New Versant Ventures startup goes ‘gutless’ for next-generation gene delivery

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.

Harvard spinout lands $40M to bring in vivo drug discovery to cancer

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.

Areteia gets $350M to turn failed ALS drug into a therapy for severe asthma

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 …

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Bayer, Amgen join $120M financing for startup aiming to expand genetic meds delivery

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.

Tessa Therapeutics takes in $126M for cell therapies, and more biotech financings

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.

Aiming to treat Parkinson’s by replacing neurons, Aspen Neuroscience nabs $147M

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.

BMS joins Octant’s $80M financing and signs on as a drug discovery partner

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.

Regenerative med biotech Satellite unveils tissue-based tech to restore organ function

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.

A biotech’s bold vision to turn stem cell transplants into outpatient procedures

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.

Cell therapy developer Be Bio hauls in $130M for pipeline in rare disease, cancer

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.

Startup Ansa Bio lands $68M to go long with enzymes approach to DNA synthesis

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 reloads Leaps with €1.3 billion to step up investments in biotech innovation

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.

Vying to best bigger rivals in Parkinson’s, Neuron23 nabs $100M to reach clinic

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.

As cash keeps pouring into health startups, VC firms work to stay disciplined

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.

GSK joins LifeMine’s $175M funding as partners revive fungi as a drug discovery frontier

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.

Cell therapy biotech Affini-T gets $175M; KRAS is lead genomic cancer target

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.

RNA biotech Nutcracker Therapeutics unshells $167M for drugs built on biochips

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.

Scenic Biotech scores $31M to take aim at genetic modifiers for cancer & rare disease

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.

Sherlock Biosciences secures $80M to bring molecular diagnostics to the home

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.

Cancer biotech Rondo gets $67M to step on the gas with next-gen bispecific drugs

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.

Startup hC Bioscience emerges with $24M to join pursuit of transfer RNA therapies

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.

Solution to big gene therapy obstacle leads to Spain’s largest biotech Series A round

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.

AI-biotech Terray emerges with $60M and a solution for data problems in drug R&D

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.

Cancer biotech Indapta nabs $50M for new approach to natural killer cell therapy

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.

Neuro-focused Arkuda raises $64M as dementia drug moves closer to the clinic

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.

AI-driven Congruence Therapeutics gets $50M to stabilize misfolded proteins

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.

Arcellx’s IPO raises $124M to fuel chase of better CAR T-cell therapy for cancer

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.

Softbank leads Dewpoint’s $150M round as multiple programs march toward clinic

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.

Following Janssen flu deal, Leyden Labs gets $140M led by Casdin Capital and GV

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.

Psychedelic biotech Eleusis enters SPAC deal to take depression drug to the clinic

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.

ImmPACT Bio reels in $111M to prevent tumor escape with novel cell therapies

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.

Regenerative med biotech ProKidney inks $825M merger to back CKD cell therapy

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.

Eli Lilly joins Verge Genomics’ $98M round as AI-discovered ALS drug nears clinic

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.

Startup Mythic Therapeutics emerges with $103M to control fate of ADC cancer drugs

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 …

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Cancer & immunology biotech Odyssey embarks with $218M, Gary Glick at helm

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.

Harvard spinout Nabla Bio lands $11M to bring AI technology to antibody design

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.

Curie Therapeutics unveils $75M to widen scope of radiopharmaceuticals for cancer

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.

Cell therapy biotech Quell adds $156M for alternative to organ transplant meds

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.

Sanofi makes $270M bet that a startup’s AI tech can boost its cancer drug R&D

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 Bio adds $370M for big push toward programmable protein medicines

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.

RA Capital reveals next play in protein degradation, this time outside the cell

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.

‘Digitally native’ pharma Valo Health and Khosla scrap merger plan ahead of vote

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 raises $250M, licenses antibody drug that could rival Novartis, Lilly meds

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.

CRISPR-editing biotech Arbor Bio adds $215M for liver, CNS disease therapies

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 eyes a gene therapy prospect and commits $60M for a stake, potential rights

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.

Biotech startup Marengo unveils $80M and a new way to get T cells to fight cancer

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.

Biologics manufacturing drives Evotec’s $435M U.S. stock market debut

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.

Synbio startup GRObio gets $25M to work with new building blocks for protein drugs

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.

Walmsley needs a fast-acting remedy for GSK’s malaise

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 …

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Already allied with Takeda, Egle raises €40M for its ‘starving’ immunotherapy

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 gets $80M to deliver on new RNA therapies for the lungs

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 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 …

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

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 …

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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.