David Halbert, Caris Life Sciences CEO (Caris via Twitter)

The grow­ing liq­uid biop­sy field sees a uni­corn en­trant as Caris pulls in $830M megaround

Caris Life Sci­ences has pulled in an­oth­er mas­sive raise, and this time they’re re­port­ed­ly one step clos­er to launch­ing their IPO.

The AI-fo­cused Caris pulled in an $830 mil­lion growth eq­ui­ty round, the com­pa­ny an­nounced Tues­day af­ter­noon, earn­ing a val­u­a­tion of about $7.83 bil­lion. Tues­day’s raise al­so brings their to­tal fi­nanc­ing amount to $1.3 bil­lion since 2018 and $1.14 bil­lion since last Oc­to­ber. Ac­cord­ing to the Wall Street Jour­nal, which first re­port­ed on the raise, Caris ex­pects to com­plete their IPO some­time with­in the next 12 months.

Caris’ strat­e­gy uti­lizes ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to map a can­cer pa­tient’s ge­net­ic make­up and de­ter­mine which kinds of treat­ments would be best suit­ed for an op­ti­mal out­come. The com­pa­ny says their plat­form al­lows doc­tors to as­sess all 22,000 genes in both DNA and RNA to do so, uti­liz­ing whole ex­ome se­quenc­ing, whole tran­scrip­tome se­quenc­ing and pro­tein analy­sis in ad­di­tion to its AI mod­els.

Funds from Tues­day’s raise will al­low Caris to push their ef­forts in­to liq­uid biop­sies, in ad­di­tion to the sol­id tu­mor biop­sy ser­vices they cur­rent­ly pro­vide. One of these new pro­grams comes in the form of a blood-based pan-can­cer test, which Caris hopes can be used to de­tect can­cers in their ear­li­er stages.

“This re­cent raise will help us bring our mar­ket-lead­ing sci­ence and tech­nolo­gies to as many pa­tients as pos­si­ble, ul­ti­mate­ly rein­vent­ing can­cer care,” CEO David Hal­bert said in a state­ment. “We plan to un­lock the full po­ten­tial of pre­ci­sion med­i­cine through com­pre­hen­sive in­ter­ro­ga­tion of can­cer at the mol­e­c­u­lar lev­el.”

Pre­ci­sion med­i­cine — and all the tools that make it pos­si­ble — is a high-fly­ing area of the bio­phar­ma in­dus­try, ev­i­denced by Caris’ own fi­nanc­ing and uni­corn val­u­a­tion. One of its main com­peti­tors in ge­nom­ic pro­fil­ing is Foun­da­tion Med­i­cine, which was ac­quired by Roche for $2.4 bil­lion back in 2018. The buy­out had fol­lowed a sim­i­lar $1.9 bil­lion deal where Roche pur­chased Flat­iron Health and their health records sys­tem.

Mean­while, Caris’ move in­to the liq­uid biop­sy are­na will see it join a rel­a­tive­ly new but crowd­ed field, pit­ting it against well-known play­ers like Guardant Health and Third Rock-backed Thrive Ear­li­er De­tec­tion. There’s al­so the Il­lu­mi­na spin-out Grail, which notched its own hefty raise in May 2020 with $390 mil­lion in new fi­nanc­ing and sub­se­quent­ly planned an IPO.

Be­fore it could go pub­lic, how­ev­er, Il­lu­mi­na an­nounced it would be re-ac­quir­ing Grail last Sep­tem­ber for $8 bil­lion. That merg­er was put on hold ear­li­er this year af­ter the FTC moved to block the deal from go­ing through.

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Casey McPherson shows his daughters Rose (left) and Weston around Everlum Bio, a lab that he co-founded to spark a treatment for Rose and others with ultra-rare conditions. (Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Fa­ther starts lab af­ter in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty is­sues stymie rare dis­ease drug de­vel­op­ment

Under bright lab lights, Casey McPherson holds his 6-year-old daughter, Rose. His free hand directs Rose’s gaze toward a computer screen with potential clues in treating her one-of-a kind genetic condition.

Gray specks on the screen show her cells that scientists reprogrammed with the goal of zeroing in on a custom medicine. McPherson co-founded the lab, Everlum Bio, to spark a treatment for Rose — and others like her. A regarded singer-songwriter, McPherson never imagined going into drug development.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Vlad Coric, Biohaven CEO

Vlad Coric charts course for new Bio­haven with neu­ro­science push and Big Phar­ma vets on board

What’s Biohaven without its CGRP portfolio? That’s what CEO Vlad Coric is tasked with deciding as he maps out the new Biohaven post-Pfizer takeover.

