After two years of building up its knowledge of the human microbiome, tiny Seres Health has emerged from stealth mode today with $10.5 million in venture cash from Flagship Ventures and a business plan to develop new therapies dubbed "Ecobiotics."
The startup biotech Blend Therapeutics rang in 2012 with seed cash and will now close out the year with a fresh injection of $16 million in B-round bucks budgeted to take this startup--one of the latest from the prolific scientist Robert Langer--right to the threshold of clinical development.
The secretive startup has attracted $40 million from Flagship Ventures and other investors to put the bold plan into action, disclosing the financing and details about its research to the public for the first time this morning.
French in vitro diagnostics giant bioMérieux has taken a major stake in Massachusetts startup Quanterix. It led most of a $18.5 million Series C financing secured by the company, and both will partner to develop ultrasensitive and multilevel immunoassays.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has stepped up with another equity investment in a biotech company, this time making a major contribution to a $13 million Series A add for a startup aiming at a universal preventive as well as therapeutic approach to influenza. Omega Funds also joined the venture top-up, bringing the first venture round for Cambridge, MA-based Visterra to $26 million.
Gone are the days when venture capitalists could hatch a biotech and take it public without much regard for the needs of Big Pharma. Public investors seldom buy into new biotech companies, and drugmakers have increasingly become early partners with VC firms and their young ventures. In the process, pharma has gained significant clout in the biotech VC game.
Robert Connelly has stepped aside from his job at the helm of Lexington, MA-based Pulmatrix, trading in his role leading the development of new respiratory drugs in favor of a new trans-Atlantic upstart which plans to create a wide range of "delicious" packages for food designed to replace today's trash with a tasty snack.
Seventh Sense Biosystems scored a $10 million round of Series A financing designed to help launch a pivotal clinical trial for its point of care blood collection device.
Merck has emerged as one of a handful of Big Pharma companies that is fueling early-stage venture funds, and the strategy could remedy some--but not all--of the funding woes of newly hatched biotechs.
Eleven Biotherapeutics has topped up its bank account with a $20 million injection of venture cash and unveiled a look at the company's lead treatment, EBI-005.