Mesobast have voted almost unanimously in favour of the company acquiring its US subsidiary Angioblast Systems, increasing its 32.6 percent stake to full ownership." />

Mesoblast shareholders approve Angioblast acquisition

By David Binning
Thursday, 23 September, 2010

Shareholders in regenerative medicine company Mesobast have voted almost unanimously in favour of the company acquiring its US subsidiary Angioblast Systems, increasing its 32.6 percent stake to full ownership.

The merger will result in Mesoblast having a market capitalisation of over $600 million, making it the world’s largest stem cell company and the fourth largest Australian biotech company behind majors CSL, Cochlear and ResMed.

Company chairman, Brian Jamieson, said that the "strategic acquisition will transform Mesoblast from a biologics company focused on orthopaedic applications to a global leader in the broader regenerative medicine industry".

He told shareholders that the transaction would deliver a number of important commercial benefits. Chief among these was unifying the two company’s assets together with the MPC adult stem cell technology platform under the one roof. Shareholders would therefore stand to gain from potential commercial opportunities across a range of applications spanning cardiac, eye, diabetes and oncology.

Mesoblast is also hopeful that the merged entity will be in better position to seek out and negotiate strategic partnerships in the future.

In addition approaving the mrger, Mesoblast shareholders also voted to approve a $35.8 million capital raising to go towards to the development of opportunities in the UK and Australia.

Angioblast represents an important entryway to the all important US market. There the company has enjoyed considerable success commercialising the MPS platform for several non-orthopaedic applications including for oncology, heart disease, diabetes and eye disease. Two of the company’s products are currently in late stage clinical development for conditions spanning congestive heart failure to bone marrow transplant for patients with blood cancers.

Angioblast’s Phase 2 trial for congestive heart failure is almost complete, with current data indicating the potential for a major mind shift in the treatment of heart failure, currently the number one cause of mortality and hospitalisation in the Western world. The company’s other lead product for patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation is expected to greatly improve transplant survival, increase numbers of donors, and therefore increase the number of transplants able to be performed for patients who might otherwise die.

In an industry best by controversy and opposition, Mesoblast garnered valuable kudos in July when the TGA (therapeutic goods administration) granted the company a licence to manufacture and supply its MPC products in Australia, the first such licence granted for a stem cell product anywhere in the world.

Shortly after that announcement the company reported an increased full year net loss of $14.8 million. Nevertheless, investors continue to warm to the Mesoblast story, with the company’s shares up around 30 percent since the full year results were announced.

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