27 March 2013, London, Manchester, Munich, Boston, Sydney, Melbourne: Earlier this month College Hill Life Sciences’ ASX-listed client Mesoblast closed AU$170 million (US$176 million) in a private placing with institutional investors. Based on BioWorld’s Insight report issued early March, this is the largest Life Sciences private financing of a public company globally of 2013, just pipping the amounts raised by US-based Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ) and OPKO Health Inc. (NYSE) in January. AIM-listed client, e-Therapeutics, which raised £40 million (US$63m) from an issue of new shares in February, would place it as the fifth largest financing according to figures in the BioWorld report.
College Hill has been supporting Mesoblast Ltd (ASX:MSB, USOTC:MBLTY) in its European PR/IR since 2011. Mesoblast is a global leader in regenerative medicine, with a portfolio of products in clinical trials based on its proprietary “off-the-shelf” Mesenchymal Precursor Cell (MPCs) technology platform. Investors in the AU$170 million round included M&G Investment Management. Mesoblast now has cash reserves of approximately AU$332 million, which it intends to use for continued development of its cell-based therapies. This will include a Phase III clinical trial using MPCs for the treatment of degenerative disease of the lumbar spine and new Phase II clinical trials to broaden the indications for intravenous delivery of MPCs in the treatment of systemic inflammatory conditions. It will also use the funds for optimization of its MPC manufacturing processes and increased product inventory.
Drug discovery and development company e-Therapeutics plc (LSE AIM:ETX) has been a retained College Hill corporate and financial communications client for a number of years. The Company’s proprietary platform in network pharmacology offers an innovative new approach to drug discovery based on advances in network science and chemical biology. Following its successful fundraising, e-Therapeutics has over £48 million in cash, £25 million of which it will use to complete phase I trials for its lead anti-cancer therapy ETS2101 and to advance it through the next phase of clinical development. It will also invest in new drug discovery and advance other assets into development, broadening its pipeline of drug candidates.
Having supported both clients in raising their profile in the industry and with the financial community over the past years, the briefs around the financings were to extend the Company profile, raise awareness of the financing news and communicate the Company’s future plans to the financial, trade and national media.
Melanie Toyne Sewell, Partner in the Life Sciences team at College Hill, who leads both accounts said: “Working on such significant financing announcements highlights the strength of our team in investor and financial communications. Our years of experience in the investment markets and dealing with the media enable us to achieve the positioning and recognition that our clients deserve.”
College Hill Life Sciences provides communications counsel across a global portfolio of clients, both private and publically-listed. In 2012 it supported Clinigen Group plc in its IPO on London’s AIM market, the first healthcare IPO in London for five years.
“Many commentators have suggested that 2013 will be a good year for biotech companies and we are delighted to be seeing already these significant financings for our clients”, said Sue Charles, Managing Partner at College Hill Life Sciences.
On March 18 the Nasdaq Biotech Index $NBI crossed its all-time high from back in 2000, taking 13 years and $250 billion in R&D spending.
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Melanie Toyne-SewellManaging Partner