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RA Cap­i­tal leads $125M for Janux in VC's lat­est crossover bid

Four months ago, only a short list of people had ever heard of Janux Therapeutics. Today, they have a partnership with Merck, $212 million in VC capital and, it seems, plans for an IPO.

Janux announced Tuesday a $125 million crossover round led by RA Capital, the Boston VC behind a spate of recent pre-IPO financings. Janux declined an interview request, a common move for biotechs preparing to go public in the near future.

Samantha Du, Zai Lab CEO (Zai Lab)

Saman­tha Du's Zai Lab sets its am­bi­tions sky high, look­ing to raise $750M to fu­el its li­cens­ing busi­ness mod­el

Looking to capitalize on a bustling Chinese drug market, upstart biotechs like Samantha Du’s Zai Lab have made a killing in-licensing foreign molecules as well as developing their own homegrown assets. Now, with even more growth in mind, Zai Lab has offered up a healthy chunk of shares on the US market to fuel its ambitions.

Zai Lab will offer $750 million in US depository shares as part of a major cash raise to keep driving its in-licensing business engine as well as advance its suite of clinical programs, the Chinese biotech said this week.

Brian McVeigh, Code Biotherapeutics CEO (Code)

No AAV? No prob­lem. Code Bio­ther­a­peu­tics joins the search for a non-vi­ral gene ther­a­py

Brian McVeigh’s wake-up call came one morning in the form of a LinkedIn notification congratulating him for 25 years at GlaxoSmithKline.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, it has been a quarter century at one company, what am I doing?’” he said.

McVeigh quit his job as VP of worldwide business development transactions and investment management in November 2017, spent half a year as the CEO of KBP BioSciences, and eventually ended up on the board of Genisphere, where scientists were working on a drug delivery platform using synthetic DNA.

Chen Yu

Chen Yu jumps ship from Vi­vo Cap­i­tal and goes large, al­ly­ing with The Col­umn Group on an in­au­gur­al $824M biotech crossover fund

Over the past 15 years, the crew at The Column Group have gathered more than $2 billion together to pursue their game plan of fostering biotech startups. And it’s been effective. Their portfolio plays have provided a target-rich environment for big players like Roche and J&J and Vertex to come stalking acquisitions.

Recently, though, one of the managing partners at Vivo Capital jumped ship after a very long tenure — 17 years — and went on to quickly create a brand new biotech fund they’re partnered with the VC on called TCG Crossover; TCG X in abbreviated fashion. His name is Chen Yu, and in the midst of the busiest crossover season in the industry’s history, he’s jumping in to the game with an $824 million stake that will be put into play at the junction intersecting biotechs with public markets — with a special side focus on the booming China market, where he’s been a player for years.

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Tillman Gerngross (Adagio)

Till­man Gern­gross' Covid-19 an­ti­body moon­shot scores $336M with the help of new ace CFO. Is an IPO next?

Less than a year into its existence, serial biotech entrepreneur Tillman Gerngross’ antibody play Adagio has raced ahead into a pivotal trial for its lead drug for Covid-19 on the back of some very promising preclinical data. Now, crossover investors led by Peter Kolchinsky at RA are rolling up the Brinks truck — and that could spell an IPO in the offing for Adagio.

Adagio has bagged $336 million as part of a Series C round led by RA Capital to advance lead single-shot antibody ADG20 through a pivotal Phase I/II/III trial for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 patients at high risk of infection, the biotech said Monday.

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Biotech's IPO raise ap­proach­es $5.5B as Nas­daq con­tin­ues to prove fruit­ful with 2 de­buts and three new fil­ings

Editor’s note: Interested in following biopharma’s fast-paced IPO market? You can bookmark our IPO Tracker here.

It was another busy week in the biotech IPO market as the second quarter continues to churn out significant investment into the sector.

Recursion led the way with a $436 million raise on Friday, pricing its IPO at $18, the high end of its range. Our own John Carroll went in depth on that raise over the weekend. Also on Friday, preclinical cancer biotech Biomea Fusion debuted with a $153 million raise priced at its own high end of $17 per share. The two companies helped push the combined IPO raise for 2021 to nearly $5.5 billion.

Osman Kibar (Samumed, now Biosplice)

Os­man Kibar lays down his hand at Sa­mumed, step­ping away from CEO role as his once-her­ald­ed an­ti-ag­ing biotech re­brands

Samumed made quite the entrance back in 2016, when it launched with some anti-aging programs and a whopping $12 billion valuation. That level of fanfare was nowhere to be found on Thursday, when the company added another $120 million to its coffers and quietly changed its name to Biosplice Therapeutics.

Why the sudden rebrand?

“We did that for obvious reasons,” CFO and CBO Erich Horsley told Endpoints News. “The name Biosplice echoes our science much more than Samumed does.”

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Alex Leech, Alchemab CEO (SV Health Investors)

Alchemab bags fresh round of in­vestor for tar­get-ag­nos­tic an­ti­body de­vel­op­ment for Hunt­ing­ton's, Covid-19

With a “target-agnostic” approach to antibody development, the UK’s Alchemab has used lessons learned from patients with resistance to certain diseases to chase after conditions as far apart as Huntington’s and Covid-19. Now, investors are jumping on board the concept with an $86 million Series A.

The proceeds will go toward advancing the company’s target-agnostic drug discovery program, a release said. That approach looks at the antibody repertoires of patients who show resistance to typically destructive diseases regardless of genetic disposition.

Craig Parker, Surrozen CEO

The world of Wnt heads to Nas­daq as Sur­rozen an­nounces a $212M SPAC deal

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Another day, another SPAC merger in the world of biotech.

Less than 24 hours after Tango Therapeutics announced its own leap to Nasdaq through the blank check route, Surrozen has decided to take a similar step. The Wnt pathway-focused biotech is reverse-merging with Consonance Capital Management’s SPAC in a $212 million deal, which includes $92 million from the shell company and $120 million in PIPE financing.

Judy Chou, AltruBio CEO (AltruBio)

Af­ter a ma­jor facelift, Al­tru­Bio says it's ready for a piv­otal fight against graft-ver­sus-host dis­ease

AltruBio got a makeover, and now it’s ready for its closeup.

CEO Judy Chou took over last January — when the biotech was still known as AbGemomics — on a mission to rebuild and rebrand. She culled the company’s oncology program to laser in on an old immunology candidate. Now with a new board, a new name and new cash, the company has its eyes set on a pivotal study.

On Thursday, AltruBio unveiled a $63 million Series A round to fund its transformation. Its lead candidate, neihulizumab (also known as AbGn-168H), is an immune checkpoint regulator targeting PSGL-1, a glycoprotein found on white blood cells and endothelial cells. Earlier this month, the Phase Ib candidate nabbed FDA fast track designation in steroid refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD).