The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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

Tag Archives: MaRS Innovation

Monday Biotech Deal Review: November 14, 2011

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for November 14, 2011, marking the end of its one month hiatus.  The Monday Biotech Deal Review will now be resuming its normal weekly schedule.  Below are summaries of recent transactions over the past month, which includes the acquisition of Afexa by Valeant for $0.85 per Afexa share, in cash.    Read on to learn more.  Read more of this post

Monday Biotech Deal Review: June 6, 2011

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for June 6, 2011.  This week’s deal review is brought to you by Norton Rose OR LLP summer student Steven Zuccarelli who, before entering law school at Osgoode Hall Law School, obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc at McMaster University in Biochemistry and Health Sciences, respectively, where he was involved in researching peptide vaccine models.  Steven will be assisting over the summer months with the Monday Deal Review, and it’s great to have him aboard. 

Aside from some interesting commercial deals, as well as CardioComm’s related-party announcement of a $788k asset purchase, things were fairly slow last week.  Read on to learn more. 

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Two MaRS Innovation Transactions Take Off

MaRS Innovation, the “integrated commercialization platform” responsible for commercializing inventions from 16 Toronto academic institutions, announced two deals last week. One spin-out and one out-license (pdf links).

The spin-out: MI put $500,000 into Prof. Shana Kelley‘s new company, Xagenic, alongside a $300,000 loan from HTX; $200,000 from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and $40,000 from the OCE Centre for Commercialization of Research. The notable part of this transaction is the launch of a University spin-out with pre-built seed funding. The structure of MI’s “investment” was not disclosed.

The out-license: A sustained‐release form of nitric oxide (NO) from Prof. Ping Lee’s lab at U of T was out-licensed to San Diego-based Cardium Therapeutics (AMEX: CXM), which will pay undisclosed amounts for the technology. One form of consideration that is disclosed: a nice endorsement for MI from Cardium’s CEO, Christoper J. Reinhard, who said “MI brought great business understanding to the process. The team understood our needs quickly and they worked efficiently to get the deal done.”

The bottom line: These are two interesting and positive deals from MI, executed in pretty short order for a new organization, that deserve congratulations. We look forward to future MI deals that disclose more some detail on business terms and valuations.

Interview With Garrett Herman Yields More Detail on the LOM-BioQuest Joint Venture

We have new details about the LOM-BioQuest joint venture that was announced last week.  The WSJ article about the JV emphasized the goals of supporting good science and expanding the two companies’ presence in the life sciences market.

I spoke to the Director of LOM BioQuest, Garrett Herman, and one of his associates yesterday about their vision for the joint venture.  They also shared with me the letter they sent announcing the JV (pdf).  Here are the highlights of the letter and our conversation:

  • They are taking a broad view of “life sciences” and plan to have the JV be the intake point for all their new projects in the space.
  • They want to take whatever approach will maximize the likelihood of good science succeeding and are willing to engage shareholders as well as management and boards.
  • Although the JV does not have any current employees, it does have “the full attention of both firms.”
  • For now, interested parties should contact the principals in the letter.
  • The plan is to nurture a few dramatic successes that will allow them to have an in-house source (or a regular stable) of capital to lead future deals, and a revived Canadian investor ecosystem to syndicate to.

I look forward to seeing LOM-BioQuest’s private sector approach to combining operating and financial advisory services, which should complement analogous efforts at NRC-IRAP and MaRS Innovation

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