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Alan Boyd, Mark Curtis & Rahul Sarugaser
Providing a critical overview of the sector’s commercial developments – M&As, licensing agreements & collaborations, financial results, IPOs and clinical/regulatory updates, with commentary from our Expert Contributors.
After a prolonged process, Astellas was successful in bringing its takeover bid of Ocata to a close this past month. Shareholders pushed back on several occasions in attempt to thwart the bid, requiring Astellas to extend the period within which shareholders could tender shares on two occasions. Ultimately, a majority of shareholders accepted the $8.50 per share offered by Astellas, giving them a 79% premium to market as of the day the bid was announced. Shareholders argued the offer didn’t reflect additional assets in the Ocata portfolio outside the core focus on ophthalmology. Ocata was one of the original pioneers in the RM space, having setup shop in the mid 90’s. Despite a few bumps in the road the company endured more than 20 years. The acquisition by Astellas, while met with some resistance, will hopefully ensure Ocata’s assets are developed swiftly and brought to market.
Funding continues to be a hot-topic again this month and the recent IPOs in New York from both AveXis and Proteostasis have shown that the IPO window is still just about open. The other piece of financial news was that Renova Therapeutics has just received a substantial grant from the NIH to support its gene therapy development in heart failure. There is much debate about whether it is best to still try for an IPO at this time or wait till the markets improve, but I think this news from these three companies still shows that as a growing company you will take funding from wherever you can get it despite the difficulties. If the IPO window does firmly get closed off for the while, companies should not forget that grants are a good alternative source too.
Citation: Cell Gene Therapy Insights 2016; 2(1), 5-18.