The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

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

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Monday Deal Review: February 25, 2013

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for February 25, 2013!

This week saw significant activity on the investment front. Stem Cell Therepeutics and Sirona have each indicated an intention to raise funds through private placements, while Oncolytics Biotech is aggressively hoping to raise $32 million through a public offering. Sernova, Helix BioPharma and Amforfix have each closed their own private placements this week as well. On the M&A front, Cangene has closed their acquisition of the hemophilia compound IB1001, acquiring it through Inspiration Biopharmaceutical’s bankruptcy.

There’s more great stories this week, so click onward to see the whole week’s Deal Review.

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2012 Canadian Healthcare Financings – strong but very selective

Wayne Schnarr - seriousLarge profitable public companies had no problem completing financings, especially those in the seniors housing and long-term care field (the gross proceeds for this category are listed below).

  • Catamaran – $541.8 M (equity)
  • Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT – $339.3 M (equity and convertible debt)
  • Extendicare – $126.5 M (convertible debt)
  • HealthLease Properties REIT – $110.0 M (IPO)
  • Leisureworld Senior Care – $56.4 M (equity)
  • Medical Facilities – $41.8 M (convertible debt)
  • Patheon – $30.0 M (equity)

Some development stage and not yet profitable public companies were able to complete financings over $10 million, a level which allows most of these companies to execute growth strategies and not strictly be in survival mode. The total for these 13 financings was $334.3 million.

  • YM Biosciences – $80.5 M (equity)
  • Novadaq Technologies – $40.3 M (equity)
  • Neptune Bioresources – $34.1 M (equity)
  • Centric Health – $27.50 (convertible debt)
  • Methylgene – $26.1 M (equity)
  • Resverlogix – $25.0 M (debt)
  • Oncolytics Biotech – $21.3 M (equity)
  • Bioniche Life Sciences – $20.0 M (debt)
  • BELLUS Health – $17.3 M (includes plan of arrangement proceeds)
  • Aeterna Zentaris – $16.5 M (equity)
  • Trimel Pharmaceuticals – $13.3 M (equity)
  • TearLab – $12.4 M (equity)
  • Merus Labs – $10.0 M (equity)

A total of $165.2 million was raised through financings less than $10 million each. Some of these financings would have provided only survival funds while some companies with low cash needs may have been able to grow.

The total equity and convertible debt funding raised by development stage companies in 2012 was just slightly lower than in the previous three years, but was almost 60% lower than the 2005-2007 average.

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

2012 Canadian Healthcare Share Price Performance – volatile with opportunities

Wayne Schnarr - seriousA group of 96 Canadian healthcare companies, which was assessed for 2012 share price performance is extremely diverse, with market caps ranging from about $1 million to $10 billion, but most less than $100 million.

The 2012 share price performance of the group showed:

  • Median and average share price changes of -11% and +7%, respectively; and
  • Decliners outnumbered gainers by 54 to 42.

In addition, the sector continued to show high volatility, with 46% (44 of 96) of the companies having share price changes of 40% or more. The 19 companies with share price increases of 40% or more are listed below by sector.


  • Cipher Pharmaceuticals (291%)
  • Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (223%)
  • iCo Therapeutics (222%)
  • BioSyent (122%)
  • Acasti (87%)
  • YM BioSciences (70%)
  • Lorus Therapeutics (59%)
  • Transition Therapeutics (54%)
  • Microbix Biosystems (46%)

Devices & Diagnostics:

  • TearLab (280%)
  • biOasis Technologies (161%)
  • Novadaq Technologies (76%)
  • Medifocus (50%)
  • Amorfix Life Sciences (41%)

Services Sub-group:

  • Lifebank (191%; acquired)
  • Patheon (161%)
  • Audiotech Healthcare (79%; taken private)
  • Catamaran (63%)

Other Companies Sub-group:

  • Prometic Life Sciences (104%)

 [The data in this post was compiled for the upcoming 2012 Canadian Healthcare Annual 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: February 18, 2013

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for February 18, 2013! This week saw Gilead finally close its acquisition of YM Biosciences, with YM’s shares now de-listed from trading on the NYSE Amex and the TSX. Shareholders were given $2.65 for each of their common shares during the plan of arrangement.  On the investment front, Innovotech, RepliCel, Lignol, Biosenta and Biosign each had announcements relating to the close or amendment of existing private placements.  Click on to see the full details.

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Friday Science Review: February 15, 2013

John HolyoakeThe Dick lab at the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute has a prestigious history of unraveling the complexities of cancer and their recent publication in Science adds yet more detail.

Analysis of tumours has revealed that there is immense heterogeneity between patients and also between cancer cells within the same tumour. This heterogeneity is evident at the genetic level, but also in the morphology and behaviours of individual clonal cell lines.

In the research reported in Science, the Dick lab tracked the in vivo propagation of xenotransplanted patient-derived colorectal cancer cells at the resolution of individual clones and demonstrated that cancer cells with the same genetic lineage demonstrate significantly different functional states and notably included clonal cells that were dormant compared to their peers. These populations of dormant cells may be the source of disease recurrence after treatment and therefore determining the mechanism through which the cells enter and sustain their dormant state may open up a new therapeutic strategy to fully eradicate the disease and prevent recurrence.

Monday Deal Review: February 11, 2013

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for February 11, 2013! This week saw YM Biosciences obtain the required court approval necessary before their plan of arrangement acquisition by Gilead could proceed. The transaction is essentially free to proceed by the effective date of the agreement. Cangene has acquired a hemophilia compound from the remaining assets of Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals, which is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. Cangene paid $5.9 million for the compound. Also in the news, Stem Cell Therepuetics will undergo a plan of arrangement with Trillium Therepeutics, where the two companies will effectively be merged and continue to operate under Stem Cell’s name.

Of course, there was considerably more activity this week, so click through to get the full story!

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Monday Deal Review: February 4, 2013

Welcome to your Monday Biotech Deal Review for February 4, 2013! This week saw significant activity in the sector generally  On the M&A side, Valeant continued their ongoing acquisition strategy, buying the Russian Natur Product International, a primarily OTC private pharma company. Gilead’s acquisition of YM Biosciences took one step closer to completion as YM shareholders approved the statorily mandated vote to approve the plan of arrangement that will facilitate the arrangement. Court approval is now required as one of the final steps. Microbix was also involved in the week’s M&A activity, having sold its water for injections business to Irvine Scientific. The there was also significant investment activity this week, including Biosenta announcing a new private placement.

See detail on these and the the rest of the week’s major biotech stories by clicking through!

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