A prolific builder of biopharma and health technology companies, Roivant Sciences Ltd. is poised to join Nasdaq through a newly proposed merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by Patient Square Capital LLC. The deal, which values Roivant at $5 billion, includes $611 million of new money, composed of $411 million held in trust by the SPAC, Montes Archimedes Acquisition Corp., plus $200 million from a committed PIPE financing. The transaction, expected to peg Roivant's initial market cap at $7.3 billion, follows a September 2019 deal in which Roivant sold interests in five biopharmas to Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co. Ltd. (SDP) for $3 billion cash.
Just four months after Blue Water Acquisition Corp. raised $50 million in an IPO, it set out on April 27 to merge with Clarus Therapeutics Inc., the developer of testosterone replacement therapy Jatenzo, valuing the Northbrook, Ill.-based firm at $379 million. Earlier in April, BCTG Acquisition Corp. announced plans to buy Cambridge, Mass.-based targeted precision cancer company Tango Therapeutics Inc. for $353 million, about seven months after completing its $167 million IPO. Both Clarus and Tango are seeking the public markets by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, a method that is becoming increasingly popular and an alternative to the traditional IPO.
Less than a year after landing a multibillion-dollar deal expansion with partner Gilead Sciences Inc., targeted cancer drug developer Tango Therapeutics Inc. is making moves to go public via a merger with Boxer Capital LLC-sponsored special purpose acquisition company BCTG Acquisition Corp.
DUBLIN – European biotechnology firms engaged in drug discovery and development raised a record $5.9 billion in equity investment during the first quarter. It’s further evidence that the pace of biotech investing has become even more frenetic than last year’s full tilt. The first three months of the year can often be a quiet one for European biotech, but the amount raised in Q1 2021 comfortably exceeds the totals raised for all of 2016 and 2015. Venture capital investing, IPOs and share offerings by listed firms all performed strongly, dwarfing the equivalent figures for recent years. The new year has started with a big bang.
When uncertainty strikes, survival instincts flourish. That is exactly how the biopharma industry weathered 2020 and the global spread of the devastating SARS-CoV-2 virus. “The theme for 2020 was, ‘If the capital is there, take it. It’s an uncertain future’,” said Gabriel Cavazos, managing director in investment banking at SVB Leerink.
It might be difficult to view the past year through anything other than a COVID-shaped hole. But 2020 brought some remarkable and impactful news for the biopharma sector that had little to do with the novel coronavirus. In this end-of-year recap, BioWorld takes a look at some of achievements and trends affecting the industry that were completely unrelated to – or, in some cases, in spite of – the COVID-19 pandemic.