The venture money machine backing the biotech industry in the U.S. was operating in overdrive during the second quarter, generating a record amount of investing in new drug development as IPOs continue their romp in the third year of a wide-open market.
A few months after raising $357 million to back their new biotech investment group, the ex-Elan team at Malin has helped place a $67 million bet on Melinta Therapeutics, a late-stage antibiotics developer now taking a second stab at a pivotal Phase III study of their lead program.
Atlas Venture's antibiotics upstart Spero Therapeutics has rounded up a $30 million B round, banking enough cash to steer its in-house pipeline to the clinic with some in-licensed technology while shepherding its Roche-partnered program through an IND.
Neil Woodford's new $1.2 billion fund and GlaxoSmithKline's VC unit have contributed to a $39 million Series C round in PsiOxus Therapeutics. The cash will allow PsiOxus to test its oncolytic virus together with a checkpoint inhibitor, a combination it thinks can make the immuno-oncology treatment effective against otherwise resistant targets.
Doubling down on its in-house startup academy, biotech VC stalwart Flagship Ventures has recruited a trio of big-name corporate sponsors to lend their expertise to its next class of seedlings, expanding its focus well beyond traditional drug development.
The cascade of venture cash into CRISPR-Cas9 startups is continuing with no end in sight, despite a patent brawl brewing over who owns the technology. Today it's CRISPR Therapeutics' turn at the venture well, drawing $64 million in new VC cash that will fund a company that's based in Basel with deep and growing roots in Cambridge, MA. The new funding brings its total haul to $89 million, with GlaxoSmithKline's SR One and Celgene leading the way.
Atlas Venture is unveiling a new $280 million fund today that will double down on its bet on cutting-edge drugs. Atlas relied on two close industry giants--Amgen and Novartis--and a mix of old and new investors to help raise a fund that easily broke through its $250 million cap.
A wave of venture cash continues to flood into the biotech field. And New Enterprise Associates is now back at the crest of that wave. The venture group put out word this morning that it has raised $3.1 billion for two new funds, and if history is any guide, a major part of that money will be earmarked for a new blast of global biotech investments ranging from seed to clinical-stage backing.
A transatlantic group of venture investors crowded into a $120 million venture round for Vienna-based Nabriva Therapeutics, offering enough cash to get started with a Phase III study for a new antibiotic.
A big venture round led by Sofinnova Ventures and backed by a lengthy string of biotech stalwarts and public investment firms is bound to get tongues wagging again about a possible IPO in the near future for San Diego-based aTyr.