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Neil Kumar, BridgeBio CEO

Bridge­Bio bor­rows $750M ahead of key PhI­II read­out, as it looks to wrap up buzzy 2021

The way BridgeBio tells it, it’s been up to some big things recently. And on Thursday, the biotech just got a whole lot more cash to turn its dreams into reality.

BridgeBio took out a $750 million loan on Thursday, separated into two tranches of $450 million and $300 million. The first, larger tranche will be available for BridgeBio to spend immediately, while the biotech can opt into the second, smaller tranche after one of two conditions related to its pipeline is met.

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Daniel Grau, Avilar CEO

An RA-backed start­up 'AT­AC­s' a nov­el chal­lenge, look­ing to spur pro­tein degra­da­tion out­side the cell

Protein degradation is one of the hot drug classes of the future, but competitors are piling in with the likes of C4, Arvinas, Frontier Medicines and Vividion jostling for position. A new startup wants to apply the lessons learned from degradation outside the cell, and it now has the greenlight from RA Capital to steam ahead.

Avilar Therapeutics launched Thursday with $60 million from founding investor RA to chase a novel protein degradation drug class the startup is calling ATACs— short for “ASGPR Targeting Chimeras” — that looks to trash unwanted proteins circulating outside the human cell.

Generate co-founder Molly Gibson and CEO Mike Nally

Flag­ship's ma­chine learn­ing start­up Gen­er­ate bags $370M in lat­est round with plans for a big hir­ing spree

As the future of machine learning and AI promises to make major breakthroughs in drug development, a suite of startups is looking to scale their own competing robot brain trusts. An ambitious startup out of Flagship Pioneering’s incubator uncloaked last year with its own spin in that arms race — and now it’s primed and ready for a major expansion in the coming years.

Generate Biomedicines has closed a giant $370 million Series B from founding investor Flagship as well as Alaska Permanent Fund, Altitude Life Science Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, the company said.

David Berry, Valo Health CEO (Flagship Pioneering)

UP­DAT­ED: In a sur­prise move, Flag­ship's Va­lo Health and Khosla Ven­tures SPAC call off merg­er

By most accounts, the biotech sector has boomed throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly for companies looking to go public through a traditional IPO or the ever-more-popular SPAC route. But as one Flagship biotech found out, some of the luster might be wearing off.

Valo Health and its SPAC partner, the first of Khosla Ventures’ three blank check companies, called off their merger late Monday in a statement citing only the vague “current market conditions” as the reason. The termination came just one day before a shareholder meeting where a vote on the merger was expected.

CBC Group es­tab­lish­es new fund to meet Chi­na's boom­ing life sci­ences re­al es­tate de­mand

Demand for life science real estate is surging in China — and one of Asia’s largest investment groups is rising to the call.

CBC Group — the startup engine that recently lured in Merck’s former R&D chief Roger Perlmutter — is joining forces with Netherlands Pension provider APG Asset Management to launch a new Asia-Pacific healthcare platform and China-focused life science venture.

The fund, dubbed CBC China Life Science Infrastructure Venture (CLSIV), completed a first close of $500 million to provide “best-in-class facilities” for research in China. CBC describes it as the vehicle by which the platform, CBC Healthcare Infrastructure Platform (CBC HIP), will operate.

Shao-Lee Lin, Acelyrin CEO

Backed by Sean Harp­er and Beth Sei­den­berg, an LA biotech scores a mas­sive $250M crossover ahead of 2022 IPO

When Acelyrin closed its Series A late last year, it was met with little fanfare. The biotech had only two employees, the former R&D chief and CBO of Horizon Therapeutics, and didn’t even disclose the size of the raise. Westlake Village BioPartners, an LA-based VC firm and lead investor, proved the most noteworthy aspect of the announcement, having spawned from ex-Amgen R&D head Sean Harper and ex-Kleiner Perkins life sciences director Beth Seidenberg.

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Nancy Whiting, Recludix CEO

For­mer Blue­print vets take their new biotech out of stealth, with STAT3 in their sights

A new biotech going after STAT mutations through a previously undruggable target emerged from stealth and secured its first fundraise Monday, introducing its freshly minted CEO in the process.

Recludix Pharma, a San Diego biotech launched by a founding team of Blueprint Medicines vets, pulled in a $60 million Series A on Monday, promising investors a path to the holy grail STAT3 mutation through what’s called the SH2 domain. Taking over as chief executive is Nancy Whiting, arriving after a 15-year run at Seagen that saw her run corporate strategy and late-stage development at various points.

Peter Blume-Jensen, Acrivon Therapeutics CEO

Acrivon bags a megaround to ad­vance an old Eli Lil­ly pro­gram, 5 months af­ter launch. Is an IPO far be­hind?

Not five months after launching with an old Eli Lilly asset, Acrivon Therapeutics is already upping the ante.

The Cambridge, MA-based biotech pulled in $100 million in a new Series B, aiming to further advance its lead asset and companion platform. And the company has recruited some blue-chip backers for the raise as RA Capital Management and Perceptive Advisors both participated in the round.

Does that mean an IPO is on the horizon? CEO Peter Blume-Jensen won’t rule it out.

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The Edge (L) and Bono of U2 performing at O2 Arena in London in 2018 (KGC-138/STAR MAX/IPx via AP Images)

Bono in­vests in biotech? Pep­tide play­er is head­ed to the US — with celebri­ty in­vestors back­ing its move

Even celebrities are piqued by biotech these days. For Bono and The Edge, it appears they’ve found what they’re looking for — and they’re willing to put their money on it.

The Irish peptide biotech Nuritas closed a $45 million Series B, an event which gained some added exposure through their front men from Dublin: U2’s The Edge and the man himself — Bono.

Nuritas’s round, led by Chicago-based investor Cleveland Avenue, includes the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF), Vertex Holdings and more. The Series B also more than doubles what Nuritas had raised previously, bringing the biotech to $75 million raised in total.

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From L-R: Luigi Naldini, Genenta CEO Pierluigi Paracchi and Genenta CMO Carlo Russo

Genen­ta is at­tempt­ing a rare biotech leap from Mi­lan to Wall Street

Pierluigi Paracchi, CEO and one of the trio of leaders running gene therapy biotech Genenta, has frequently lamented the absence of Italian biotechs on Nasdaq. And now, he’s taking his Milan-based company and jumping out in front of what he hopes someday will be a pack of biotechs going public in the US.

The Italian biotech has been busy recently with Phase I/II trials on their investigational glioblastoma candidate Temferon — and it’s looking to expand with an IPO. The six-year-old small biotech, founded out of the renowned San Raffaele Hospital in Milan — led by a biotech executive, a noted academic and a physician — filed a Form F-1 with the SEC on Tuesday, penciling in a planned raise of $35 million, though that’s been known to change in the leadup to the flip onto Wall Street.