Shadbolts handed bioscience instruction

Shadbolt & Co, KLegal and SJ Berwin have advised on the £25.5m third-round funding of biotechnology company Microscience, with Shadbolts advising the company. The investment was provided by Advent Partners and JP Morgan, as well as existing backers Merlin and Apax Partners Funds. The deal cements Shadbolts' relationship with Microscience, which it nabbed from Clifford Chance during the company's 1999 second-round funding.
Clifford Chance advised Microscience in its first-round funding in 1997. Merlin, the venture capital company that put up the money for this first deal, was advised by Patrick Martin at KLegal, who was at PricewaterhouseCoopers' lin-ked firm Arnheim Tite & Lewis at the time. When it needed second-round funding in 1999, venture capital company Apax partners came on board, advised by SJ Berwin. Clifford Chance advised until the early stages of that funding were completed.
“We took over because I knew the finance director at Microscience, who'd started looking around for other advisers to use instead of Clifford Chance. I believe the decision was made because of cost,” said Shadbolts corporate partner Andrew Trotter.
In this third-round funding, new backers Advent and JP Morgan, as well as Apax and Merlin, were advised by SJ Berwin partner Perry Yam. Martin also resurfaced at this stage, advising Merlin, which had followed him when he left Arnheim to become one of KLegal's founding partners in 1999.
Advising Microscience in the third-round funding was complex, said Trotter, as he had to negotiate bedding down the new investors with the company's existing backers. “We basically rewrote the constitution of the company, which was a long and complex exercise,” he said. “The company had a different number of investors in the past, so we had to negotiate the stake and the priority that each investor would now have.”
The new funding will push five new vaccines through clinical trials. Microscience expects the new drugs to increase the company's value, enabling it to float on the stock market in the next few years.