M&A Makes Sense for Procognia
Procognia's acquisition of fellow Apax portfolio company Sense Proteomic could indicate a more proactive stance from VCs intent on consolidating their bets behind likely winners.
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Despite investors' pleas, most observers agree there are still far too many small, sub-critical biotech firms in Europe. Yet two late-2003 deals-CeNeS' acquisition of TheraSci, and Develogen's merger with Peptor-may point to more consolidation both in public and private European biotech during 2004. And the early signs are that such deals may be driven less by sheer desperation, and more by a recognition of what both public and private investors want.
Astex Technology's takeover of Schering AG spin-out metaGen Pharmaceuticals provides the Cambridge-based firm with more cash, a stronger relationship with a pharmaceutical partner, complementary technology assets, and, potentially, an improved preclinical pipeline. MetaGen investors inch closer to an exit by trading stakes in an early-stage, unfloatable company for a piece of a more mature, well-funded firm several steps closer to an IPO.
The combination of Dutch firm Kiadis and Germany's Biofrontera, a technological fit, now needs to score with investors and provide the proposed new firm with enough cash to survive the biotech drought.