Over the last few years there's been something of a shakeout among biotech venture investors. There are fewer big players, but with IPOs taking flight again, established venture groups are rolling out new funds collectively worth billions of dollars. And now a pair of Asian pharma companies is bankrolling a rare operation: a brand new VC organization--Remiges Ventures--that plans to go hunting for biotech startups in the U.S. and Europe.
Sofinnova Ventures has evolved rapidly over the past decade to suit the times, from a diversified early stage biotech and IT investor to focusing solely on later stage biotech. And LPs seem to think it is making all the right moves; it has closed a ninth fund at $500 million, the hard cap for the fund that was initially targeting $425 million.
This morning Atlas Venture and New Enterprise Associates announced that they have committed $29.4 million to launch Synlogic, a new Cambridge, MA-based upstart initially seeded last fall that has set out to build a platform that can create therapeutic microbes.
After Sage Therapeutics staged a stellar debut on Friday, 6 more drug developers are expected to price IPOs this week, looking to buck some bearish trends in biotech and raise about $400 million combined.
With investors revved up about biotech's future, a string of funds have outlined plans to raise billions of dollars to back a new generation of life science companies. And New Science Ventures is joining the frenzy with a $100 million game plan of its own.
Biotechs raked in a whopping $1.8 billion in venture cash last quarter, the industry's biggest haul since PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association started keeping track in 1995.
Menlo Park, CA, biotech Virobay tacked another $8 million onto its Series B financing, collecting cash to advance its treatments for neuropathic pain, autoimmune disease and fibrosis.
After scooping up an initial €12 million in October and a partnering pact with Roche in November, Germany's immatics has received an additional €22 million ($29.8 million) to wrap up a Series D financing round.
The valuations of small biotech companies are looking a little bloated, according to a Federal Reserve report accompanying testimony by Chairwoman Janet Yellen, an opinion that weighed down share values across the industry.
Online fundraising has helped bring movies, comic books and even medical devices to reality, and a new study says the method could be beneficial for drug developers at the earliest of stages.