Pfizer officially scooped up Biohaven’s CGRP assets on Monday, including blockbuster migraine drug Nurtec and the investigational zavegepant, for $11.6 billion. As a result, Coric spun the broader pipeline into an independent company on Tuesday — with the same R&D team behind Nurtec but about 1,000 fewer staffers and a renewed focus on neuroscience and rare disease.

In AstraZeneca's latest campaign, wild eosinophils called Phils personify the acting up often seen in uncontrolled asthma

As­traZeneca de­buts an­noy­ing pur­ple ‘Phil’ crea­tures, per­son­i­fied asth­ma eosinophils ‘be­hav­ing bad­ly’

There are some odd-looking purple creatures lurking around the halls of AstraZenca lately. The “Phil” character cutouts are purple, personified eosinophils with big buggy eyes and wide mouths, and they’re a part of AZ’s newest awareness effort to help people understand eosinophilic asthma.

The “Asthma Behaving Badly” characters aren’t only on the walls at AZ to show the new campaign to employees, however. The “Phils” are also showing up online on the campaign website, and in digital and social ads and posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Marc Dunoyer, Alexion CEO (AstraZeneca via YouTube)

Up­dat­ed: As­traZeneca nabs a small rare dis­ease gene ther­a­py play­er for 667% pre­mi­um

AstraZeneca is kicking off the fourth quarter with a little M&A Monday for a gene editing player recently overcoming a second clinical hold to its only program in human studies.

The Big Pharma and its subsidiary Alexion are buying out little LogicBio for $2.07 per share. That’s good for a massive 667% premium over its Friday closing price, when it headed into the weekend at 27 cents and just weeks after Nasdaq said LogicBio would have to delist, which has been put on hold as the biotech requests a hearing. It’s one of two biotech deals to commence October, alongside the news of Incyte buying a vitiligo-focused biotech.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Dave Marek, Myovant CEO

My­ovant board balks as ma­jor­i­ty own­er Sum­it­o­mo swoops in with a $2.5B deal to buy them out

Three years after Sumitomo scooped up Roivant’s 46% stake in the publicly traded Myovant $MYOV as part of a 5-company, $3 billion deal, they’re coming back for the whole thing.

But these other investors at Myovant want more than what the Japanese pharma company is currently offering to pay at this stage.

Sumitomo is bidding $22.75 a share for the outstanding stock, which now represents 48% of the company after Sumitomo bumped its ownership since the original deal with Roivant. Myovant, however, created a special committee on the board, and they’re shaking their heads over the offer.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Christophe Bourdon, Leo Pharma CEO

Leo Phar­ma looks 'be­yond the skin' in atopic der­mati­tis aware­ness cam­paign

As Leo Pharma aims to take on heavyweight champ Dupixent in atopic dermatitis, the company is launching “AD Days Around the World,” an awareness campaign documenting real patient stories across Europe.

The project, unveiled on Monday, spotlights four patients: Marjolaine, Laura, Julia and África from France, Italy, Germany and Spain, respectively, in short video clips on the challenges of living with AD, the most common form of eczema.

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: No­var­tis re­cruits NFL coach for Leqvio cam­paign; Pfiz­er pro­motes ‘Sci­ence’ merch on so­cial me­dia

Novartis is turning to a winning coach to talk about Leqvio and the struggles of high cholesterol — including his own. Bruce Arians, the retired NFL head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is partnering with the pharma for its “Coaching Cholesterol” digital, social and public relations effort.

In the campaign, Arians talks about the potential for “great comebacks” in football and heart health. Once nicknamed a “quarterback whisperer,” he is now retired from fulltime coaching (although still a front-office consultant for Tampa Bay), and did a round of media interviews for Novartis, including one with People and Forbes.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 150,400+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Amy West, Novo Nordisk head of US digital innovation and transformation (Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Q&A: No­vo Nordisk dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion chief Amy West dis­cuss­es phar­ma pain points and a health­care 'easy but­ton’

Amy West joined Novo Nordisk more than a decade ago to oversee marketing strategies and campaigns for its US diabetes portfolio. However, her career path shifted into digital, and she hasn’t looked back. West went from leading Novo’s first digital health strategy in the US to now heading up digital innovation and transformation.

She’s currently leading the charge at Novo Nordisk to not only go beyond the pill with digital marketing and health tech, but also test, pilot and develop groundbreaking new strategies needed in today’s consumerized healthcare world.

Endpoints Premium

Premium subscription required

Unlock this article along with other benefits by subscribing to one of our paid plans.