Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And the 2010 Financing/Exit DOTY Nominees Are ...

OK, IN VIVO blog readers, it's time to have your say. We've supplied the nominations but YOU will decide the winners. Once again we've created a special page so you can vote on all three categories in one place. Remember you much click on the "VOTE" button in each individual category--Alliance, M&A, and Exit/Financing--to record your choices.


Below, in no particular order, are the nominees for IVB's 2010 Financing/Exit Deal of the Year!

ABLEXIS: Ablexis, which is developing a next-generation antibody-discovery platform around its proprietary AlivaMab mice, was founded in December 2009 and raised a $12 million Series A from Third Rock and Pfizer Venture Investments in June 2010. The company's nomination is less for its Series A and more about the baked-in exit for investors provided by the biotech's five-member pharma consortium. Those companies have non-exclusively opted-in to receive Ablexis' mouse platform for an undisclosed seven-figure fee and will owe an undisclosed eight-figure sum upon delivery. That cash can then be distributed to Ablexis' investors. Read our full nomination post here.

INCLINE THERAPEUTICS: The story of Incline Therapeutics’ $43.5 million Series A funding begins with Johnson & Johnson's decision to close Alza and sell its Ionsys electronic fentanyl patch to this start-up, backed by Cadence Pharma and some of that company's investors. As part of the deal Cadence has structured a two-time option to acquire Incline should that patch perform between now and 2013. Thus, Incline's financing is a sign of the times, demonstrating that when VCs commit large amounts of capital, they’re willing to negotiate upfront for a speedy, healthy return. Read our full nomination post here.

IRONWOOD PHARMACEUTICALS: Ironwood's monster $203 million IPO didn't just provide temporary financial independence or give the company the biggest pre-money IPO valuation for a biotech in history. More importantly, it made real the company's unusual dual-class share structure, which concentrates decisions around change-of-control (and only change of control) in the hands of long-term, pre-IPO shareholders as a means of warding off hostile offers and unwanted activist shareholder involvement. If Ironwood is able to build a freestanding pharmaceutical company on the back of its promising IBS/constipation drug candidate linaclotide, the reason it will be able to remain independent was cemented into place with this offering. Read our full nomination post here.

CASTLIGHT: If ever a financing represents the new business and market opportunities now in play because of health care reform, surely it's the Castlight deal, a $60 million Series C inked in June. Castlight, founded in 2008 as Ventana Health Services, aims to solve one of the thornier wickets of health care delivery: the issue of pricing transparency for medical services. Castlight aims to illuminate the murky arena of health care pricing, creating an algorithm that allows users to search a database of providers to determine out-of-pocket costs for various procedures. Read our full nomination post here.

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