9 April 2020

Business (not quite) as usual


Consilium’s life in lockdown

It has been an unprecedented past few weeks and the Consilium team has been as busy as ever helping clients communicate during the COVID-19 crisis. Coronavirus has undoubtedly changed the way we all work and while it’s very true that we have missed face to face interactions with our clients and colleagues, the Consilium team has quickly adapted to the “new normal” aided by the smart technology we now have at our disposal to stay connected. In many ways, embracing video conferencing and virtual meetings has been a great opportunity to get to see our clients and colleagues in a more informal setting – as you will see from some of the pictures below.

Despite the disruption and the plethora of announcements we have advised on surrounding COVID-19, including delays to preliminary results, COVID-19 impact statements and new AGM venues to name but a few, we have seen some exceptional transactions from our clients cross the line. These include some significant partnering and licensing deals, with Oxford Biomedica signing a new Licence and Clinical Supply Agreement with Juno Therapeutics, a Bristol-Myers Squibb company, worth up to $227 million as well as potential additional royalties; Silence Therapeutics signing a $400m collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop new siRNA-based medicines; and Sitryx securing an impressive $880 million drug development deal with Lilly to develop new immunometabolic medicines. Fundraisings by our clients have continued including Synairgen which raised £14m to progress its live COVID-19 clinical trial, iTeos which raised a $125m Series B2 round, 4BIO Capital’s portfolio company Redpin which raised $15 million and miDiagnostics which raised €14 million, demonstrating that innovative companies can raise money even in these difficult market conditions. We also welcomed the news by Gilde Healthcare in Europe which closed a new $450 million venture and growth capital fund and other US funds which have been announcing similar hefty new healthcare funds.

These successful transactions, and some of the work being undertaken by our clients in response to the COVID-19 crisis, mobilising rapidly to investigate new therapies, vaccines and rapid diagnostics, remind us of some important truths. First, that our sector is resilient and will continue to function and innovate as we move through the crisis and second, that for the time being at least, cash remains king to companies and investors. Let’s hope we are back to the “old normal” soon. Thank you to all our clients for your support and to our Consilium teams in Europe and the US for your continued hard work and dedication.

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