PureTech Health snags $100M to fund affiliates; PolyPid takes a third stab at IPO

→ London-listed, Boston-based PureTech Health has bagged $100 million (£72 million) in a placing to continue funding its biotech affiliates — a fairly diverse group that includes weight loss treatment developer Gelesis, anti-aging startup resTORbio and digital therapeutics company Akili Interactive. The proceeds will be divided between three types of programs: more advanced ones like Akili’s video game for ADHD, which is in PhIII; assets making the leap from PhI to PhII/III; and preclinical lymphatic biology-focused candidates looking to enter the clinic. “We are confident that our entrepreneurial and flexible structure will continue to yield successes in the years to come, and we are grateful for the tremendous support from a broad group of existing as well as new investors in this placing,” said PureTech CEO Daphne Zohar in a statement. “And most importantly, for sharing our vision of building a new kind of biopharmaceutical company positioned to deliver novel categories of medicine to patients.”

→ Three years after its last IPO try, Israeli biotech PolyPid is taking another stab at the public markets. The company just amended an SEC statement, first filed back in February, that ups the company’s total fundraising attempt from $86 million to $92 million. The company had two previous misfired attempts to go public in 2014 and 2015, when it sought to raise $22 million and $20 million respectively. PolyPid’s lead product D-Plex, a slow-release antibiotic reservoir given in a single injection that is designed to provide local prevention of bacterial infections at surgical sites, is readying for late-stages trials. PolyPid plans to list on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol $POLY.

→ Eyeing an accelerated approval for its gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy, AveXis has inked a licensing deal with Genethon — a non-profit R&D group — for up to around $15 million total. The exclusive agreement grants worldwide rights to AveXis to the in vivo gene therapy delivery of AAV9 vector into the central nervous system for the treatment of SMA. In exchange, AveXis is handing over $4 million upfront and promising $25,000 in annual management fees as well as up to $11 million in milestone payments. The Chicago-based biotech has been hailed as a serious rival to Biogen, owner of the Spinraza franchise, having demonstrated significant benefits for infants.

With contribution by Brittany Meiling.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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