BRISBANE-BASED biotechnology company Protagonist has raised $11.9 million in venture capital from two US investors and one local fund with the help of McCullough Robertson .
The company will use the cash raised from Lilly Ventures and Starfish Ventures in the US and Queensland BioCap Funds for research into the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and diabetes.
The deal also involved Protagonist becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of its US arm. McCulloughs said this meant the funds were raised in conjunction with a US “flip up”, with all the Australian shareholders becoming shareholders of the new US parent.
McCulloughs said it was critically important in these cross border deals that each party understands the differences in law between the two jurisdictions.
“We find it particularly the case when we’ve got, as with Protagonist, an Australian company, which is familiar with the Australian obligation,” said Samantha Morris, a solicitor working on the deal.
[We need to] walk them through the points of difference between Australian and US law.” “We are delighted with the result,” commented Reece Walker, a senior associate at McCulloughs.
“Working closely with US counsel, we were able to achieve a result everyone was happy with. This was largely due to open communication between all parties, which ensured all stakeholders were kept informed throughout the process, and were able to suggest a solution to any issue.”
As well as Walker and Morris, lawyers in McCulloughs’ corporate advisory and intellectual property groups worked on the deal, including lead partner Malcolm McBratney.