosciences. For more detail on these stories as well as many more, read on!   
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Monday Deal Review: October 22, 2012

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for October , 2012.  A busy week on the licensing front saw commercial deals involving ProMetic Life Sciences, Abbatis Bioceuitcals and Paladin Labs.  In addition, Aeterna Zenatris closed their $15.2 million USD  public offering, which we covered last week.  Get the whole story on this week’s biotechnology news by clicking through. 
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Q3 2012 in Canadian Healthcare Financing: Slow As Expected

The third quarter has always been the slowest for financing public Canadian healthcare companies and 2012 followed this pattern. Gross proceeds of equity and convertible debt financings closed in Q3 totaled only $69 million. Only three companies closed financings over $10 million in Q3 2012:

  • Trimel Pharmaceuticals       $13.2 million (equity – announced in Q2);
  • Centric Health                          $27.5 million (convertible debt); and
  • Resverlogix                               $25.0 million (debt).

During the first 9 months of 2012, decliners outnumbered gainers by 61 to 37 and 43% of the companies had share price changes of 40% or more in a group of 98 Canadian healthcare companies being assessed for share price performance. A good flow of positive product and company news has been balanced by negative news from some of the well-known companies in the sector, including Aeterna Zentaris, Cardiome Pharma, Theratechnologies and Nordion.

The Canadian sector has also not had that major perception-changing event in 2012, such as a licensing deal by a Canadian company with a major pharma partner and a big dollar up-front payment. While the timing of licensing deals and acquisitions is not predictable, companies expecting to report late stage clinical data in Q4 include:

  • Allon Therapeutics – pivotal clinical trial evaluating davunetide for PSP; and
  • Trimel Pharmaceuticals – Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating CompleoTRT™ in patients with male hypogonadism.

[The data in this post was compiled for the upcoming Q3 2012 Canadian Healthcare Review, co-authored by myself and Ross Marshall, Senior Vice President, The Equicom Group Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group Inc.]

Monday Deal Review: October 15, 2012

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for October 15, 2012.  Thanks to Thanksgiving for the Canadians and Columbus day for the Americans out there, this week’s post covers the last two weeks of activity.  Biggest of the weeks’ stories, however, is Aeterna Zentaris Inc.’s $15 million public offering, closing in mid October.  Read onwards to see just how busy this fall the market is shaping up to be. 
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Friday Science Review: October 5, 2012

What happens to the genome of pathogenic bacteria when they are forced to adapt after being confronted by an antibiotic, or after colonizing a new host species? This was the question posed by the Kassen lab at Carleton University. In their study, published in PLoS Genetics, they exposed Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen and the major pathogen in the lungs of cystic fibrosis sufferers, to antibiotics in CF-lung mimicking culture conditions and then used by whole-genome sequencing to follow the genomic basis of the bacteria’s adaptation.

As might be expected, they found changes in antibiotic resistance genes that correlated with the degree of antibiotic resistance of the particular experimental isolate. However, they also found other co-occurring mutations that played a role in antibiotic resistance, but that had different associated fitness costs, suggesting a wide range of compensatory mutations. Separately, the study was able to add to the body of evidence suggesting that cyclic-di-GMP signaling plays a role in the adaptation of the bacteria to CF-lung-like conditions – a signaling pathway that promotes the adoption of a biofilm phenotype rather than the motile planktonic phenotype.

Ultimately, the study shows that adaptation of an opportunistic pathogen to conditions reproducing its common host environment results in a mixture of expected and unexpected genetic adaptations. These adaptations represent new targets for therapies, but also illustrate the heterogeneity facing patients and clinicians as they try to address these infections in the clinic.

Monday Deal Review: September 31, 2012

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for September 31, 2012. This week’s big news is yet another acquisition by Valeant, this time for the U.S rights and inventory of an age-related macular degeneration treatment from QLT Inc. Find more details on this story and others by clicking through.
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