Sunday 21 January 2018

Biohaven to set up Irish pharma unit after New York IPO

Biohaven plans to set up an Irish base for clinical trials. Stock image
Biohaven plans to set up an Irish base for clinical trials. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Biohaven Pharmaceuticals which is planning to raise $125m (€114m) through a New York stock market flotation, will create an Irish subsidiary following the initial public offering that will become its main operating vehicle.

Biohaven is expected to have a market valuation of about $550m (€503m).

The company is a clinical-stage biopharma business, with a portfolio of product candidates targeting neurological disorders, including rare diseases.

Registered in the British Virgin Islands, it has its US office in New Haven, Connecticut.

It unveiled plans earlier this month for its stock market debut, and this week said its shares would be priced at between $14 and $16 each.

"Following this offering, we expect to form an additional subsidiary that will be incorporated under the laws of Ireland," it noted.

"We expect that this Irish subsidiary will be the principal operating company for conducting our business and the entity that will hold our intellectual property rights in certain of our product candidates."

Biohaven is headed by CEO Vlad Coric, who was previously a group director of global clinical research at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The company has already raised $100m from private placements, with the most recent funding round last month.

Biohaven intends to use the proceeds of its flotation to fund clinical trials of two shelved drugs it acquired from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Astra Zeneca.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb drug, Rimegepant, will be developed by Biohaven to treat acute migraine.

Bristol-Myers Squibb had previously shelved the product after phase two trials it conducted, when data raised doubts about its efficacy compared to a generic drug.

Biohaven's non-executive directors include Declan Doogan. A former Pfizer executive, he was also at one stage acting CEO of Elan-backed Amarin.

Amarin's shareholders at one stage included financier Dermot Desmond's IIU vehicle, Ryanair founder Tony Ryan and Icon founder John Climax.

Biohaven intends to commence clinical trials of the migraine treatment in the second half of this year.

It also anticipates securing clinical trial results next year for another drug used to treat ataxia, a condition where sufferers lose control of voluntary body movements.

Irish Independent

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