SOURCE: Burrill & Company

Burrill & Company

December 03, 2012 08:45 ET

Large Venture Financings in November Point to Shift Among Investors

Concern Grows About Realizing Value Rather Than Exits, Burrill & Company Says

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 3, 2012) - At a time when life sciences companies are feeling little leverage in M&A, partnering, and IPO negotiations, a series of large venture rounds completed in November suggests venture investors are willing to pony up additional financing for promising companies in late-stage development to realize the full value of their investments, according to Burrill & Company.

"Capital is expensive today, and life sciences companies too often have little option when negotiating deals," says G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company, a global financial services firm focused on the life sciences. "The recent string of large, late-stage rounds suggests a possible shift in posture among life sciences companies and their investors as there is growing unwillingness to leave substantial value on the table."

Intarcia Therapeutics $210 million financing represented the largest private financing of the month through a combination of existing and new investors. It was among the largest amounts raised by a private biotechnology company in the last 25 years. Intarcia raised $160 million in equity through a preferred stock private placement and $50 million in a private debt placement. Intarcia's ITCA 650 is a once-yearly, injection-free treatment for type 2 diabetes that provides subcutaneous delivery of the already-approved drug exenatide.

TauRx Pharmaceuticals, which had encouraging mid-stage trial results for its experimental Alzheimer's drug, raised $112 million in November. TauRx received $31.5 million as the first tranche of a $111.8 million investment from Genting Management, a unit of the Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad, in exchange for a 20 percent stake in the biotech company. TauRx's experimental Alzheimer's drug LMTX, works by keeping the tau proteins from clumping together, and is the first such drug to be tested in a late-stage trial, according to the company.

And then there's Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, which closed an $18.7 million first tranche of a $67.5 million preferred stock financing. A second tranche is expected to close before the end of 2012. New investor Vatera Healthcare Partners joined existing investors in the deal. The money will be used to initiate a late-stage trial of Rib-X's delafloxacin, a treatment for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections being developed as a first-line therapy for use in hospitals prior to the availability of a specific diagnosis. Unlike available first-line antibiotics, Rib-X says delafloxacin is a broad spectrum antibiotic that has the potential to treat Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections, including for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

"In the case of these three companies, they are targeting substantial markets with innovative therapies," says Burrill. "These financings may signal that venture investors are growing more confident about the economy, their ability to raise money, and exit investments on their own terms when the time is right."

Overall, life sciences companies raised more than $1.2 billion in venture financings in November, up from $940 million for the same period a year ago. In the United States, life sciences venture financings grew to $928 million in November, up from $700 million a year ago. Through the first 11 months of 2012, both global and U.S. life sciences venture funding are up nearly 23 percent.

In public markets, life sciences stocks rebounded in November after a down month in October. The Burrill Select Index rose 6.6 percent in November, beating the major market indices. For the month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost .7 percent, the S&P 500 gained .1 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1 percent.

BURRILL INDICES                            
Index   12/30/2011   10/31/2012   11/23/2012   11/30/2012   Week Change   Month Change   Year Change
Burrill Select   432.49   575.48   610.17   613.46   0.5%   6.6%   41.8%
Burrill Large Cap   529.22   693.83   740.39   740.73   0.0%   6.8%   40.0%
Burrill Mid-Cap   295.33   308.82   310.30   311.35   0.3%   0.8%   5.4%
Burrill Small Cap   82.75   102.50   99.23   101.78   2.6%   -0.7%   23.0%
Burrill Diagnostics   175.42   188.74   189.44   189.79   0.2%   0.6%   8.2%
Burrill Personalized Medicine   100.62   115.99   117.64   118.40   0.6%   2.1%   17.7%
Burrill Biogreentech   149.36   159.77   157.71   161.77   2.6%   1.3%   8.3%
Canadian Biotech   59.17   59.98   60.19   60.20   0.0%   0.4%   1.7%
NASDAQ   2605.15   2977.23   2966.85   3005.66   1.3%   1.0%   15.4%
DJIA   12217.56   13096.46   13009.68   13010.61   0.0%   -0.7%   6.5%
S&P 500   1257.60   1412.16   1409.15   1414.13   0.4%   0.1%   12.4%
Amex Biotech   1091.42   1397.78   1533.01   1546.52   0.9%   10.6%   41.7%
Amex Pharmaceutical   332.94   369.01   364.91   368.27   0.9%   -0.2%   10.6%

Atossa Genetics was the sole life sciences IPO in November. The diagnostics maker, focused on risk assessment for breast cancer, raised $4 million at $4 per share, the bottom of its target range. A total of 16 life sciences companies have completed initial public offerings in the United States through the end of November, the same as last year. Overall, U.S. life sciences IPOs completed in 2012 are up an average of 12 percent from their offering price as of the end of November.

