Bausch Health sells off Amoun for $740M; Achilles debuts on Nasdaq with $175.5M IPO
Looking to pay down debt ahead of the big Bausch + Lomb spinoff, Bausch Health CEO Joseph Papa has struck a deal to sell one of its units in Egypt for $740 million.
Abu Dhabi-based holding company ADB is handing over the cash for Amoun Pharmaceutical, which makes and markets branded generics and animal health products, will be the new owner.
“The sale of Amoun marks significant progress in our efforts to reduce overall Bausch Health debt as we continue to pursue all opportunities to drive value for our shareholders, including preparing for the spinoff of Bausch + Lomb,” said Joseph Papa, chairman and CEO, Bausch Health.
Some analysts have been looking for a significant increase in market value for Bausch + Lomb after it goes solo. “An independent Bausch & Lomb unit could have more room and focus to expand its global market share, but leverage reduction may still be a priority after its spinoff,” noted Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Ann-Hunter van Kirk. — John Carroll
Britain’s Achilles Therapeutics debuts on Nasdaq with $175.5M IPO
Another day, another IPO in the seemingly endless cascade of public biotech debuts.
The newest winner is London-based Achilles Therapeutics, prepping to hit the Nasdaq after pricing at $18 per ADS on Tuesday evening. No stray arrows took down this effort, as Achilles pulled in a $175.5 million raise as it takes its T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens to Nasdaq.
Achilles will trade under the ticker $ACHL.
Co-founded by Charlie Swanton of the Francis Crick Institute, Achilles aims to leverage heavy sequencing to identify a patient-specific set of tumor mutations that it can target. Unlike other neoantigen pioneers like Gritstone Oncology, Neon Therapeutics and BioNTech, Achilles is looking to directly deliver cancer killing T cells rather than stimulating an immune response via a vaccine.
Achilles got a boost in September 2019 with a $121 million Series B thanks to a syndicate led by RA Capital. And in November 2020, the biotech pulled in another $69.7 million for an oversubscribed Series C. — Max Gelman
Seattle’s OncoResponse nets $40M+ Series C
Two and a half years since its last fundraise, OncoResponse is back with some more cash.
The Seattle-based company raised $40.6 million in a Series C financing, led by members of the Magnetar Group with participation from additional new investors Yonjin Venture and Bering Capital. Funds will primarily go toward getting the biotech’s lead antibody, OR2805, into clinical development in multiple tumor types and building up a pipeline of preclinical assets to IND.
“OR2805 was derived from a cancer patient who had an exceptional response to anti-PD-1 therapy and relieves the immunosuppressive effect of macrophages found in the [tumor microenvironment] to promote tumor killing by T cells,” CEO Clifford Stocks said in a statement. “We will be entering clinical studies in multiple tumor types later this year.”
Existing investors RiverVest Venture Partners, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Redmile Group, 3B Future Health Fund (Helsinn Investment Fund), Canaan Partners and ARCH Venture Partners also participated. — Max Gelman