GW to raise $179M, KDEV's portfolio value sinks to new low, BIA wants U.K. to rival CA, MA

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. GW Pharmaceuticals ($GWPH), the poster child of the European Nasdaq invasion, is once again turning to U.S. investors to fuel the advance of its cannabis-based pipeline. The latest offering could generate upward of $180 million (€161 million), a sum that will give GW the firepower to mount a multi-front R&D program. GW's transformation since listing on Nasdaq has alerted every European biotech to the money that is swilling around across the Atlantic. And the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) sees value in making it easier for more companies to tap into Wall Street. BIA proposed making listing on Nasdaq easier and more tax-effective in a 10-point plan to turn the U.K. into a biotech cluster to rival California and Massachusetts by 2025. Affimed Therapeutics ($AFMD), one of the growing pool of European biotechs trading on Nasdaq, filed for a $40 million offering after its stock jumped 42% in a day. Back in Europe, minority shareholders in Stallergenes (EPA:GENP) organized in opposition to the terms of a proposed merger with Greer. Ares Life Sciences, which owns 77% of Stallergenes and all of Greer, suggested the merger, the terms of which minority shareholders have called "outrageous." The valuation of Karolinska Development's (STO:KDEV) portfolio sunk to its lowest level since its 2011 IPO after it wrote off its investments in three companies: Pergamum, Umecrine Mood and NeoDynamics. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. GW Pharma files for $179M offering to advance cannabis-based pipeline

Having led the invasion of Euro biotechs onto Nasdaq and been rewarded with a 1,000% increase in its stock price, GW Pharmaceuticals has gone back to U.S. investors for a boost to its finances. The plan is to raise $179 million (€162 million) to finance a multi-front R&D program.

2. KDEV writes off investments in 3 biotechs, sinking portfolio valuation to new low

Karolinska Development has stopped investing in three of its portfolio biotechs and fully written off its outlay in the businesses to date. The decisions contributed to the valuation of the portfolio falling to SEK 1,277 million ($150 million), its lowest level since KDEV's IPO in 2011.

3. BIA outlines 10-year plan to make U.K. a rival to Boston and the Bay

The UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) has laid out its strategy for turning the United Kingdom into a biotech cluster to rival those in California and Massachusetts. And while the plan has many components, a comparison of the three regions today shows the main area the U.K. needs to improve: financing.

4. Minority shareholders unite against terms of Stallergenes-Greer merger

Ares Life Sciences has encountered resistance to its plan to merge Stallergenes and Greer. The investment funds own 77% of Stallergenes and all of Greer, but minority shareholders are determined to stop it pushing through a deal that they see as only benefiting one group: Ares.

5. Affimed seizes on stock pop with filing for $40M offering

Late on April 24, as a good day's trading for Affimed Therapeutics turned great, the company's share price passed into the $11 to $13 range it hoped to hit when it went public in September. The next business day, Affimed filed for a follow-on offering to raise up to $40 million (€37 million).

And more articles of note >>