Mayo bounces back in biotech
Sunday 26 February 2006
Celtic Pharma, based in Bermuda but with offices in London and New York, is the only fund of its kind that focuses on buying drugs rather than companies. The firm trawls cash-starved biotech companies for promising late-stage drugs that it intends to shepherd through clinical development. The firm hopes that once the drugs get to approval it will be ableto sell them to big pharmaceutical groups.
"There is a capital drought in the biotech sector and a pipeline problem in the pharma sector," said Mr Mayo, the joint founder. "We're basically arbitraging those two conditions."
Mr Mayo, a former banker, helped demerge Zeneca from ICI and then moved to Marconi, where he led a disastrous acquisition spree. The other founder is Stephen Evans-Frekes, who sold his biotech company, Sugen, to Pharmacia, now Pfizer, for $720m in 1999.
Celtic expects to close its first $500m fund next month, and then plans to raise $500m in mezzanine funds to bring its available cash to $1bn.
Since June, the company has accumulated a portfolio of eight drugs and plans to acquire up to 20 in total. "Measured in that way, it would make us one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world," said Mr Mayo.
The firm's first drug due for approval is a pain-relieving gel for osteoarthritis sufferers. Celtic says it could replace the $5bn in sales that evaporated after Merck's Vioxx was withdrawn and others in its class, such as Celebrex, were forced to add strong warnings to their labels.
The drug's approval in Switzer- land is expected next year and approval in major markets would come in 2008.
Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 'Necrophilia-obsessed' girl among double murder accused in three-way sex case
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000 first year: SThree: The SThree group i...
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...