KDEV halves portfolio value, U.K. life sci funding hits 10-year high, CF gene therapy on the block

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. After years of calculating the value of its portfolio using a particular method, Karolinska Development (STO:KDEV) turned its back on the approach this week in an attempt to present a more "representative" view of what its investments are worth. The upshot? A 25% drop in the value of the portfolio. KDEV wiped a further 25% off the fair value by exiting Pharmanest--and the decline might not be over yet. Figures are trending the other way in the United Kingdom, where the Bioindustry Association trumpeted a 10-year high for life science funding. Even so, the total VC haul for U.K. biotechs in 2014 still fell short of what Moderna Therapeutics pocketed in January. Imperial Innovations has played a role in keeping the U.K. startup scene ticking over and was wheeling and dealing again this week. The tech-transfer firm revealed that it is shopping a gene therapy against cystic fibrosis to pharma companies after it generated promising--but patchy--data in a clinical trial. Galenica is planning to get on the other end of deals and partnerships in the coming months and years. Having picked up the U.S. rights to a Roche ($RHHBY) asset earlier in the year, the Swiss healthcare group is now trying to build a pipeline for its specialty pharma wing ahead of a planned spinout. After a week of twists and turns, Oramed Pharmaceuticals ($ORMP) found itself finalizing the terms of a $50 million (€45 million) deal with a pair of Chinese investors. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. KDEV halves its portfolio value as new accounting practices take effect

Karolinska Development has slashed the value of its portfolio after adopting a new way of tallying up what its early-stage biotech investments are worth. The new accounting model and the sale of Pharmanest almost halved the value of its portfolio, but the fall is not over yet. If another deal is revalued as KDEV expects, the value could sink to less than 25% of the tally as of the end of March.

2. Ripple from U.S. biotech boom drives U.K. life sci funding to 10-year high

More evidence has emerged that the ripples emanating out of the U.S. biotech boom are raising boats on the other side of the Atlantic. The latest data come from the UK Bioindustry Association and Evaluate, which calculated that life science funding in the United Kingdom is at its highest level in at least a decade.

3. Imperial Innovations shopping cystic fibrosis gene therapy asset after posting clinical data

Imperial Innovations is negotiating with pharma companies over its gene therapy that has shown the potential to treat cystic fibrosis. A trial of the gene therapy posted patchy but promising data this week, putting the tech-transfer business in a position to strike a deal for further development.

4. Galenica plans dealmaking flurry ahead of mooted spinout

Galenica is set to embark on a period of checkbook pipeline building to beef up its drug development unit ahead of a planned spinout. The plan is to build a pipeline of near- and long-term assets to complement its Roche-partnered iron-deficiency drug, Mircera.

5. Battle between Chinese investors puts Oramed on the cusp of a $50M deal

Oramed Pharmaceuticals has found itself at the center of a tug of war between Chinese investors. Days after Guangxi Wuzhou Zhongheng Group revealed it was edging toward a $52 million (€47 million) deal, Oramed said a pair of other Chinese financiers are now in the box seat.

More articles of note >>

Suggested Articles

Preclinical-stage biotech Abpro Therapeutics wants to trial its two lead candidates for HER2-positive cancers and diabetic macular edema in 2019.

After a rough patch in 2017, the stars seem to be realigning for French CAR-T expert Cellectis, which just closed a $164 million U.S. public offering.

Investment firm Frazier Healthcare Partners has closed its 11th fund—worth $780 million—that will help established companies accelerate their growth.