Seattle-headquartered Accelerator is aiming to kick-start New York City's nascent biotech ecosystem, leading its group of big-name investors to back a $48 million funding round for a local upstart.
New York's ambitious plans to grow a biotech hub in the heart of its world-class scientific community is being rewarded today with the unveiling of Kallyope, a startup that's being spun out of the labs at Columbia University with $44 million in Series A backing from a group of marquee investors.
Illumina Accelerator has selected a wide-ranging group of four new genomic startup investments in its third funding cycle. Each company will get an initial seed investment as well as matching funds for a total of $1 million to $5 million after completion of the 6-month program. Illumina infused the accelerator with $40 million from private equity firm Viking Global Investors in February.
When Rich Heyman sold Seragon to Genentech for up to $1.7 billion in mid-2014, he had planned on taking an extended sabbatical. But the lure of new startups keeps bringing him back into the game. And this time he's quarterbacking a biotech startup that's exploring some very familiar terrain in the cancer drug field.
This morning a group of marquee venture backers put up $102 million to bankroll a startup--Gritstone Oncology--that plans to develop personalized cancer vaccines that can specifically spur an immune system assault on antigens that are created by tumors.
Over the years the partners at Third Rock have whipped up a wave of biotech startups focused on new cancer drugs, gene therapies, heart disease, gene editing and much, much more. Now they're tackling new therapeutics for hearing loss, convinced that this is a prime time to create a new company from the ground up in a field that's been long neglected by drug developers.
Life sciences investor Hatteras Venture Partners has seen some sweeping changes in its native North Carolina over the past year, as anchor tenant GlaxoSmithKline is shedding more than 1,000 local jobs and disrupting the local biotech ecosystem. But all that displaced talent has created a wealth of potential for new startups, Hatteras said, and the firm has put together $90 million for a new fund designed to back the next generation of promising companies.
Digital health startups attracted $4 billion in venture capital in the U.S. last year, compared with about $110 million in Europe.
The mystery of Ron Evans' new biotech startup has been solved. Armed with $36 million in cash from A-list venture investors and backed by a pro team recruited from Rich Heyman's Aragon/Seragon starring cancer drug startups, the prominent Salk investigator and his old buddy Heyman are coming out of stealth mode today with a new company called Metacrine.
Illumina graduated the first three companies from its genomics incubator, Illumina Accelerator, months after the sequencing giant roped in new funds to back startups selected for the program.