Vector BioPharma has launched from the biotech startup incubator of Versant Ventures, which is backing the company with a $30 million Series A financing. Vector is developing virus-like particles with the capability to deliver large payloads of genetic medicines to a wide range of tissues.
Technological advances are moving drug discovery work to computers, but experimental medicines still must be tested in animals. Startup Manifold Bio is developing technology that enables the testing of hundreds of molecules in a single mouse, bringing drug hunters valuable in vivo data much earlier in the drug discovery process.
New company Areteia Therapeutics launched with up to $350 million in financing and an asthma drug candidate from Knopp Biosciences. That drug, dexpramipexole, previously failed a pivotal test in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but more recent clinical testing found that the way the small molecule works has applications in eosinophilic asthma, a severe form of the …
In less than one year, ReCode Therapeutics has reeled in $200 million in financing. Big pharmaceutical companies are taking notice of the biotech startup’s technology, which enables lipid nanoparticles to go a wide range of organs and tissues, potentially broadening the reach of genetic medicines.
Ten biotech companies were able to raise more than $500 million in combined financing in the past week. Here’s a recap of the funding activity, which spanned AI-based drug discovery, cell therapy clinical research, cancer drug development, and more.
Aspen Neurosciences is developing a cell therapy that uses a patient’s own stem cells to develop a personalized treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The approach is slightly different than that of Bayer, whose experimental Parkinson’s cell therapy is made from stem cells sourced from healthy donors.
Octant Bio’s synthetic biology approach to drug discovery is making progress, and the preclinical biotech has raised $80 million in Series B financing to continue the journey. The company added Bristol Myers Squibb as an investor and collaborator in the search for new immunology drugs.
Satellite Bio has emerged from stealth with technology for bioengineering tissue to restore organ function. The regenerative medicine startup, based on research from MIT and Boston University, is backed by $110 million in financing.
Versant Ventures has launched Cimeio Therapeutics, a biotech startup with technology that can shield transplanted stem cells or cell therapies. Shielding these cells enables them to be dosed alongside an immunotherapy—an approach that is not currently done because the therapies don’t discriminate between diseased cells and transplanted ones.
Be Biopharma is developing cell therapies by engineering B cells to churn out therapeutic proteins with an initial focus on cancer and rare disease. The company’s Series B financing comes as competitors in the space also make progress with their engineered B cell therapies.
The DNA currently used in genetic medicines research is synthesized by chemical methods. Ansa Biotechnologies employs faster and less expensive enzymes-based technology, and the startup has raised capital to scale up operations as it prepares to launch its service.
Bayer is committing another €1.3 billion to Leaps by Bayer, the company’s investment arm, to support additional investments in companies developing innovative technologies in healthcare and agriculture. In addition to backing companies developing cell and gene therapies, Leaps has also deployed its cash to startups developing artificial intelligence technologies for a range of applications.
Neuron23 is developing drugs that treat neurological conditions by penetrating the blood-brain barrier to reach disease targets in the central nervous system. The biotech’s lead program is a Parkinson’s disease drug candidate with features that could distinguish it from rival compounds that are aiming for the same target.
Venture capital investment in healthcare startups is continuing at a steady pace. Is it too much? Is a correction coming? Three investors offered their perspectives during a panel discussion at MedCity News’s INVEST conference in Chicago.
LifeMine Therapeutics, a company that analyzes fungal genomes to find molecules that have potential as new medicines, has raised $175 million in financing. Among the investors is GlaxoSmithKline, which is teaming up with the biotech startup in a multi-target drug discovery alliance.
Affini-T Therapeutics is developing new cell therapies for cancer that could overcome limitations of the first generation of cell therapies. The initial genomic cancer targets of the startup are mutations of KRAS and p53, both of which have proven difficult to drug.
ARCH Venture Partners led the Series C round of financing for Nutcracker Therapeutics, a company developing new RNA drugs. The company’s process for developing and manufacturing RNA therapies borrows from techniques used in the technology sector.
Targeting mutations isn’t the only way to treat genetically driven diseases. Scenic Biotech is developing molecules to target genes that suppress disease, and it has raised $31 million to advance its pipeline of potential therapies for cancer and rare diseases.
Diagnostics developer Sherlock Biosciences has advanced its molecular diagnostic capabilities, which can now produce faster results on low-cost devices. The startup will use its Series B round of funding to expand the reach of its technology, potentially placing it directly in the hands of consumers around the world.
Rondo Therapeutics is developing bispecific antibody drugs capable of treating solid tumors, which have eluded this type of cancer therapy. Led by co-founders and Teneobio veterans Shelley Force Aldred and Nathan Trinklein, the biotech startup has emerged from stealth backed by a $67 million Series A round of funding.
New startup hC Bioscience is developing therapies based on transfer RNA, molecules that can be leveraged to address disease-causing proteins. The biotech joins several companies that are developing tRNA therapies in this emerging class of genetic medicines.
The Lilly Institute for Genetic Medicine is a new facility in Boston that will focus on the R&D of RNA and DNA-based therapies. Eli Lilly is investing about $700 million to establish the site, which will also include lab and office space for biotech startups.
