Biotech Market Capitalisation
The 64 listed biotech companies tracked by BBI recorded a market cap increase of 7.5% over Q1 2010, from $23.4b to
$25.1b.1 Most of this increase can be attributed to the gains of CSL with a market cap increase of 10.3%, from $19.1b to
$21.1b.1 CSL is Australia’s largest biotechnology company and at the end of Q1 2010 it accounted for 84% of the total
market capitalisation of the BBI tracked companies.
The market cap of the listed biotech companies excluding CSL (63 companies) decreased 5.1% over Q1 2010, from $4.2
to $4.0b.1 54.7% of listed biotech companies trading at the end of Q1 2010 had decreased their market cap. This is the first
quarter since Q4 2008, when the sector recorded a market cap low of $2.1b, that the listed biotech companies (excluding
CSL) have recorded a decrease in market cap.
From Q4 2008 to Q4 2009, the market cap of the Australian listed biotech companies (excluding CSL) grew by 102.2%. At
Q1 2010, the percentage growth since Q1 2009 was 65.4%. The Q1 2010 market cap for BBI tracked companies
(excluding CSL) remains 25.6% below that at Q1 2007, when the market cap for this group recorded a historical high of
The ASX Health Index* increased 3.3% from 8752.5 to 9037.2 during Q1 20101, and is now 15.3 % higher than it was at
the end of Q1 2009.1
Market capitalisation of all listed biotech companies with and without CSL, and ASX Health Index*, by quarter, to
end Q1 2010
25 Listed Biotechs (LHS) 10000
Listed Biotechs - CSL (LHS)
ASX Health Index (RHS)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Year, by quarter
*The ASX Health Index includes healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies.
Significant market capitalisation changes during Q1 2010 include1:
HealthLinx Ltd (ASX:HTX): market cap increased by 94% to $21.0m following the announcement that its UK distribution
partner, Intus Healthcare, was to launch OvPlex™ ovarian cancer test in the UK on 25 February 2010.
Virax Holdings Ltd (ASX:VHL): market cap increased by 79% to $14.0m.
Viralytics Ltd (ASX:VLA): market cap increased by 74% to $22.3m. During Q1 2010, Viralytics announced positive safety
results from its Phase I trial of CAVATAKTM for the treatment of late stage melanoma and were also granted an Australian
patent covering the use of Echoviruses for the treatment of a subset of cancers.
Mesoblast Ltd (ASX:MSB): market cap increased by 50% to $286.3m. During Q1 2010, Mesoblast was granted a US
patent providing exclusive commercial protection for its bone tissue generating products.
BPH Corporate Ltd (ASX:BPH) (Formerly BioPharmica Ltd): market cap increased by 50% to $16.6m following a
successful capital raising of $11.3m. The raising has allowed BPH to initiate its investment option with Advent Energy Ltd,
an unlisted oil and gas exploration company.
Antisense Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ANP): market cap decreased by 60% to $13.0m on news of the termination of a
licensing agreement with Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd for the development of the lead compound for multiple sclerosis,
ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX: CXS): market cap decreased by 56% to $123.3m following the announcement
from the FDA’s Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee requesting that the diagnostic test for the chronic myeloid leukaemia
drug Omapro™ be reviewed prior to approval.
Mergers & Acquisitions/Name Changes/Secondary Capital Raisings2
Freedom Eye Ltd (ASX:FYI): announced the acquisition of a uranium exploration license from Empire Resources Ltd.
This marks its move out of the life sciences sector into the materials sector. As at 31 March 2010, Freedom Eye was
seeking re-quotation on the ASX and a change in name to FYI Resources Ltd.
Calzada Ltd (ASX:CZD): achieved 100% ownership of PolyNovo Biomaterials Pty Ltd following the acquisition of
remaining shares from Xceed Capital Ltd and CSIRO. In exchange, Xceed and CSIRO now hold shareholdings in the
Calzada group of 8.7% and 4.7% respectively.
