Bob Cuddihy, Capsida

A new gene ther­a­py play­er de­buts in LA with 2 start­up VCs at its back, Ab­b­Vie on board with a $90M cash up­front and big plans to up­end the field

These days, news of a biotech break­ing out of stealth mode with a healthy launch round is not all that un­usu­al. But Cap­si­da just might sur­prise you in all sorts of ways.

Backed by 2 VCs that ar­rived at the same Cal­Tech sci­en­tist’s lab at about the same time, the biotech is de­but­ing with $50 mil­lion from the in­vestors as well as a $90 mil­lion up­front deal with Ab­b­Vie — a re­mark­able amount of cash for an up­start still do­ing dis­cov­ery work. The al­liance puts the phar­ma gi­ant back in play in gene ther­a­py af­ter ex­it­ing a sim­i­lar deal last year. And it gives Beth Sei­den­berg at West­lake Vil­lage BioPart­ners — al­lied with Ver­sant on this start­up on the $50 mil­lion A round — an im­por­tant brick in the wall for the LA biotech hub she’s help­ing cre­ate with her new fund.

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