SpliceBio will use its €50 million in financing to advance development of a gene therapy for Stargardt disease, a rare eye disorder. The biotech’s technology enables the delivery of genes that are too large for the capacity of the adeno-associated viruses widely used in the delivery of genetic medicines.
Terray Therapeutics uses tiny microarrays to test molecules against targets of interest, then applies artificial intelligence to build large chemical datasets. The startup’s Series A financing will support R&D initially in immunology; the first Terray molecule is expected to reach the clinic in 18 months.
The biopharmaceutical industry continues to be a hotbed of activity, with more than 6,000 products in active development and a growing share of that innovation coming from new geographic regions. The findings are from a new industry report from IQVIA.
Natural killers cells are the focus of a growing number of companies pursuing next-generation cell therapies for cancer. Indapta Therapeutics focuses on a subset of this class of cancer-killing cells, and it aims to use them in combination with antibody drugs to boost efficacy.
Eli Lilly is among the new investors joining the Series B round of Arkuda Therapeutics, a biotech developing a drug to treat a rare, inherited form of dementia. If the biotech’s approach works, it could also have applications in other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Biotech startup Congruence Therapeutics is developing novel drugs that treat disease by stabilizing misfolded proteins. Key to the company’s approach is a computational platform that discovers and designs these small molecule stabilizers.
Clinical-stage Arcellx raised $123.8 million from its IPO, which the company will use to advance to a pivotal test for its lead program, a CAR T-cell therapy for multiple myeloma. Though Arcellx trails its large pharmaceutical rivals, the biotech contends its technology produces cell therapies with key advantages.
Dewpoint is developing drugs targeting biomolecular condensates, tiny droplets in cells that contain proteins and nucleic acids. Dysfunction of these organelles can play a role in a wide range of diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Leyden Labs is developing nasal spray medicines to prevent respiratory viral infections. The company’s Series B round of funding follows a licensing deal that gives the biotech rights to a Janssen antibody designed to address the two types of influenza that cause seasonal flu.
BenchSci’s technology uses artificial intelligence to make drug R&D faster and more efficient. Big pharmaceutical companies and clinical-stage biotechs are current users of the software, and BenchSci said it will use its new funding to expand the technology.
Eleusis is developing a formulation of the psychedelic compound psilocybin that overcomes limitations of pill versions of the drug. Depression is Eleusis’s lead disease target but the biotech notes that its research has shown the potential to bring psychedelic drugs beyond psychiatry.
Despite the targeted approach of some cancer treatments, tumors can find ways to escape, leading patients to relapse. ImmPACT Bio will apply its Series B financing toward the development of cell therapies designed to prevent tumor escape.
ProKidney is going public in a SPAC merger that infuses the biotech with $825 million for Phase 3 tests and manufacturing of its autologous cell therapy for chronic kidney disease. More than slowing the decline in organ function, ProKidney says its cell therapy offers the potential to reverse injury caused by the condition.
Digital health company Verana Health has raised $150 million. The company said it will use the new capital to expand its technology, which is used by physicians and pharmaceutical companies.
Three life science companies unveiled Series B rounds of funding Thursday, early Christmas gifts that top $219 million combined. Along with Verge Genomics, the other companies that raised new capital are Tasso and Brainomix.
Antibody drug conjugates deliver a targeted strike to tumors, but the toxic payloads of these therapies can still reach healthy tissue. Mythic Therapeutics’ FateControl technology ensures that more of an ADC’s drug payload reaches the tumor, and CEO Alex Nichols is steering the startup out of stealth with $103 million and a lead program in lung …
Odyssey Therapeutics is the latest startup formed by serial biotech entrepreneur Gary Glick. Odyssey’s destination is oncology and immunology drugs that address novel disease targets, and the biotech now has $218 million in Series A financing to fuel the journey.
Nabla Bio emerged from the lab of famed Harvard scientists George Church last year, and its antibody discovery technology has already led to five partnerships with pharma and biotech companies. The startup just closed an $11 million seed financing that will support further development of its technology.
AviadoBio’s gene therapies are designed to achieve widespread distribution throughout the central nervous system. The company’s lead program on track to begin human testing as a treatment for frontotemporal dementia.
Radiopharmaceuticals deploy radiation to damage cancer DNA, but Curie Therapeutics sees these therapies opening the door to a wider range of ways to kill tumors. The startup has raised $75 million in Series A financing to advance its research.
Quell Therapeutics’ $156 million Series B round comes as it prepares to advance to a clinical trial testing its lead regulatory T cell therapy candidate as way to prevent organ rejection in liver transplant patients. The progress comes as the field of Treg cell therapy research becomes increasingly competitive.
The sum represents Sanofi’s equity investment in Owkin, plus a payment to begin a research partnership covering four types of cancer. Meanwhile, Owkin said the Sanofi investment boosts the startup into unicorn status and marks the start of its Series B funding round.
Generate Biomedicines applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to protein analysis, which it uses to program its protein therapies for particular applications. The startup now has $370 million in financing to rapidly scale up operations, with a goal of reaching the clinic within two years.
