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ShouTi secures $100M to hit biologic and peptide targets with small molecules

ShouTi Pharmaceuticals, a startup that brings computational techniques to drug discovery, has raised $100 million in Series B financing. The clinical-stage biotech designs small molecules intended to do the work of biologic and peptide drugs.

Four big pharma companies team up in AI initiative focused on drug R&D

A new startup initiative in Israel aims to create and invest in startups that use artificial intelligence to address challenges in drug discovery and development. Called AION Labs, this innovation lab stems from an economic development effort from the Israeli government and will have contributions from AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer and Teva Pharmaceutical.

Tentarix Bio unveils $50M for biologics with multiple functions, multiple targets

Biotech startup Tentarix Biotherapeutics has come out of stealth with $50 million and technology that develops biologic drugs endowed with multiple functions. The company aims to develop new multispecific biologic drugs for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Exo Therapeutics adds $78M as cancer, inflammation drugs march toward clinic

Biotech startup Exo Therapeutics aims to overcome the challenges of drugging proteins by targeting exosites, locations that modulate enzyme activity. The company has four small molecule drug candidates for cancer and inflammation, and the company plans to use the $78 million in new financing to advance them toward human testing.

Clinical trials vendor TrialSpark raises $156M to transform into a drug company

TrialSpark, a startup whose software manages various aspects of clinical trials, is becoming a drug developer. Led by CEO and cofounder Benjamine Liu, the company now plans to to acquire or partner on drug candidates, and to invest in biotech companies.

Anji Pharma adds $70M for clinical trials, expansion of ‘hub and spoke’ biz model

Cross-border biotech Anji Pharma closed $70 million in Series B funding to advance a drug pipeline that includes metabolic and cancer drugs. The biotech’s business model of finding promising drugs and forming subsidiaries to develop them is similar to approaches taken by Roivant Sciences and BridgeBio Pharma, among others.

Psychedelic drugs, but safer: Delix raises $70M to bring new neuro meds to clinic

Delix Therapeutics is developing drugs that offer the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic drugs, but without the hallucinations and other side effects that accompany these compounds. The startup has closed $70 million in Series A financing as it works to bring its lead candidates into the clinic next year.

Aiming for better genetic medicines delivery, startup GenEdit grabs $26M

Biotech startup GenEdit is developing polymer nanoparticle technology to deliver genetic medicines, an approach intended to avoid the limitations of viral vectors. Already partnered with a clinical-stage company, it now has financial support from a big pharma giant that joined a syndicate of investors in a $26 million Series A round.

Dice’s IPO roll comes up with $204M for R&D of oral drugs to rival biologics

Dice Therapeutics raised $204 million from its IPO to support development of oral drugs that could compete against biologic drugs that are injected or infused. Also debuting on the public markets were Tyra Biosciences and Procept BioRobotics.

Neuro startup Vanqua Bio emerges with $85M and a first focus on Parkinson’s

Vanqua Bio aims to treat rare form of Parkinson’s disease by boosting activity of an enzyme that is deficient in patients who have a particular genetic mutation. With $85 million in Series B financing, the biotech startup, which is based on Northwestern University research, aims to reach human testing within two years.

A year that changed the world – and medical companies’ fortunes

While Covid sent many firms to the wall, others prospered by spotting opportunities, from test kits to mask coatings The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on business, gutting high streets as familiar names fell into receivership. But for some less well-known firms, the past 18 months have been transformational. Those that have thrived did …

A year that changed the world – and medical companies’ fortunes Read More »

Genetic meds pioneer James Wilson has a new startup, this time in gene editing

Biotech startup iECURE is based on work from the University of Pennsylvania scientist, who has been researching ways to use in vivo gene editing as a way to “knock in” healthy versions of a gene to treat rare liver diseases. The company, which will develop therapeutic candidates from Penn, has raised $50 million in Series …

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Startup A-Alpha Bio sets out to solve a major protein problem facing big pharma

A-Alpha Bio’s technology analyzes millions of protein-protein interactions simultaneously, a capability that speeds up drug discovery research. Biotech industry partners are already using the technology and now with $20 million in Series A funding, the startup plans to build machine-learning capabilities to crunch the data produced by all of those protein interactions.

Blood disorder biotech Disc Medicine gets $90M to bring two drugs into Phase 2

A Roche drug that failed as a treatment for neurological disorders is now the lead program for Disc Medicines. CEO John Quisel said Roche’s clinical data showed the small molecule’s promise addressing a rare blood disorder and now the biotech startup has $90 million to advance that drug and another one into Phase 2 testing.

