Exscientia buys with Cooley and Kunz Wallentin in Vienna for «JUVE

The British pharmatech company Exscientia is building a location for the European Union in Vienna. Part of this strategy is the takeover of Allcyte, an Austrian provider in the field of data-driven pharmaceutical research. The purchase price is 50 million euros, official approvals are pending.

Daniel Liemberger

Daniel Liemberger

Allcyte enables pharmaceutical companies to select promising drugs for clinical development in the right patient populations. This can improve clinical trial success rates and patient benefits. Allcyte has developed a first clinically validated platform for this and uses a selection process that uses artificial intelligence.

The company started in 2017 as a spin-off of the Vienna CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine, which is part of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The founders include Berend Snijder, Gregory Vladimer, Nikolaus Krall and Giulio Superti-Furga. At the time of a financing round of six million euros in March 2021, Allcyte employed around 30 people.

Exscientia bought the Viennese start-up shortly after completing its own financing round for 225 million US dollars. In the course of this, the Vision Fund 2 from SoftBank as well as funds from BlackRock and Mubadala Investment participated. So far the company has locations in Oxford, Miami, Osaka and Dundee.

The British Pharmatech company is one of the first providers of small molecules in clinical development to be created with the help of artificial intelligence. There are currently three active ingredients in the first trial phase in which this technology was used.

Adviser to Exscientia
Cooley (London): Michal Berkner; Associate: Dan Jackson (beide Corporate/M&A)
Kunz Wallentin (Vienna): Daniel Liemberger, Dr. Peter Kunz (both lead; both corporate / M & A); Associates: Martin Fink (public law / real estate law), Lukas Straganz (labor / corporate law), Wolfgang Stenzel (banking and insurance law), Hannah Fadinger, Verena Scharrer (both contract / corporate law; all trainee lawyers)

Roman Rericha

Roman Rericha

Adviser to Allcyte shareholders
Brandl Talos (Vienna): Roman Rericha; Associates: Stephan Strass, Céline Dobnikar (all Corporate / M & A; Last Lawyer)

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Consultant 42Cap
Editing Möllmann (Berlin): Dr. Frederik Gärtner (Corporate), Jens Kretzschmann (Taxes)

Background: Kunz Wallentin’s Viennese consultants came to the British Exscientia through Cooley and advised on investment control, due diligence and the purchase agreement under Austrian law. In the meantime, trainee lawyer Wolfgang Stenzel moved to the Held Berdnik Astner law firm in Graz in June.

Cooley advised Exscientia in the spring on a Series D financing round of over USD 225 million, at that time the London partners Claire Keast-Butler and Tom Goodman were mandated. Shortly thereafter, Exscientia announced a collaboration with US pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb, the value of which could be as high as $ 1.2 billion. Allen & Overy advised the company on this agreement.

On the seller side, Brandl Talos was in charge of the transaction. Together with a Berlin team from Schnittker Möllmann, the law firm advised a group of investors around 42Cap on joining Allcyte in March 2021. This is how the contact with the founders there came about, which now led to the mandate at the exit.

In turn, Schnittker Möllmann advises 42Cap on a permanent basis, including on investments, and safeguarded the interests of the venture capitalist in the transaction. When it joined the company in March, the partners Gärtner and Kretschmann advised the investment house as well as the other European financiers Push Ventures, VP Venture Partners, Air Street Capital and Amino Collective.

Two separate teams from Ernst & Young acted as tax advisors for the transaction. (Raphael Arnold)