Financing channel feed

Joshua Liang (Clover)

Fu­eled by Covid prospects, Chi­nese vac­cine de­vel­op­er scores $230M to up­scale the whole pipeline

The Covid tides are floating more than US or European boats.

Take Clover Biopharmaceuticals, the Chengdu, China-based developer of a CEPI-funded vaccine that’s just closed $230 million in a Series C. That means the biotech is officially $400 million richer than it was before the pandemic struck — and potentially standing much closer to the commercial market.

“Over the last 12 months, we have grown our headcount from ~175 FTEs in China to now ~500 FTEs across over a dozen countries,” CEO Joshua Liang told Endpoints News in an email.

Af­ter a slow week, the IPO train is back up and run­ning as 3 more biotechs hop aboard

After the IPO market cooled off last week — not just in pharma but the entire market, which saw only one public debut according to Renaissance Capital — three more biotechs filed their S-1 paperwork Friday.

The new entrants are Prometheus Biosciences, Longboard Pharmaceuticals and Gain Therapeutics. Prometheus is penciling in the highest raise of the group, estimating a $125 million influx of cash. Longboard is seeking $86 million, while Gain is looking to raise $40 million.

Is biotech the new bit­coin? A top an­a­lyst draws some un­com­fort­able com­par­isons to a cer­tain cryp­tocur­ren­cy as 'biotech ma­ni­a' flour­ish­es

What does bitcoin have to do with biotech?

Nothing…and everything, says Evercore ISI analyst Josh Schimmer, who’s been watching the biotech IPO market go bonkers in recent months, just as a certain cryptocurrency has been doing the same.

Savvy, experienced biotech investors have been a bit flummoxed by this new “biotech mania,” writes the high profile analyst, as the usual multiples have been blown up on Nasdaq, where there’s a whole new math going into stock prices these days. And he can see that in the IPOs as things like fundamentals go by the board.

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Mark McKenna

The $1M IPO bonus, de­cent pay and a nice eq­ui­ty stake to mark the up­side: How does Mark McKen­na's comp pack­age stack up in the Nas­daq rush?

Mark McKenna raised a few eyebrows when he jumped from the CEO spot at Bausch sub Salix to take charge of a low-profile biotech startup called Prometheus Biosciences in the fall of 2019. At that point, he was already being talked up as a likely successor to Bausch CEO Joe Papas. Why would an ambitious young exec make the flip to biotech?

We got some added insight on that score on Friday, as McKenna’s biotech — formerly Precision IBD — followed up a whopping $130 million crossover round just a few months ago with the inevitable S-1 follow that sketches in a $125 million for the prospective raise. That’s a starting figure that’s become a kind of threshold number for biotechs starting the public phase of a shift to Nasdaq in a boom market.

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UP­DAT­ED: Old-hat in­vestors Al­ta Part­ners snag $275M for their newest next-gen fund, more than dou­ble the first it­er­a­tion from 2018

Alta Partners has seen it all over the course of more than 20 years in biotech investing, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still looking to make a splash. Now, the partners are propping up a new $275 million fund to reach for the cutting edge of the field — more than double the size of the team’s initial next-gen fund closed just three years ago.

The San Francisco and Denver-based VC firm initially set a $225 million cap for NextGen Fund III, managing director Peter Hudson told Endpoints News. 

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Jim Tananbaum, Foresite Capital CEO (Business Wire)

The SPAC boom con­tin­ues to churn out heavy cap­i­tal, as Fore­site prices its $175M blank check com­pa­ny and 2 oth­ers file

Having returned to the SPAC well last month in the hopes of riding last year’s boom, Foresite’s second blank check company priced earlier this week.

Known as FS Development II, the Jim Tananbaum outfit announced Wednesday it had raised $175 million in an upsized offering, and priced at $10 per share. The public debut comes about seven months after Tananbaum launched his first SPAC, and only four months after that SPAC went public in a reverse merger with Gemini Therapeutics.

UP­DAT­ED: Amid the 'su­per­bug' cri­sis, a Big Phar­ma-backed fund scores a mea­ger raise for an­tibi­otics R&D. Is $140M near­ly enough?

Years after Big Pharma abandoned the antibiotics space, a small syndicate has raised $140 million to address the looming threat of antimicrobial resistance — but is it too little, too late?

Back in July, more than 20 biotechs — including heavyweight players Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Merck KGaA and the American Merck — banded together to help launch the AMR Action Fund. With an initial $1 billion, the fund set out to bring two to four new antibiotics to patients by 2030.

David MacNaughtan (Sagard Holdings)

Roy­al­ty Phar­ma gets more com­pe­ti­tion as a pri­vate eq­ui­ty firm launch­es $725M roy­al­ty-buy­ing fund

Pablo’s got some peers.

Twenty-five years after Mexican billionaire Pablo Legorreta started buying up future royalties on approved drugs — and eight months after he turned that into a record-setting $2.2 billion IPO for Royalty Pharma— another firm is raising large sums to do the same thing. Sagard Holdings, the Canadian investment firm, raised $725 million for a new fund, known as Sagard Healthcare Royalty Partners, that will purchase royalties in drugs, diagnostics and medical products.

Eduardo Bravo (file photo)

Ed­uar­do Bra­vo re­turns to bring Eu­ro­pean biotech in on the SPAC splurge

The last year’s SPAC boom has been dominated so far by US-based VCs. Now a prominent European biotech executive and a couple investors are getting in on the game.

Eduardo Bravo, the Big Pharma alum and former CEO of the cell therapy company TiGenix, has launched European Biotech Acquisition. Based in Amsterdam (if a SPAC can be said to be based anywhere besides the Cayman Islands and Amazon Web Services), the new shell company will try to raise $100 million and use it to take a European biotech public within 2 years.

Glenn Rockman (Adjuvant Capital)

VC style re­turns on 'un­sexy' pub­lic health bets? Gates-backed Ad­ju­vant Cap­i­tal gath­ers $300M to mend a 'fail­ure of imag­i­na­tion'

Glenn Rockman was summoned, about three years into a senior role on JP Morgan’s non-profit investment banking team, to a special assignment reviewing a pipeline of drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for neglected diseases the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had been funding since the millennium.

By then in 2010, many of these assets were moving close to regulatory approval, and the philanthropists thought they represented an attractive risk profile combined with interesting commercial potential. But they couldn’t find any private sector investors to take them over the finish line.

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