Asher Bio’s encouraging early data against rival cancer drug sparks $108M financing

Five months after raising $55 million to back a new technology and a promising lead cancer immunotherapy, Asher Biotherapeutics has reeled in $108 million more. CEO Craig Gibbs said investors were enticed by encouraging new data suggesting Asher Bio’s lead program is superior to a competitor’s.

A biotech startup’s hunt for elusive disease targets scores $60M for drug R&D

Atavistik Bio is one of several companies discovering and developing drugs that work by allostery, binding to less obvious sites of a target protein. Acting CEO John Josey said the startup aims to stand apart with its focus on understanding metabolic interactions, a path less trodden by others in allosteric drug discovery.

Four biotech startup reel in $238M in financing to ramp up for clinical trials

Vigil Neuroscience led the way with a $90 million round of funding, one of four biotech companies to close Series B financing rounds in the past week. The fresh capital comes as each of the companies looks ahead to bringing their respective drugs into the clinic.

Eli Lilly joins $30M Series A financing for startup bringing AI analysis to endoscopy

The artificial intelligence-based technology of Iterative Scopes brings computer vision analysis to endoscopic images. The startup’s technology was initially developed to assist gastroenterologists in finding pre-cancerous polyps but CEO and founder Jonathan Ng said it’s also finding additional use helping pharmaceutical companies identify patients for clinical trials.

Icosavax’s $182M IPO haul is key for RSV, but eyes are on its Covid vaccine too

Icosavax’s research developing a vaccine for a virus that can lead to deadly respiratory infections in the very young and the very old has found an additional application in the pursuit of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The biotech’s $182 million IPO gives it the capital to move forward with clinical research on multiple …

Icosavax’s $182M IPO haul is key for RSV, but eyes are on its Covid vaccine too Read More »

Ring Therapeutics rounds up $117M to find better viral vectors for gene therapy

The engineered viruses used to deliver gene therapies can spark complications and they can’t be re-dosed. Ring Therapeutics says viruses that evolved with humans can be better viral vectors and the startup has raised $117 million in new financing to continue its research.

AI-driven Deep Genomics gets $180M to turn biology into informational medicines

Softbank led the Series C round of funding for Deep Genomics, a startup that applies its artificial intelligence technology to all aspects of discovering and developing new drugs. The Deep Genomics platform has yielded 10 programs; CEO Brendan Frey aims to advance four of them to the clinic in two years, all while tripling the …

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Amylyx Pharmaceuticals raises $135M as ALS drug heads to pivotal clinical trial

An amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug from Amylyx Pharmaceuticals is being prepared for Phase 3 clinical testing on track to begin later this quarter. To support that research, the biotech has raised $135 million in financing.

Frontier Medicines raises $88M for R&D, including potential rival to Amgen cancer drug

Cancer drug developer Frontier Medicines already has a research partnership with AbbVie. Now the preclinical-stage biotech has raised $88.5 million for its own pipeline, including a drug that could offer advantages over a recently approved Amgen cancer therapy.

Erasca’s IPO leads the way as three cancer biotechs raise $534M for clinical trials

Cancer drug developer Erasca, whose mission is to “erase cancer,” has raised $300 million from its IPO. The clinical-stage biotech addresses a single elusive cancer target; it has multiple programs taking multiple approaches, two of them in human testing and the rest on track to join them.

Wugen unveils $172M to take natural killer cell therapies to solid tumors

Wugen, a biotech developing “off-the-shelf” natural killer and CAR T cell therapies, has raised $172 million in Series B financing. The company’s lead program has already reached human testing and the new capital will be used to continue that research and advance other pipeline programs to the clinic.

PAQ Therapeutics scores $30M to unleash “Pac Man” drugs on neuro disease

Startup PAQ Therapeutics is developing drugs work like Pac Man, gobbling up components of a cell associated with disease. The biotech has closed $30 million in financing to continue its research, with a neurodegenerative disorder as its lead disease target.

CRO Parexel changes private equity hands again, this time for $8.5B

Four years after a private equity acquisition took Parexel private, the contract research organization is being acquired by two private equity firms for $8.5 billion. It’s the latest in a series of acquisitions to hit the CRO sector this year.