On the M&A front, Reckitt Benckiser said it would acquire the nutraceuticals company Schiff Nutritional International for $1.4 billion in the largest announced deal for the month. Overall, it was a quiet month for M&A transactions as a total of $6.4 billion in deals were announced, down from $14.3 billion in November 2011. Through the end of November $101.1 billion in deals were announced, down 34.5 percent from the activity a year ago.

Total global public financings in November rose to $16.1 billion, an 18.3 percent increase from activity a year ago. But a $14.7 billion debt issue by Abbott Laboratories represented the bulk of the activity in what was an otherwise slow month for public financings of life sciences companies.


Life Sciences Scorecard in USD M
    YTD 11/30/12   YTD 11/30/12   Change
Global Venture Capital   11,240   9,139   23.0%
U.S. VC   8,475   6,930   22.3%
IPOs (34 in 2012 v. 44 in 2011)   2,080   3,894   -46.6%
U.S. IPOs (16 in 2012 v. 16 in 2011)   1,093   1,394   -21.6%
Global PIPEs   4,978   2,923   70.3%
U.S. PIPEs   1,728   1,251   38.1%
Global Follow-ons   6,565   8,424   -22.1%
U.S. Follow-ons   5,734   4,618   24.2%
Global Other Equity   1,858   989   87.9%
U.S. Other Equity   929   675   37.6%
Global Debt Offerings   46,616   50,324   -7.4%
U.S. Debt   38,024   30,718   23.8%
Global Other Debt   13,209   9,909   33.3%
U.S. Other Debt   11,710   4,259   174.9%
Total Global Public Financings   75,306   76,463   -1.5%
Total U.S. Public Financings   59,218   42,915   38.0%
Global Partnering   34,411   32,662   5.4%
U.S. Partner/Licenser   18,200   18,984   -4.1%
Global M&A   101,124   154,309   -34.5%
M&A, U.S. Target   72,896   91,861   -20.6%

November marked the first approved product for Exelixis. The FDA gave a green light to Cometriq for the treatment of progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer. The drug inhibits multiple tyrosine kinases involved in the spread of cancer, the growth of tumors and the sustainability of tumors. The approval, which was widely expected, came after close of trading November 29. Exelixis shares closed down 6.9 percent the following day to close at $4.88. The agency also approved Pfizer's Xeljanz for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis who have had an inadequate response to, or who are intolerant of, methotrexate. As of the end of November, the FDA approved a total of 31 new drugs and biologics, one more than it approved for the same period a year ago.

Sanofi cut the price of its new cancer drug Zaltrap by half, according to a report in The Cancer Letter. That came in response to a public controversy over the pricing of Zaltrap that erupted after physicians at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center authored an op-ed in The New York Times praising their hospital's decision to exclude it from their formulary because of its price and the belief that Avastin, a competing drug, offered the same benefit at half the price. The development is seen as a sign of the growing pressure on drugmakers to prove the value of their new products to justify pricing.

With the re-election of President Barack Obama in November and Democrats retaining a majority in the Senate, the attention in Washington is shifting from efforts to repeal the administration's landmark healthcare reform legislation to matters relating to its implementation. More immediately, though, the focus is on the fiscal cliff and the specter of automatic spending cuts that loom over agencies ranging from the National Institutes of Health to the FDA, and threatens the health of the life sciences industry.

"This industry has much at stake in the debate underway right now," says Burrill. "It is critical that Congress take action and not jeopardize the nation's ability to innovate, create jobs, and compete globally."

About Burrill & Company

Founded in 1994, Burrill & Company is a diversified global financial services firm focused on the life sciences industry. With $1.5 billion in assets under management, the firm's businesses include venture capital/private equity, merchant banking, and media. By leveraging the scientific and business networks of its team, Burrill & Company has established unrivaled access and visibility in the life sciences industry. This unique combination of resources and capabilities enables the company to provide life sciences companies with capital, transactional support, management expertise, insight, market intelligence, and analysis through its investments, conferences, and publications. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company oversees a global network of offices throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. For more information visit:

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