Australia: Middletons acts for Mesoblast on the largest biotech deal ever completed in Australia and one of the largest in the world
Last Updated: 2 February 2011

Middletons recently acted for Mesoblast on the largest biotech deal ever completed in Australia and one of the largest in the world. Mesoblast was established in 2004 to develop therapies for patients with bone and joint diseases, and has acquired the worldwide licence to commercialise orthopaedic applications of proprietary adult stem cell technology.

Middletons lead capital markets partner on the deal Andrew Gaffney said "Middletons acted for Mesoblast on an equity and licensing deal with initial upfront payments of approximately US$350 million and milestone payments of up to US$1.7 billion, with Mesoblast retaining the manufacturing rights for its products to be sold to Cephalon. It is believed to be one of the largest phase two stage biotech deals ever completed, with many commentators now suggesting the entire potential deal value to be well over US$2 billion plus revenue sharing."

Middletons lead biotechnology partner on the deal, Peter Howard said "Middletons has long acted for Mesoblast since the company's inception and its initial public offering in 2004. It is always very satisfying to see our clients grow with us."

Mr Howard said "Mesoblast has granted Cephalon exclusive rights to commercialise specified cardiac, central nervous disorder and oncology products based on the Mesoblast's proprietary adult stem cell technology platform. The deal does not include the areas of orthopaedics, diabetes, eye diseases and immune based inflammatory diseases which are retained by Mesoblast. "

Mr Howard said "This is a fantastic outcome for our client and a transformational deal for both parties. Under the deal, Cephalon will now partner with Mesoblast on clinical development and delivery and Mesoblast is free to use the technology in its other applications outside of this mutually beneficial relationship."

Mr Gaffney said, "This deal was truly unique with no bankers or financiers involved on the transaction for Mesoblast. Middletons acted in concert with US law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati."

Mr Howard said, "We have specialised qualifications which, when coupled with industry experience in the biotechnology sector, is extremely valuable to businesses like Mesoblast. We have intimate knowledge of the process required to take technologies from concept to product to market and the key players and steps required along the way."

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