New Capital

Biotech dealmaker Ramaswamy raises another $55M for Axovant

One of biotech’s most prominent wheelers and dealers just nabbed an extra $55 million to push along the pipeline at the neurosciences player Axovant.

Vivek Ramaswamy, who’s been whipping up new companies and raising hundreds of millions of dollars in IPOs, inked a debt financing deal with Hercules Capital. Ramaswamy will start off paying interest for 18 months, then is in line to begin paying back principal as well.

“Hercules is pleased to enter into this financing partnership with Axovant at this important stage to allow it to continue to advance and expand its pipeline and achieve its growth objectives,” said Scott Bluestein, the chief investment officer at Hercules Capital, in a statement.

Ramaswamy raised money and eyebrows in the summer of 2015 after parlaying a $5 million upfront deal with Glaxo for a discarded 5-HT6 inhibitor Alzheimer’s drug into a record $350 million IPO. That deal put him in a late-stage study — MINDSET — that’s due to read out in the third quarter.

Ramaswamy wants to be known as a great drug developer with an ability to spot value in Big Pharma’s reject pile. But his rep has been fixed on his ability to raise extraordinary amounts of cash, even from reluctant markets.


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