As Roivant’s uni­corn val­u­a­tion swells to $7B, Ra­maswamy scoops up $200M to back a new burst of star­tups

Vivek Ra­maswamy nev­er hid his am­bi­tions in swift­ly build­ing Roivant in­to a glob­al bio­phar­ma play­er. But now he’s of­fer­ing some new de­tails about just how suc­cess­ful he’s been in grow­ing the com­pa­ny’s mega-block­buster uni­corn val­u­a­tion while con­tin­u­ing to bring in sig­nif­i­cant new amounts of cash to keep adding to the num­ber of com­pa­nies and drugs un­der his watch. 

To­day Roivant is un­veil­ing a $200 mil­lion raise for the com­pa­ny — bring­ing the to­tal to more than $3 bil­lion from all sources. And the biotech um­brel­la group — which op­er­ates a dozen pub­lic and pri­vate op­er­a­tions — says this new mon­ey came in with a val­u­a­tion of $7 bil­lion for Roivant — which a com­pa­ny spokesman says is up from $5.6 bil­lion from its last raise in 2017.

What changed?

There are 8 more com­pa­nies — 14 to­tal now. And there are 20 more drugs, 34 in all, in­clud­ing many late-stage ef­forts with some grand de­signs of their own. Where 350 had been work­ing at last year’s raise, Roivant’s many branch­es now has staff to­tal­ing 750.

There are al­so 6 late-stage read­outs on tap for next year. And some of Ra­maswamy’s star­tups, like Data­vant, are ex­pect­ed to build rev­enue.

Matt Bullard

That pro­file fit the bill for No­vaQue­st Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment — al­ready an in­vestor in 2 of Roivant’s com­pa­nies — and RTW In­vest­ments, which both went pub­lic with their in­vest­ments. There’s al­so a “large in­sur­ance com­pa­ny” back­ing the lat­est raise, ac­cord­ing to a com­pa­ny spokesper­son, which helps il­lus­trate Ra­maswamy’s be­lief that in­sur­ers will be do­ing more in­vest­ing in their own fu­ture. 

“We got to know the team at Roivant and walked away re­al­ly im­pressed,” says Matt Bullard at No­vaQue­st, which has re­port­ed­ly been work­ing with a $1.5 bil­lion fund that it’s been build­ing. “We like the sta­ble, long-term val­ue that’s there.”

Bullard is al­so keen about Roivant’s port­fo­lio mod­el, where a line­up of star­tups are fo­cused quick­ly on late-stage de­vel­op­ment projects. The ex­ec­u­tive crews at each are al­so in­cen­tivized to con­cen­trate on those Phase III stud­ies and get the job done as ef­fi­cient­ly as pos­si­ble, he adds. And the Roivant group con­tin­ues to launch more new com­pa­nies every year. 

Ra­maswamy, 33, hasn’t reached this point with­out plen­ty of con­tro­ver­sy. A num­ber of in­vestors re­mains bit­ter about his first re­al test at drug de­vel­op­ment: a late-stage re-try at Ax­o­vant on a failed Alzheimer’s drug. But that set­back nev­er slowed him down. The up­beat Ra­maswamy has stayed fo­cused on rais­ing cash and val­u­a­tions for the port­fo­lio or­ga­ni­za­tion, and he’s con­tin­ued to bring in in­vestors will­ing to bankroll his work.

“We en­joy work­ing with these guys and ex­pect great things,” adds Bullard, whose com­pa­ny is most com­fort­able back­ing late-stage projects with a pay­off that of­ten comes from roy­al­ties and mile­stones. “They’re quite ag­gres­sive about bring­ing in new pro­grams.”


Im­age: Vivek Ra­maswamy at the US-Chi­na Bio­phar­ma In­no­va­tion and In­vest­ment Sum­mit 2018. END­POINTS NEWS, PHARM­CUBE

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Dave Marek, Myovant CEO

My­ovant board balks as ma­jor­i­ty own­er Sum­it­o­mo swoops in with a $2.5B deal to buy them out

Three years after Sumitomo scooped up Roivant’s 46% stake in the publicly traded Myovant $MYOV as part of a 5-company, $3 billion deal, they’re coming back for the whole thing.

But these other investors at Myovant want more than what the Japanese pharma company is currently offering to pay at this stage.

