Financing channel feed

Philip Scheltens (Edmond Sadaka/Sipa via AP Images)

As ven­ture fund­ing in on­col­o­gy flour­ish­es, neu­ro has seen shal­low­er pock­ets. A Eu­ro­pean in­vestor wants to change that

Big Pharma has retreated from neuroscience over the past several years, abandoning or trimming back programs after facing setbacks in difficult-to-treat brain disorders. And now, René Kuijten says dementia opportunities remain “largely unfunded.”

That’s where European life sciences investor LSP comes in.

Kuijten, LSP’s managing partner, founded the LSP Dementia Fund to support biotechs searching for new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. In the last few months, he’s pulled together €50 million ($60.5 million), and he hopes to eventually raise at least €150 million ($181.7 million).

Fu­ji­film dou­bles down on Boston foothold, rent­ing some ma­jor legroom to chase cell and gene ther­a­pies

Fujifilm has finally crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s on a new public-private partnership for a center focused on genetically modified cell therapies after the idea first came to fruition in late 2019.

On Thursday, the Japanese conglomerate and the Massachusetts Center for Advanced Biological Innovation and Manufacturing announced that they’d secured $76 million in funding and signed a lease for a 40,000 square-foot site in the greater Boston area.

Chris Garabedian (Forge Biologics)

Chris Garabe­di­an's first Xon­toge­ny com­pa­ny, Lan­dos Bio­phar­ma, preps a nine-fig­ure IPO as lead pro­gram heads to PhI­II

Landos Biopharma, the lead company in the portfolio of Chris Garabedian’s fund with Perceptive, is preparing to go public about a year and a half since its last raise. But the company’s last data dump missed on all its primary endpoints in IBD despite “positive” signs it measured up with standard of care — will investors be impressed?

The former Virginia Tech spinout filed for a $100 million IPO late Wednesday, aiming to take its AI-based precision medicine platform and lead program to Nasdaq. Once the biotech prices, it will trade on the ticker $LABP.

Steve Harr (L) and Hans Bishop

Paint­ing by the num­bers, Sana founders carve up a gi­ant uni­corn-sized IPO — for a biotech that has­n't quite made it to the clin­ic

Sana Biotechnology is one of those startups that was sketched in on the chalkboard day one in the shape of a unicorn.

A giant unicorn.

And from the numbers the cell therapy 2.0 play spelled out in their S-1 $SANA, it’s clear that the company founders — led by a pair of major VCs aligned with some high-profile industry figures — are hunting a big chunk of that value for themselves.

The raise they penciled in — $150 million — isn’t likely what they actually have in mind, and it doesn’t do justice to the size of their ambitions.

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Pfiz­er's in­vest­ment fund is mak­ing waves in VC — in­clud­ing a $25M bet on IBD play­er Vedan­ta Bio­sciences

Pfizer has a gut feeling about Vedanta Biosciences.

On Tuesday, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based microbiome upstart became the fourth biotech to receive an investment from the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative (PGBI), bagging $25 million to send its inflammatory bowel disease candidate to Phase II.

Since its launch in June, the PGBI has invested $120 million in small- to medium-sized biotechs spanning several key focus areas: internal medicine, inflammation and immunology, oncology, rare disease, vaccines and hospital. So far, Homology Medicines has the largest stake, with $60 million to advance its phenylketonuria (PKU) program.

Søren Møller, Novo Holdings

IDO on the re­bound? Dan­ish out­fit IO Biotech hopes so with over­sub­scribed Se­ries B one month af­ter BTD in melanoma

Less than a month after achieving breakthrough therapy designation in melanoma, IO Biotech has secured an oversubscribed Series B that will help them get their immune-modulating IDO and PD-L1 cancer vaccines through a late-stage trial.

The Copenhagen-based company netted €127 million ($154.5 million) in the round, it revealed Wednesday morning, raising the stakes for its T cell activating therapies. It’s the biggest fundraise for the biotech since its founding in conjunction with Novo Seeds in 2014, when it pulled in an amount more than 11 times higher than its Series A about four years ago.

Geoffrey von Maltzahn, Tessera CEO

With a tor­rent of ven­ture cash gush­ing from a glob­al pack of uni­corn hunters, this biotech founder vows to stay hun­gry

Whatever factors may be limiting the ambitions of Tessera, ready cash isn’t one of them.

The startup that debuted in a pandemic, inspired by a new approach to gene editing — perhaps the hottest of all sizzling new biotech trends — and focused on building the next big platform play, has organized a unicorn-hunting global syndicate of backers to fund a hiring spree as they set a course to the clinic.

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Valo CEO David Berry (Flagship Pioneering)

Look­ing to blend AI and hu­man da­ta, Va­lo Health scores new fi­nanc­ing to test drug dis­cov­ery plat­form in on­col­o­gy, be­yond

Companies looking to bring machine learning into drug discovery are a dime a dozen, but Boston-based Valo Health believes its proprietary platform could give it a leg up in identifying candidates for a range of therapeutic areas. Now, investors are placing a big down payment to see if Valo is right.

Valo Health, which aims to merge AI with human data to formulate cancer therapeutics and beyond, has closed a $190 million Series B financing round. Valo said the financing will expedite several new therapeutic programs using the company’s novel drug development platform.

Bahija Jallal (file photo)

Hot on the heels of a pos­i­tive PhI­II, Im­muno­core hauls in $175M as it hunts its first TCR OK

Six weeks after Bahija Jallal’s crew at TCR pioneer Immunocore rolled out an upbeat presentation on their lead drug’s interim Phase III data, the biotech has scooped up an extra $175 million to back their prospective commercial launch.

Jallal, who raised $130 million last spring, has brought in a $75 million C round and added $100 million in debt for the company, bringing the total raised so far to $620 million. Immunocore got off to a hot start in 2015 with a monster $320 million launch round, a record for a UK biotech. But CEO founder Eliot Forster had a hard time keeping a grip on the valuation he started with, which ultimately triggered an overhaul in the C-suite that brought in Jallal.

Alicia Secor (Atalanta)

Genen­tech and Bio­gen roll the dice on an up­start biotech with a new siR­NA ap­proach — go­ing deep in­to the brain for tar­gets in neu­rode­gen­er­a­tion

Atalanta isn’t your average stealth biotech making a debut. They have some history and deals to sketch out in rough outlines.

The founding execs date the silent launch all the way back to mid-2019, with the publication of a seminal study looking at a new siRNA strategy for neurodegeneration. And instead of scouting for their first partners, the fledgling biotech can already count 2 prominent players as allies in the extensive preclinical work that’s been done to establish the platform.

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