The first wave of biotechs developing drugs that employ targeted protein degradation target disease-causing proteins inside the cell. Biotech startup Avilar Therapeutics, formed by RA Capital Management and led by CEO Dan Grau, is targeting proteins outside of the cell and it’s out of stealth backed by $60 million.
Chroma Medicine is developing epigenetic therapies that turn genes on or off. The biotech startup has emerged from stealth mode backed by a $125 million Series A round of funding.
Flagship Pioneering’s Valo Health and Khosla Ventures Acquisition Co. abandoned their SPAC merger on the eve of a scheduled shareholder vote on whether to approve the deal. The parties described the decision as mutual, and they cited “market conditions.”
Acelyrin has in-licensed izokipeb, an antibody drug developed by Affibody that could offer advantages compared to currently available monoclonal antibodies. The drug addresses the same target as blockbuster immunology drugs marketed by Novartis and Eli Lilly.
Arbor Biotechnologies raised new cash to keep up the pace in the chase for new genetic medicines. The MIT spinout applies artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover CRISPR enzymes applicable for gene-editing therapies; the Series B financing comes as programs in liver and central nervous system disorders move closer to human testing.
Sanofi is committing up to $60 million to Gyroscope Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotech whose lead program could become the first gene therapy for a particular vision loss disorder. The deal also gives the pharma giant right of first refusal on that gene therapy in certain geographies.
Apple Tree Partners’ latest cancer biotech company, Marengo Therapeutics, is using antibodies to selectively activate T cells to fight cancer. Led by former Merck KGaA executive Zhen Su, the startup is launching with $80 million in financing, which will support a drug pipeline that includes a lead program expected to reach the clinic in 2022.
Evotec is an old player in the life sciences, but in offering new shares on the Nasdaq, the Germany-based company plans to bolster its new biologics manufacturing capabilities in the U.S and Europe. In other stock market debuts, IO Biotech’s IPO raised $100 million as it prepares a pivotal test of its lead cancer immunotherapy.
Harvard University spinout GRO Biosciences has technology offering the potential for protein therapies that are safer and more effective than currently available biologic drugs. The startup’s research is now backed by $25 million, a Series A financing round whose investors include the venture arm of Bayer.
With just a few years to turn the group around, the boss could do without a bellicose hedge fund breathing down her neck Few companies fit with the national zeitgeist quite like drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline. But few face the cocktail of pressures Dame Emma Walmsley, chief executive at Britain’s second-biggest drugmaker, is wrestling with. In …
In less than two years, Egle Therapeutics launched, partnered with Takeda Pharmaceutical, and found its first cancer targets. Now the startup has €40M in Series A financing to further develop its new approach to modulating regulatory T cells as a way of treating autoimmune diseases and cancer.
ReCode Therapeutics closed an $80 million Series B round of financing that included Pfizer and Sanofi as investors. The startup’s technology uses lipid nanoparticles to deliver genetic medicines, and its two lead programs are for rare lung disorders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 …
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 …
Mammoth Biosciences is applying CRISPR technology to both diagnostics and therapeutics. With the new financing, CEO Trevor Martin said that the company is looking ahead toward clinical trials and perhaps partnerships with larger companies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Of the 20 companies that went public in the last week of July, 11 of them represent some aspect of the life sciences. The tally of newly public companies made the week the biggest for IPO activity in more than 20 years.
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
ProfoundBio is developing a type of targeted cancer therapy called antibody drug conjugates. As the biotech looks ahead to clinical trials, it has raised more than $55 million in Series A funding.
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.
Led by former Viela Bio CEO Bing Yao, ArriVent Biopharma secures rights to drugs from emerging biotech hubs, then develops them for Western markets. The biotech’s first asset is a cancer drug licensed from Shanghai-based Allist Pharmaceuticals.
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.
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.
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 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.
New investment company eureKARE aims to find promising microbiome and synthetic biology research in Europe and create new companies around that science. EureKARE has three startups in its portfolio, and it now has $60 million in Series A financing to build more.
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 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.
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.
Eikon Therapeutics joins a growing number of startups researching how proteins move in cells as a basis for drug discovery. Roger Perlmutter joins Eikon as its CEO just four months after he retired as Merck’s top research executive.
Cell therapy manufacturing is currently a manual, multi-step process that takes weeks. Startup Cellares, which is developing a system that automates the process and makes manufacturing scalable, will use the Series B financing to accelerate its work.
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.
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 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.
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, …
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.
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.
Several companies are developing immunotherapies targeting the “don’t eat me” cancer protein CD47. Arch Oncology, which is developing drugs with features that could set them apart from the field, now has $105 million for multiple clinical trials.
Healthcare companies had another record-breaking quarter, according to CBInsights. They raised a total of $31.6 billion in the first quarter, including big investments in telehealth and health IT.
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.
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.
Investments are expected to decline at the end of 2020 after digital health saw record highs last quarter, according to early data from CBInsights.
Global healthcare funding set a new record in the third quarter, according to data from CBInsights. Healthcare companies raised a total of $21.8 billion across 1,539 deals.