Biogen chair Stelios Papadopoulos takes his investing experience to the SPAC party, raising $100M for a blank check deal
A longtime biotech vet — and one of the best connected execs in the industry — is jumping into the SPAC game, entering the playing field with $100 million in the blank check company.
Stelios Papadopoulos, the chairman of Biogen since 2014, closed the $100 million raise Friday as he seeks a biotech partner to go public through a reverse merger. The SPAC, called Eucrates Biomedical Acquisition, priced at $10 per share and each share comes with one-third of a warrant that can be used to buy shares at $11.50 each.
Eucrates was formed by Vedanta Management, a private investment management firm with over $400 million in assets as of the end of 2019.
Papadopoulos’ track record running biotechs dates back to the mid-1990s, when he co-founded Exelixis and he’s served as company chairman since 1998. Throughout that period, he also spent time as a life sciences investment banker, spending nearly 20 years at PaineWebber and Cowen from 1987 to 2006. He ultimately retired from Cowen as vice chairman.
Other biotechs Papadopoulos is known for are Regulus, where he is also chairman, as well as Anadys and Cellzone, each of which were acquired in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
In Vedanta, Papadopoulos joins forces with Parag Saxena, who co-founded the firm and also serves as CEO. He also co-founded New Silk Route Advisors, which together with Vedanta manages more than $600 million. Saxena had previously served as Invesco CEO for 23 years, personally overseeing 90 investments across industries with a third of those eventually going public, per Eucrates’ S-1 filing, including Alkermes and Celgene.
Once the SPAC goes public, Papadopoulos and Saxena will jointly own 22.2% of shares. Eucrates will trade under the ticker $EUCRU.
This year has been a boom for biotech IPOs. Through Friday, there have been 72 biotech IPOs according to the tally of Jordan Saxe, Nasdaq head of healthcare listings, SPACs excluded. The combined raise has climbed to $13.2 billion.
But SPACs have fared just as well, with the blank check companies flying in every direction. Last week, Bain execs raised $125 million to bring a biotech public, and Lux Capital formed a SPAC to the tune of $300 million earlier this month.
SPACs have been eating up a larger and larger share of the IPO pie in recent years. Making up only 3% of the IPO market in 2014, Nasdaq’s Jay Heller told Endpoints News in July, they now comprise more than 35% of all new listings.