The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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

Tag Archives: Zymeworks

Monday Deal Review: January 13, 2014

  Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for Janary 13, 2014! This week saw the closing of a number of financing transactions, as well as Sirona’s announcement of a private placement of up to $5.34 million in proceeds.  Aeterna Zentaris also announced pricing of their public offering, indicating that shares will be sold at US$1.20 per share, with proceeds up to US$12.2 million.

For details on these deals, as well as the rest of the week’s major biotech news, hit the break.

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Monday Biotech Deal Review: September 26, 2011

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for September 26, 2011.  Noteworthy news from last week included a hint that Labopharm will enhance its offer for the shares of Afexa Life Sciences if its two shareholder rights plans are waived or cease-traded by the ASC.  As well, Medicago announced a significant private placement for proceeds of up to $24.5M, and Valeant has announced its intention to refinance its secured credit facilities with a new $1.7bn facility.  Read more of this post

Monday Biotech Deal Review: September 12, 2011

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for September 12, 2011.  We hope everyone had a restful labo(u)r day long weekend, both north and south of the border.  This week’s biotech deal review is a double feature owing to last week’s holiday.  There has been a lot of activity in the past two weeks, including the announcement of a friendly takeover bid of Afexa by Valeant (Afexa is already the target of a hostile bid by Paladin).  Read on to learn more.  Read more of this post

Monday Biotech Deal Review: July 5, 2010

Not a bad week for deals, considering the holiday weekend in both Canada and the U.S.. Response Biomedical placed a PIPE with OrbiMed funds, CTI did a follow-on round in Zymeworks and LAB Research took an equity line. Plus a companion diagnostic deal from Aeterna, just as I’m planning for Diagnostics Asia in August. The week’s rounded out with $450k from the NRC and a spin-out from Ondine. Read more of this post

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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