SWORD-financing (Stock and Warrant Off-Balance Sheet Research & Development) is a special form of financing invented to help young biotech companies access capital to finance their R&D via establishing SPE (special purpose entity).

Innovation is vital to biotech firms. However, uncertainty of the commercial viability and regulatory approval of new products and technologies makes innovation a very risky undertaking. Conventional internal financing of innovation is generally not possible because biotech firms tend to be small with meager profits and few cash resources. SWORD financing is used to encourage innovation by diversifying risk across wide financial markets. SWORD provides investors an opportunity to identify and finance underfunded, yet attractive projects. An SPE acts as an intermediary between the parent company and the investors, separating the project from the existing liabilities of the parent company. To provide flexibility and liquidity for all the parties, an SPE issues special securities (units) and raises finance via public or private offerings. In essence, one unit is a portfolio consisting of one share of SPE’s equity, one warrant to purchase a share of the parent firms' common stock, and a call option for the parent firm to buy back shares of SPE.

ee also

*Hybrid security
*Seniority (finance)
*Venture lending

External links

* [http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sword.asp Investopedia.com]
* [http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-14444761.html SWORD financing of innovation in the biotechnology industry]
* [http://www.fma.org/SLC/DSS/Theodossiou_doctoral.pdf Reasons for Financing R&D using the SWORD structure by Alexandra K. Theodossiou]
* [http://www.jstor.org/pss/3665868 Michael E. Solt. SWORD Financing of Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry]

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