Trust formerly led by Woodford sells Carrick Therapeutics stake at discount

Irish biopharmaceutical company stake part of package sold to Rosetta Capital

Elaine Sullivan co-founded Carrick Therapeutics in 2016.

Elaine Sullivan co-founded Carrick Therapeutics in 2016.

 

Schroder UK Public Private Trust, which was previously led by disgraced fund manager Neil Woodford, has sold its stake in Irish biopharmaceutical company Carrick Therapeutics at a marked discount.

The fund recently sold its shareholding in Carrick and another six companies to life-science venture capital firm Rosetta Capital for a combined £52 million (€60 million). This marks an aggregate 22 per cent discount on the value of those companies since September 2020.

The fund’s stake in Carrick was valued at £18.2 million at that time. The deal has just completed with Schroder this week saying the Carrick stake “will be revalued as a result of the implications from the Rosetta transaction”.

Carrick, which is focused on developing pioneering treatments to defeat many of the most aggressive and resistant cancers, launched in 2016 after raising $95 million with Woodford Investment Management among the backers.

Formerly known as the Woodford Patient Capital Trust, the fund rebranded in December 2019 when asset manager Schroders took it over shortly after Mr Woodford’s empire imploded.

Schroder UK Public Private Trust said this week its net asset value declined from £398 million in September 2020 to £318 million at the end of December, largely due to writedowns on portfolio companies.

Other portfolio companies that have experienced recent writedowns but which were not part of the Rosetta sale, include cancer treatment group Rutherford Health and Atom Bank.

Shares in the investment trust fell by nearly 11 per cent on Wednesday following the writedown disclosure.

Entrepreneur

Carrick Therapeutics was co-founded by Elaine Sullivan, a former vice-president for research and development at both US drugs giant Eli Lilly and British peer AstraZeneca. The company is privately held in Dublin with operations in the UK and US.

Dr Sullivan was named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year at the EY awards in 2018 and was also a finalist in The Irish Times Business Awards. In 2019 she relinquished her role as chief executive of the company after it established operations in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr Sullivan now has a role as “executive entrepreneur and adviser to the board of directors” at Carrick with industry veteran Tim Pearson now serving as chief executive.

In addition to Carrick, Woodford was also an investor in Irish life-science investment company Malin with US hedge fund Pentwater Capital buying the 23 per cent stake in the group in October 2019.

Malin on Friday completed the sale of its investee company Kymab to Sanofi for $1.1 billion and it is expected to receive $113 million up front and may potentially gain a further $33 million from the milestone payments.

The Schroder Trust will receive an initial $82 million for its stake in Kymab and also stands to net a further $33 million in future payments.