Amyris Completes IPO With Impressive Partnerships Pipeline: Biotech's Latest Deals

| About: Amyris, Inc. (AMRS)
By Marie Daghlian

Amyris (NASDAQ:AMRS) has completed its much anticipated initial public offering, raising $84.8 million. Though the deal priced at $16 per share, below its expected $18 to $20 range, it posted a 5 percent gain in its first day of trading.

The Emeryville, California based company, which engineers yeast to convert plant sugars into renewable fuels, chemicals, and anti-malarial drugs, has built up an impressive pipeline of partnerships on the road to its IPO, including major deals with Brazilian biofuels company Cosan (NYSE:CZZ), and French oil company Total (NYSE:TOT), which has a major equity stake in the company. Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) will use Amyris’ renewable chemicals in its products and Sanofi-Aventis (NYSE:SNY) will begin marketing an anti-malarial drug based on Amyris’ technology in 2012.

Investor interest in biotech companies outside the traditional drug development arena is growing with several next-generation biofuels companies and sequencing companies in the IPO queue. [see story]

Pacific Biosciences has increased the amount it hopes to raise from its initial public offering to $230 million, up from the $200 million in its original S-1 filing. Drug developer Quark Pharmaceuticals has decided to go public in Israel, where it has R&D facilities, to raise $20 million. The California biotech develops drugs using RNA interference and recently struck a licensing deal with Novartis (NYSE:NVS) for a potential therapeutic designed to protect the kidney from damage during kidney transplant and major heart surgery.

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has committed to invest up to $35 million in Canadian biotech Protox Therapeutics, a developer of receptor targeted fusion proteins for the treatment of diseases of the prostate and cancer. The agreement calls for an initial tranche of $10 million and an additional tranche of $25 million subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granting a Special Protocol Assessment for PRX302 for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia within the next year. That designation would guarantee that the proposed trial protocol design, clinical endpoints, and statistical analyses are acceptable to support regulatory approval.

New Jersey biotech Tobira Therapeutics completed a $31 million series B financing led by new investor Novo A/S with participation by original investors Domain Associates, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Montreux Equity Partners, and Canaan Partners. Tobira is focused on developing and commercializing innovative antiviral compounds to treat HIV disease. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance its lead compound into a mid-stage clinical trial.

Maryland biotech OpGen, a commercial phase genomics company, raised $17 million in a series B equity financing that was led by jVen Capital with participation from the company’s other major investors, including CHL Medical Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Mason Wells Biomedical and Versant Ventures. The financing will support marketing efforts for the company’s Argus Optical Mapping System, which was launched in June 2010, for automated, microbial whole genome analysis.

German biotech Pieris signed a collaboration and license agreement with both Sanofi-Aventis and Sanofi Pasteur to develop anticalin therapeutics. Anticalins are a novel generation of targeted therapeutics that have the potential to overcome some of the constraints of monoclonal antibodies, thereby allowing novel therapeutic approaches.

Under the terms of their agreement, Pieris will apply its proprietary anticalin technology to discover novel anticalin drugs against multiple targets, with further development undertaken by Sanofi-Aventis and Sanofi-Pasteur. The collaboration will initially involve two targets nominated by Sanofi-Aventis and Sanofi-Pasteur, and includes the option for four additional targets. Peiris will get $4.8 million upfront for the first two targets, plus committed research funding and up to $61 million in payments for the achievement of research, preclinical, regulatory and commercial milestones.

