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

Tag Archives: Neuromed

Monday Biotech Deal Review: March 8, 2010

A busy week in Canadian deals, with Paladin Labs in a global transaction with SpePharm; M&A activity from therapeutics and consulting companies; the last of the SIFT/SR&ED deals; over $20 million of new offerings from BioSign, Bradmer and YM; government funding for Medicago and Isotechnika; a new standby equity deal from Yorkville for Allon; and the closing of the first deal of the rest of BioMS’ new life. Read more of this post

Monday Deal Review: August 17, 2009

B&W_BigNickelIn addition to the highlights already noted — Enobia’s $50 million r0und, and the LOM – BioQuest joint venture — there was plenty of other Canadian deal activity this week.  Check it out after the jump…

New Data Shows 70% of Canada’s Biotech Companies Have Under 12 Months’ Cash. BIOTECanada’s New Ask: Government Loans.

Canadian moneyA Canwest story today highlights new BIOTECanada data showing 70% of survey respondents have under 1 year of cash, up from 50% in January.  FierceBiotech picked it up as well, guaranteeing a full dose of international attention.  

Even though the remaining 30% of respondents likely include some with big recent successes — Bioniche, Allostera and Zymeworks – and some with creative approaches — ConjuChem, Neuromed, etc. — the top-line number is grim indeed.  Plus, as Kasia Majewski points out:

“Most firms have found away to extend their cash, but they’ve done that by massive layoffs, by shutting done operations to the bare bones. So essentially the lights are on but there’s one guy home.”

Given that there has been no systemic cash infusion, it’s not surprising that the number of firms in trouble has gone up since January. 

On the other hand:

There is a bolus of fund-of-funds and direct capital waiting to be deployed, including:

Plus, Lumira Capital’s Q2 newsletter (pdf) points to the new BDC money, Alberta Investment Management Corp’s PE plans and the new Alberta Enterprise Corporation as potential additional sources of funding in the medium term.

BIOTECanada bottom line:

In the winter, the organization was focused on tax initiatives.  Yesterday, though, the focus was entirely on

“negotiations with Industry Canada to obtain a loan program for Canada’s biotech sector that can hold the industry over until capital markets rebound. … [Specifically,] government loans to be repaid after a two- year period at six per cent interest.”

Maybe it’s the new money looming on the horizon, or the seeming lack of traction for the tax policy asks, but the focus has definitely shifted.

My bottom line:

Even the new loan program advocated by BIOTECanada will not help if the other government funding doesn’t make it to biotech companies and VCs. We’ve been keeping an OVCF scoreboard that still shows a goose-egg for biotech investments.  It may be early days for these new capital sources, but the hour is late for Canadian biotech companies.

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Monday Deal Review: July 6, 2009

B&W_BigNickelLearn more about Neuromed’s deal with CombinatoRx, check out what MedMira’s been doing with all the cash from its equity line, and find out who’s closed deals and who’s just closing doors in this week’s Monday Deal Review after the jump…

Post-Vacation Brain Dump: Deal Developments

Some exciting deal news from the week:

And some interesting company news:

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Monday Deal Review: June 22, 2009

B&W_BigNickelA whole gaggle of securities deals, a cluster of licenses and a flock of M&A all migrate back to Canada for summer in this week’s Monday Deal Review.  Plus, a deal that may improve the medical isotope shortage.   after the jump…

Xenon In, Neuromed Out: Merck Nets Zero Canadian Collaborations This Week

Revolving_Door_SignYesterday, Merck signed a deal with Vancouver-based Xenon Pharmaceuticals.  Merck will fund the R&D and in return gets an option on the output — small molecule cardiovascular drugs (if at first you don’t succeed…).  Xenon describes the deal as generating

option exercise fees, research, development and regulatory milestone payments of up to US$94.5million for the first target and up to US$89.5 million for each subsequent target selected for drug discovery.

While noting that the milestones, for biobucks, “aren’t sky-high,” the In Vivo Blog described the deal as “a big step forward for Xenon.”

No sooner was the Xenon press release out, though, than Neuromed (also based in Vancouver) announced that Merck was pulling out of their 3-year collaboration looking for NCE’s targeting N-type calcium channels.  According to Dr. Christopher Gallen, President & CEO of Neuromed:

“[t]he molecules generated in our collaboration, while effective in disease models, did not demonstrate the profile needed to enter the next phase of testing, including human clinical trials.”

Neuromed is still working on its lead drug candidate — an XR formulation EXALGO™ (hydromorphone HCl) — and a development program for oral drug candidates to block T-type calcium channels for pain, epilepsy and hypertension indications.

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Monday Deal Review: March 30, 2009

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