Pharmaxis Ltd (ASX:PXS): completed the acquisition of Topigen Pharmaceuticals Inc, a Canadian private
biopharmaceuticals company, by issuing 3.2m shares to the company. A further 5.0m shares will be issued subject to
preclinical and clinical milestones. Topigen’s R&D is focused on developing treatments for respiratory disorders.
Probiotec Ltd (ASX:PBP): completed the acquisition of all shares in Australian Dairy Proteins Pty Ltd, its former joint
venture with Dairy Farmers Ltd. Probiotec also announced its entry into the sports nutrition market via the acquisition of the
business assets of four sports nutrition brands.
Listed biotech companies that made notable secondary capital raisings over Q1 2010 include: SciGen Ltd (ASX:SIE)
US$8m; Benitec Ltd (ASX:BLT) US$6m; Agenix Ltd (ASX:AGX) A$5m; Prima Biomed Ltd (ASX:PRR) A$2.5m; BPH
Corporate Ltd (ASX:BPH) A$1.9m; Fluorotechnics Ltd (ASX:FLS) A$1.8m; Giaconda Ltd (ASX:GIA) A$1.5m; and Stirling
Products Ltd (ASX:STI) A$1.4m. The combined total of these capital raisings is approximately A$29.7m. This does not
represent all capital raisings for Q1 2010.
CBio Ltd (ASX:CBZ): became the first biotech IPO in 14 months when it listed on 10 February 2010. CBio is a Brisbane
based company established in 2000 and its lead molecule XToll® is in development for the treatment of rheumatoid
arthritis. CBio’s market cap at 31 March 2010 was $19.4m.
Rockeby biomed Ltd (ASX:RBY): The company’s delisting from the ASX was completed on 27 January 2010.
There are now 64 ASX biotech companies included in the BBI list, 8 less than at the end of Q1 2009.
Number of listed biotech companies, IPOs and companies leaving the sector (from 2008 onwards), by quarter, to
end Q1 2010
-1 New IPOs (LHS) -10
-2 Companies Left Sector from 2008 (LHS) -20
Total Listed Companies (RHS)
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Year, by quarter
Clinical trial announcements in Q1 2010 include:
Bionomics Ltd (ASX:BNO) Commenced a Phase II trial of anti-cancer agent BNC105 in patients with
mesothelioma. This is the second Phase II trial of BNC105. The first is underway in the
US for renal cell cancer.
Immuron Ltd (ASX:IMC) Commenced a Phase II trial of its immunotherapy product for the treatment of
Metabolic Syndrome and Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
Pharmaxis Ltd (ASX:PXS) Completed a Phase IIa dose profiling trial with anti-inflammatory agent ASM8 in
patients with allergic asthma. The study met the pre-defined primary efficacy and
Prima BioMed Ltd Commenced a Phase IIb trial for ovarian cancer treatment vaccine CVacTM in the US.
Starpharma Holdings Ltd Successfully completed a Phase IIb trial on safety and acceptability of VivaGel® as a
(ASX:SPL) vaginal microbicide.
Approvals announced in Q1 2010 include:
BioProspect Ltd Regulatory approval in Australia was granted for TERMILONE®, an environmentally
(ASX:BPO) safe termite solution.
Cellestis Ltd (ASX:CST) Regulatory approval in Taiwan has been granted for QuantiFERON®-TB GOLD (QFT®)
In-Tube test for tuberculosis.
Genera Biosystems Ltd PapType Human Papillomavirus (HPV) test kit was approved by the TGA for sale in
Living Cell Technologies Subsidiary company, LCT Biomedical Ltd, was granted registration in Russia for its
Ltd (ASX:LCT) encapsulation device. This allows for the production, sale and use of LCT’s capsules in
delivery applications including cell, drug and biologics.
Biotech companies issued with patents in Q1 2010 include:
Alchemia Ltd (ASX:ACL): granted a Chinese patent relating to its fondaparinux process (generic anticoagulant
medication) for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Antisense Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ANP): granted an Australian patent for its drug ATL1101 for use in prostrate and other
Benitec Ltd (ASX:BLT): granted a Japanese patent for its ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) technology.
