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Summarizing the month in European dealmaking.
Alizyme's out-licensing pact with Takeda for Japanese rights to the UK biotech's Phase II anti-obesity compound ATL-962 underscores the practical and funding advantages of a Japanese-market deal as a precursor to negotiating US and European licenses. Opportunities for other European biotechs to do the same may increase: Takeda's willingness to develop a still relatively early-stage compound in a tricky development area highlights Japanese firms' particularly acute need for pipeline products.
DanioLabs Ltd. was established in October 2001 to develop new drugs for neuro-ophthalmologic disorders. Frustrated at the lack of effective treatments available in these areas, the company's founder set about using zebrafish models of human disease to identify both novel drug targets and effective new drugs. Zebrafish can be manipulated to provide particularly good models of a number of human diseases, including CNS, ophthalmologic, digestive and cardiovascular system disorders.
Alizyme's GBP16.1 million, barely discounted placing and open offer illustrates its investors' faith in its low-risk business model and maturing pipeline. It also provides leverage for negotiating the out-licensing deals those investors now expect.