Sumitomo is bidding $22.75 a share for the outstanding stock, which now represents 48% of the company after Sumitomo bumped its ownership since the original deal with Roivant. Myovant, however, created a special committee on the board, and they’re shaking their heads over the offer.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Justin Klee (L) and Joshua Cohen, Amylyx co-CEOs (Cody O'Loughlin/The New York Times; courtesy Amylyx)

Ad­vo­cates, ex­perts cry foul over Amy­lyx's new ALS drug, cit­ing is­sues with price, PhI­II com­mit­ment

Not 24 hours after earning the first ALS drug approval in five years, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals’ Relyvrio is already drawing scrutiny. And it’s coming from multiple fronts.

In an investor call Friday morning, Amylyx revealed that it would charge about $158,000 per year, a price point that immediately drew backlash from ALS advocates and some outside observers. The cost reveal had been highly anticipated in the immediate hours after Thursday evening’s approval, though Amylyx only teased Relyvrio would cost less than previously approved drugs.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEO (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Can a smart­phone app de­tect Covid? Pfiz­er throws down $116M to find out

What can a cough say about a patient’s illness? Quite a bit, according to ResApp Health — and Pfizer’s listening.

The pharma giant is shelling out about $116 million ($179 million AUD) to scoop up the University of Queensland spinout and its smartphone technology that promises to diagnose Covid and other respiratory illnesses based on cough and breathing sounds, the university announced last week.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Big Phar­ma heavy­weights seek tweaks to FDA's clin­i­cal out­come as­sess­ment guid­ance

Pfizer, GSK, Janssen, Regeneron, Boehringer Ingelheim and at least a half dozen other companies are calling on the FDA to provide significantly more clarity in its draft guidance from this summer on clinical outcome assessments, which are a type of patient experience.

The draft is the third in a series of four patient-focused drug development guidance documents that the FDA had to create as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, and they describe how stakeholders (patients, caregivers, researchers, medical product developers and others) can collect and submit patient experience data and other relevant information for medical product development and regulatory decision-making.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Rob Etherington, Clene CEO

Star­tup's gold nanocrys­tal ALS drug flops a PhII tri­al, a re­minder of the dis­ease's ob­sta­cles de­spite Amy­lyx OK

Despite the FDA approving an ALS drug for the first time in five years last week, the disease continues to fluster researchers, and another biotech is feeling the pain of a mid-stage failure.

Clene Nanomedicine reported early Monday that its ALS program, which uses gold nanocrystals to try to catalyze intracellular reactions, did not achieve its Phase II primary or secondary endpoints. And in a press release, the company noted for the first time that it’s speaking with “potential strategic partners” about the program — language that typically indicates a biotech is preparing to sell off an asset.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Marc Dunoyer, Alexion CEO (AstraZeneca via YouTube)

Up­dat­ed: As­traZeneca nabs a small rare dis­ease gene ther­a­py play­er for 667% pre­mi­um

AstraZeneca is kicking off the fourth quarter with a little M&A Monday for a gene editing player recently overcoming a second clinical hold to its only program in human studies.

The Big Pharma and its subsidiary Alexion are buying out little LogicBio for $2.07 per share. That’s good for a massive 667% premium over its Friday closing price, when it headed into the weekend at 27 cents and just weeks after Nasdaq said LogicBio would have to delist, which has been put on hold as the biotech requests a hearing. It’s one of two biotech deals to commence October, alongside the news of Incyte buying a vitiligo-focused biotech.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Land­mark Amy­lyx OK spurs de­bate; Some... pos­i­tive? Alzheimer's da­ta; Can­cer tri­al bot­tle­neck; Sanofi's CRISPR bet; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

After brief stops in Paris and Boston, John Carroll and the Endpoints crew are staying on the road in October with their return for a live/streaming EUBIO22 in London. The hybrid event fireside chats and panels on mRNA, oncology and the crazy public market. We hope you can join him there.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

An­oth­er warn­ing let­ter for Lupin as FDA iden­ti­fies de­fi­cien­cies at In­dia-based site

With few new details of what needs fixing, Lupin disclosed last week that the FDA recently sent a warning letter to its Tarapur, India-based site.

After an inspection from March 22 to April 4, Lupin disclosed in an April stock filing that it received a Form 483 with four observations, but it didn’t offer any details on the observations.

Similar to comments made in April, the company said last week it does not believe the FDA slap will disrupt its drug supplies or the existing revenues from operations of this facility.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,300+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.