¿ Evotec BioSystems AG, of Hamburg, Germany, a high-throughput screening specialist, said revenues rose 186 percent during the first half of the year to DM12.5 million (US$5.8 million), while net losses climbed 31 percent to DM14.6 million. Its drug discovery tools and technology division accounted for DM11.5 million of total sales. Milestone payments and research funding from pharmaceutical partners Novartis AG, SmithKline Beecham plc and Pfizer Inc. contributed DM 5.4 million of this. The company said orders received during the first six months of the year are equivalent to 75 percent of its sale forecast for the full year.
¿ Jerusalem Global Investment Bank finished raising its first venture capital fund, Jerusalem Global Ventures, expanded from a planned $60 million to $200 million to meet market demand. Shlomo Kalish, Jerusalem Global founder and CEO, said the new fund introduces a unique structure in the Israeli capital industry. Divided into three independent subsidiary funds for communications, Internet and biotechnology (initially together with medical devices), each fund will focus on early-stage firms, under separate management, by three different partners to raise varying sums of money. Biotechnology is anticipated to receive $40 million. Thus far Glucon Ltd. has received an investment of $3.6 million.
¿ Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Jerusalem, priced its initial public offering of 4.6 million shares of common stock at $10 per share, and is slated to gross proceeds of $46 million, not including the underwriters' overallotment. Shares commenced trading July 28 on Nasdaq under the symbol "KERX" and on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange on Aug. 2 under the symbol "KRX." Roth Capital Partners and WestLB Panmure are global coordinators of the offering. Roth Capital Partners and Gruntal & Co. are co-managing the U.S. offering and WestLB is coordinating the offering outside the U.S. Keryx's KinAce platform has produced 13 lead compounds, eight of which have shown positive results in animals in vivo. Keryx also has obtained a license for its own sulodexide (KRX-101), intended for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy. Keryx plans to open an office in Boston.
¿ Omrix Biopharmaceuticals Ltd., of Kiryat Ono, Israel, is going into a second investment round, possibly through an investment bank. Omrix raised $20 million via MPM Asset Management (the investment arm of MPM Capital), of Cambridge, Mass., in 1998. One of Israel's largest biotechnology companies, Omrix had sales of $20 million in 1999, just under $10 million in 1998, and shows accelerating sales growth in 2000, a steeply impressive curve from development to marketing for a company founded four years ago. The company offers human plasma-derived biosurgical and biotherapeutic products, immunoglobulins, plasma derivatives, and now has applied for U.S. FDA approval for Quixil, its surgical tissue sealant for hard-to-close wounds, which already is being sold in Europe. Following FDA approval, which is anticipated in 2001, the company is priming for an IPO.
¿ NicOx SA, of Sophia-Antipolis, France, posted a slightly reduced net loss of EUR1.6 million (US$1.5 million) for the first half of this year, as against EUR1.7 million in the corresponding six months of 1999. Revenues amounted to EUR2.2 million, including a $2 million milestone payment received from AstraZeneca in May. As at June 30, NicOx had cash and short-term investments of EUR30.5 million, compared with EUR4.4 million the year before, the difference being due to the proceeds of the company's IPO last fall.
¿ Scotia Pharmaceuticals plc, of Stirling, Scotland, presented follow-on data last week from three clinical trials of its photodynamic therapy agent Foscan, at the International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer in San Francisco. Foscan was submitted to the FDA in September 1999, and a decision is due by Oct. 31. Heather King, director of investor relations, said, "While this most-up-to-date data does not show a better response rate, it does indicate the durability of the response." For example, at one year, 86 percent of patients with primary tumors still had a complete response, compared to 88 percent who had complete eradication of the tumor at 12 weeks. King said the new data will be discussed with the FDA. The company is in "ongoing discussions" with potential partners for Foscan, and expects to make an announcement once it receives the FDA's decision.