By Marie Daghlian
Global contract research services firm Charles River Laboratories (NYSE:CRL) is expanding its presence in China with the acquisition of WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE:WX), a major drug research and development outsourcing company with expertise in discovery chemistry and operations in both China and the United States. The $1.6 billion cash and stock deal will expand the global reach and growth opportunities for both companies.
“This transaction revolutionizes the contract research landscape by creating the only global contract research organization, or CRO, to offer fully integrated research and drug development services from molecule creation to first-in-human testing,” said James C. Foster, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles River [see story].
Diagnostic company Oxford Immunotec closed the second tranche of a $26 Million series D Financing led by New Leaf Venture Partners with participation by new investor Kaiser Permanente Ventures and existing investors Clarus Ventures, Wellington Partners, Kuwait-based National Technology Enterprises Company, SPARK Ventures, DFJ Esprit, Oxford University and The Dow Chemical Company.
Oxford makes T cell-based diagnostic tests. Its lead product is a test designed to diagnose both latent tuberculosis infection and active disease by measuring T cells that have been activated specifically by Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one-third of the world’s population currently is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In the U.S., there are an estimated 15 million individuals infected with latent TB, and an estimated 17 million tests for latent TB are performed each year.
Madison, Wisconsin-based Cellular Dynamics International, the world's largest volume manufacturer of human heart cells, closed a $40.6 million series B private equity round led by Tactics II Stem Cell Ventures, and included investments from Sam Zell's Equity Group Investments and Sixth Floor Investors.
The financing will enable the company to increase production capacity for its human heart cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells and to launch additional human tissue cell products for biomedical and pharmaceutical drug development and safety research. CDI also plans to use the proceeds to rapidly expand its commercial organization to meet the growing demand for iPSC-based products. CDI has raised a total of $70 million since 2004.
Synthetic biology firm Joule Biotechnologies raised $30 million in series B funding led by Flagship Ventures, Joule’s founding venture capital investor. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is developing a technology to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol with its engineered “magic bug.”
The proceeds will help to accelerate Joule’s advancements in a number of areas, including its pilot operations now underway in Leander, Texas, where the production process for its renewable solar fuels, including fungible diesel, will be tested. The funds will also support key developments in genome engineering, bioprocessing and hardware engineering to optimize productivity and generate product samples in quantities that will fully validate Joule’s process beyond the lab.
Finally, Bill Gates invested $10 million in Schrodinger, a Portland, Oregon-based drug development software firm through his wholly owned Cascade Investment.
Founded in 1990, Schrödinger does chemical simulation for pharmaceutical and biotechnology research. Schrödinger's software has been used by nearly every major pharmaceutical firm worldwide as well as hundreds of smaller firms and academic and government research laboratories. More recently, Schrödinger has entered into a number of collaborations in which its technology and expertise could have a significant impact on early-stage drug discovery projects.
Cascade's investment is intended to enable Schrödinger to pursue a number of research and development projects with the aim of making considerable improvements in the state of the art in computer-aided drug design.
FINANCIAL SCORECARD FOR THE WEEK ENDING APRIL 30, 2010
|Global Venture Financings|
|Company||Location||Amount Raised ($M)||
|EdeniQ||Visalia, CA||12.4||Crop traits|
|Bicycle Therapeutics||Cambridge, UK||n/a||Technology platform|
|Implanet||Bordeaux, France||11.0||Medical devices|
|Realton||Beijing, China||n/a||Medical devices|
|Oxford Immunotec||New York, NY||26.0||Diagnostics|
|Integrated DNA Technologies||Coralville, IA||12.0||Nucleic acids|
|Cellular Dynamics Int'l||Madison, WI||40.6||Heart stem cells|
|Joule Biotechnologies||Cambridge, MA||30.0||Renewable fuels|
|Lycera||Ann Arbor, MI||11.0||Autoimmune|
|Affimed Therapeutics||Heidelberg, Germany||26.6||Antibodies|
|Schrodinger||Portland, OR||10.0||Drug development software|
|TOTAL RAISED US||142.0|
|TOTAL RAISED EX-US||37.6|
|Grants and Contracts|
|Evotec (Germany)||German Federal Ministry of Education and Research||2.0||Neurology|
|Living Cell Technologies (Australia)||Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation||0.5||Diabetes|
|Amarantus Therapeutics||Michael J Fox Foundation||n/a||Parkinson's|
|Ginkgo bioWorks||US DOE||6.0||Renewable fuels|
|OPX Biotechnologies||US DOE ARPA-E||6.0||Renewable fuels|
|Cleveland Biolabs||BARDA||2.0||Radiation side effects|
|AVI BioPharma||US DTRA||4.0||Infectious|
|Total Grants and Contracts||30.8|
|BioDelivery Sciences Int'l||BDSI||10.0||PIPE|
|Pluristem Therapeutics (Israel)||PSTI||2.7||PIPE|
|Critical Outcome Technologies||TSX-V:COT||1.1||PIPE|
|Winner Medical Group (China)||WWIN||8.4||Follow-on|
|PuriCore (United Kingdom)||LSE:PURI||1.8||Debt|
|Corcept Therapeutics||CORT||7.1||Warrant exercise|
|NeurogesX||NGSX||40.0||Royalty financing agreement|
|Natus Medical||BABY||50.0||Credit facility|
|Pressure BioSciences||PBIO||1.2||Warrant exercise|
|Neovasc (Canada)||TSX-V:NVC||1.4||Warrant exercise|
|TOTAL PUBLIC FINANCINGS-US||154.2|
|Deal Value |
|Charles River Laboratories||WuXi PharmaTech (China)||1600.0||CRO|
|ExonHit Therapeutics (France)||RedPath Integrated Pathology||32.0||Diagnostics|
|Mesa Laboratories||SGM Biotech||12.0||Supply/service|
|Welch Allyn||Trimline Medical Products||n/a||Supply/service|
|Medtronic||ATS Medical||370.0||Medical devices|
|eResearchTechnology||CareFusion research services||81.0||CRO|
|Valeant Pharmaceuticals||Vital Science (Canada)||10.5||OTC dermatology drugs|
|Gold Medal UK (United Kingdom)||Fulcrum Pharma (UK)||17.7||Pharmaceuticals|
|Company/Licensee||Company/Licenser||Deal Value |
|Bioprocess Capital Ventures (Russia)||Cleveland Biolabs||5.7||Cancer Joint Venture|
|Medicines for Malaria Venture (Switzerland)||Anacor Pharmaceuticals||n/a||Malaria Therapeutics Collaboration|
|Merck||Nycomed (Switzerland)||n/a||Respiratory Drug Co-promotion|
|CHDI Foundation||BioFocus (Galapagos-Belgium)||41.0||Huntington's disease Collaboration|
|GlaxoSmithKline (United Kingdom)||EyeGate Pharma||n/a||Opthalmic Collaboration|
|Japan's National Cancer Reseach Center||IRX Therapeutics||n/a||Cancer Vaccine Collaboration|
|Labopharm (Canada)||Gruppo Angelini (Italy)||92.0||Neurology Joint Venture|
|Celtic Therapeutics||BELLUS Health (Canada)||30.0||Amyloidosis Treatment License|
|Kissei Pharmaceutical (Japan)||Protox Therapeutics||75.0||Prostate Treatment License|
|Inverness Medical Innovations||BG Medicine||n/a||Diagnostic Collaboration|