Woodford: It's a bubble, Pfizer-backed IO player plans IPO, UniQure cashes in on Bristol deal

Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly EuroBiotech Report. Neil Woodford entered the ongoing debate over whether biotech is in a bubble this week. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the fund manager drew a distinction between what he sees as bubbly financials of some U.S. stocks and the bargain-basement valuations of private early-stage players in the United Kingdom. If Woodford has judged it right, the divergence in valuations bodes well for his new Woodford Patient Capital Trust. The trust is set to start trading on April 21 with a bumper sack of cash, having upscaled the cap on its offering to £800 million ($1.2 billion). Cardio3 Biosciences (EBR:CARD), Merus, uniQure ($QURE) and Prothena ($PRTA) are among the European biotechs hoping Woodford's bearish views are a rarity among investors. Dutch biotechs Merus and uniQure are both seeking to raise cash on Nasdaq, in a planned IPO and follow-on offering, respectively. Prothena is gunning for a $120 million follow-on offering of its own, while Cardio3 is to change its name to Celyad ahead of its U.S. listing. And more. Nick Taylor (email | Twitter)

1. Woodford to U.S.: You're in a bubble. We're not

Neil Woodford has weighed into the debate over whether biotech is in a bubble or sustainable bull market. The veteran fund manager drew a distinction between what he sees as the bubbly multiples of some publicly traded U.S. stocks and the bargain-basement valuations of unquoted British biotechs.

2. Big Pharma-backed Dutch immuno-oncology player eyes €100M Nasdaq IPO

A Dutch immuno-oncology player that has received venture funding from Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Pfizer is preparing to list on Nasdaq. The company--Merus--hopes to raise upward of €100 million ($107 million) to advance its pipeline of bispecific IgG antibodies into the clinic and through early-phase trials.

3. UniQure plans $100M follow-on offering in afterglow of big-ticket Bristol deal

UniQure has moved quickly to cash in on its position in the biotech limelight. Within 24 hours of unveiling its $1 billion tie-up with Bristol-Myers Squibb, the gene therapy specialist had filed the paperwork for a follow-on offering that could net it upwards of $100 million (€92 million).

4. Prothena files for follow-on offering to build $400M R&D war chest

Prothena has filed the paperwork for a follow-on offering that could net it more than $130 million (€121 million). If successful, the offering will leave the transatlantic biotech sitting pretty on a $400 million stockpile of cash as it plots the next steps in the development of its pipeline of in-house and Roche-partnered assets.

5. Cardio3 to become Celyad as pivot from CV to CAR-T continues

Cardio3 Biosciences is planning to change its name. Having expanded beyond its initial focus on cardiovascular diseases through the acquisition of CAR-T assets, management has decided the name no longer fits. If shareholders approve, Cardio3 will soon become Celyad.

And more articles of note >>

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