Living Cell Technologies Ltd (ASX:LCT): granted a European patent for the use of its product NTCELL in the treatment
of degenerative neurological diseases and stroke.
Mesoblast Ltd (ASX:MSB): granted a US patent for its bone tissue regenerating products that utilise adult stem cells
known as Mesenchymal Precursor Cells.
NuSep Ltd (ASX:NSP): granted a European patent for SpermSep, a biological separation instrument that prepares sperm
for fertility treatments.
Patrys Ltd (ASX:PAB): granted an Australian patent for its product PAT-CM1, a natural human antibody for treatment of
several types of cancer.
Viralytics Ltd (ASX:VLA): granted an Australian patent covering the use of Echoviruses for the treatment of a subset of
cancers, commonly ovarian and gastric cancers.
Australian listed biotech companies entered into a number of global partnerships in Q1 2010 including:
Acrux Ltd and Eli Lilly (USA): signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for the potential commercialisation of
Acrux’s underarm testosterone solution, AXIRON™. The deal is worth US$335m, including US$87m contingent on FDA
market authorisation and up to US$195 million in potential commercialisation milestones.
Alchemia Ltd and Emisphere Technologies (USA): entered into a research partnership to develop an oral formulation of
the generic DVT drug fondaparinux with Emisphere’s Eligen® Technology.
Cellmid Ltd and Pharmahungary (Europe): signed a collaboration agreement for the co-development of midkine, a cell
protecting agent, for heart attack treatment.
Hexima Ltd and Monsanto (USA): signed two non-exclusive research licenses. The first provides Monsanto with a
research license and commercial option to Hexima’s Multi-Gene Expression Vehicle (MGEV) technology. The second
provides Hexima with access to Monsanto’s proprietary cotton Bt insect-control genes which will be used by the company
to advance its MGEV platform.
Living Cell Technologies Ltd and CytoSolv Inc. (USA): entered into a supply and license agreement. In exchange for a
10% share in CytoSolv, a US wound healing company, Living Cell Technologies has granted CytoSolv a non-exclusive,
non-transferable license to use its choroid plexus patents for the purpose of wound healing, and a supply of chorid plexus
cells from its biocertified pig herd.
NeuroDiscovery Ltd and Sosei (Japan): entered into a commercial agreement where NeuroDiscovery has assigned
Sosei its 32% ownership of the NSL-043 program for a potential pain drug. As a result Sosei will have 100% ownership of
the program and will pay NeuroDiscovery a percentage of any future revenue for the life of the granted NSL-043 patent.
Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Cato BioVentures (USA): entered into a 5 year services agreement with Cato
BioVentures (CBV), the venture capital affiliate of contract research organisation Cato Research Ltd (CRL). CRL will be
Neuren’s preferred partner for clinical development.
Starpharma Holdings Ltd and Eli Lilly (USA): announced a collaborative research agreement under which Starpharma’s
drug delivery technology will be applied to drugs in Lilly’s human pharmaceutical portfolio.
Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:NEU): announced that a A$824,000 grant from the NHMRC has been awarded to the
University of Western Australia to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of Motiva™ for the treatment of patients with post-stroke
Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:NEU): announced that its subsidiary company, Perseus Therapeutics, has been
awarded a NZ$250,000 grant from the New Zealand Government to support its Trefoil Factor Inhibition Program, which
aims to develop antibody treatment for breast and other cancers.
Living Cell Technologies Ltd (ASX:LCT): awarded NZ$4.04 million by the New Zealand Government to support the
development of DIABECELL®, the company’s lead product for insulin dependent type 1 diabetes. The funds will be used to
upscale the production of DIABECELL® and to conduct a clinical trial in New Zealand.
1 Trading Room website: www.tradingroom.com.au
2 Australian Securities Exchange website: www.asx.com.au