Company Location Amount Raised (USD M)) Principal Focus
Tobira Therapeutics Manalapan, NJ 31.0 Antivirals
OpGen Gaithersburg, MD 17.0 Genomics
Tigris Pharmaceuticals Bonita Springs, FL 6.5 Cancer therapeutics
Watermark Medical Boca Raton, FL 6.0 Medical devices
Opthonix Vista, CA 5.4 Diagnostics
Rhythmia Medical Burlington, MA 5.0 Medical devices
TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Malvern, PA 5.0 Cancer therapeutics
Phreesia New York, NY 4.0 Healthcare IT
DecImmune Therapeutics Cambridge, MA 3.0 Wound care
PointCare Technologies Marlborough, MA 1.8 Diagnostics
NeurAxon Toronto, Ontario, Canada 14.0 Pain therapeutics
Horizon Discovery Cambridge, UK 9.8 Cancer biomarkers
Eykona Oxford, UK 1.9 Wound imaging
Total Raised US 84.7
Total Raised Non-US 25.7
Grants and Contracts
Company Funding/Contracting Agency Amount Raised (USD M) Principal Focus
Rockland Immunochemicals NIH SBIR Phase 1 N/A Antibody technology
Akonni Biosystems NIH Challenge Grant 3.0 Genetic tests
Corhythm Texas Emerging Technology Fund 3.1 Medical devices
Fe3 Medical Texas Emerging Technology Fund 2.8 Drug delivery
Neurolink Texas Emerging Technology Fund 3.2 Medical devices
DecImmune Therapeutics NIH Phase II SBIR 2.2 Wound care
A&G Pharmaceutical NCI Phase II SBIR 1.2 Personalized medicine technology
Inovio Pharmaceuticals NIH Direcotr's Office 3.1 Vaccines
PolyMedix NIH Phase II SBIR 1.0 Cardiovascular therapeutics
Embera NeuroTherapeutics National Institute on Drug Abuse 3.9 Addiction therapeutics
ATS Corporation National Cancer Institute 13.3 Software services
Newport Medical Instruments HHS BARDA 6.7 Ventilators
Total Grants and Contracts 43.5
Company Ticker Amount
Raised (USD M)
Financing Type
Amyris Biotechnologies AMRS 84.8 IPO
QRxPharma (Australia) ASX:QRX 13.6 PIPE
BioDiem (Australia) ASX:BDM 1.0 PIPE
Protox Therapeutics (Canada) TSX:PRX 10.0 PIPE, first tranche
Stellar Biotechnologies (Canada) TSX-V:KLH 1.0 PIPE
Apricus Biosciences APRI 9.3 PIPE
Biomoda OTC:BMOD 0.6 PIPE
ProUroCare Medical OTC:PUMD 3.1 PIPE
Chelsea Therapeutics CHTP 35.0 Follow on
MAP Pharmaceuticals MAPP 43.5 Follow on
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals SNSS 15.5 Follow on
Titan Pharmaceuticals OTC:TTNP 5.0 Loan
Micro Identification Technologies OTC:MMTC N/A Securities Purchase Agreement
Advanced Life Sciences OTC:ADLS 1.5 Warrant exercise
Advanced Life Sciences OTC:ADLS 10.0 Equity purchase agreement
NON-US 25.6
Acquirer Target Deal Value
Endo Pharmaceuticals Qualitest Pharmacetuicals 1,200.0 Generics
Virtual Radiologic NightHawk Radiology Services 170.0 Diagnostics
PharMerica Chem Rx 70.6 Healthcare
Sanofi Pasteur (Sanofi-aventis, France) VaxDesign 60.0 Tools/Technology
Guizhou Huixian Investment Management (China) Tongjitang Chinese Medicines (China) 38.1 Traditional Chinese Medicines
Crocker Ventures TMJ Implants N/A Medical devices
ARTES Biotechnology (Germany) Anavax (Select Vaccines, Australia) N/A Vaccines
Company/Licensee Company/Licenser Deal Value
Sanofi-Aventis (France) Covance 2,200.0 Drug development service contract
CMIC (Japan) Dyax 106.0 Hereditary angioedema drug license
Sanofi-Aventis and Sanofi Pasteur (France) Pieris (Germany) 65.5 Technology license and drug discovery collaboration
Bruker Daltonics (Bruker) BD Diagnostics (Becton, Dickinson and Company) N/A Diagnostics collaboration
Acucela Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (Japan) N/A Eye drug co-promotion
HUYA Bioscience Quintiles N/A Cancer treatment partnership
Daiichi Sankyo (Japan) KINAXO Biotechnologies (Germany) N/A Cancer treatment collaboration
Bayer Schering Pharma (Germany) Ligon Discovery N/A Drug discovery collaboration
Quintiles Health Kare Pharma International (Egypt) N/A Commercialization services joint venture
Public/Private Partnerships
Company University/Nonprofit Deal Value
Mucosis (the Netherlands) PATH Vaccine collaboration
Eli Lilly Foundation for the National Institutes of Health; Fogarty International Center 1.27 Russia-U.S. Research Joint Venture