Northpond, 5AM Ventures lead $45M funding for CAMP4’s trek to new RNA therapies

CAMP4 Therapeutics is developing a new kind of RNA therapy that treats disease by upregulating gene expression. The startup has raised $45 million as CEO Josh Mandel-Brehm steers toward clinical trials expected to begin next year in liver and brain diseases.

Pioneering a new realm of biology, startup Senda Bio expands financing to $98M

Senda Biosciences is developing drugs based on an understanding of intersystems biology—the way that humans interact with bacteria and plants. The startup, founded by Flagship Pioneering, has added $55 million to advance its three lead programs to clinical testing next year.

Versant Ventures unveils new startup that stabilizes proteins to treat disease

Stablix Therapeutics is developing technology that uses small molecules to stabilize a protein, keeping it from going to a cell’s built-in disposal system. The startup now has $63 million in funding to further invest in the technology and advance its first molecules toward the clinic.

Engine Biosciences revs up $43M for AI tech that yields targeted cancer therapies

Engine Biosciences closed a $43 million Series A financing that the startup will apply to its artificial intelligence-based technology for drug discovery. The company analyzes genetic interactions, “deciphering biology” to find new cancer drugs.

Backed by $92M, startup Interline aims to shed new light on protein communities

Interline Therapeutics has technology that shows how proteins interact as communities, paving the way for the discovery of new drugs. CEO Zachary Sweeney, a Denali Therapeutics veteran, said the startup will use the $92 million in funding to advance programs in cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Perceptive Advisors closes $515M fund to fuel more early-stage biotech startups

Perceptive Advisors has $515 million for its second fund investing in biotech startups. Portfolio Manager Chris Garabedian says Perceptive Xontogeny Ventures Fund II is looking to make Series A investments in early-stage companies with assets that can show a path to clinical testing.

Andreessen Horowitz leads $100M Series A round in Dyno and its gene therapy tech

Dyno Therapeutics’ technology for designing viral vectors that deliver gene therapies has led to partnerships with Novartis, Sarepta Therapeutics, and Roche. With the Series A financing, the startup plans to expand its technology to address more tissue types, and potentially add more partners.

Neuroelectrics gets $17M for new take on electrical therapy for epilepsy, depression

Neuroelectrics is planning a pivotal test of its wearable medical device, which delivers brain electrical stimulation to treat epilepsy. The startup’s Series A round of funding was led by Morningside Ventures.

Gene therapy funding frenzy reaches Affinia as it reels in $110M in new capital

Affinia Therapeutics, which has technology that could deliver gene therapies to more tissue types in the body, raised the Series B financing as it looks ahead to clinical testing. The biotech is the latest company to close a substantial round of funding for gene therapy technology.

Capsida unveils $140M, AbbVie alliance & tech that takes gene therapy to the brain

Capsida Biotherapeutics’ technology can engineer viral vectors that deliver gene therapies to central nervous system cells. With that capability gave the startup was able to raise $50 million in Series A financing and a multi-drug research alliance AbbVie.

Investors flock to life sciences as UK sector breaks funding record

Covid crisis spurs growing interest in drugmakers, diagnostics and medical equipment firms UK drugmakers, diagnostics, medical equipment and other life sciences companies have raised £10.6bn from private funding rounds and stock market flotations in the first three months of the year, more than half of last year’s record total, according to a report. Last year, …

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Two new biotechs unveil $112M combined for antibody drug conjugates for cancer

The list of FDA-approved antibody drug conjugates (ADC) is growing, and two more biotech startups have emerged from stealth with new cash and new approaches to this type of cancer drug. Adcendo and Adcentrx raised a combined $112 from their Series A financings.

Startup Boundless Bio brings in $105M to break the circle behind cancer growth

Boundless Bio’s research has uncovered a previously unknown driver of cancer growth and drug resistance. With $105 million in Series B financing, the biotech is on a path to bring to the clinic small molecules that address this target, called extrachromosomal DNA.

Biotech startup Repertoire adds $189M to expand array of immune medicines

With two cancer programs already making progress, Repertoire Immune Medicines will use the Series B financing to expand its immune synapse research to autoimmune disorders and infectious disease. CEO John Cox said his startup’s approach could advance immune medicines beyond the scope of currently available therapies.

Ventus Therapeutics tacks on $100M to take on ‘undruggable’ disease targets

RA Capital led Ventus Therapeutics’ Series B financing, which the startup will use to develop its pipeline of medicines for “undruggable” disease targets. CEO Marcelo Bigal said the cash also gives Ventus the flexibility to consider an IPO.