A pair of billionaire brothers helped Glycotope round up $76 million in venture cash to pay for Phase IIb trials of a pair of cancer drugs as well as a late-stage effort for a fertility therapy.
Thanks to some risk-accepting venture capitalists, optimistic public investors and compromising regulators, 2013 was a banner year for the drug development business. But while much of the industry's optimism has rolled on into the new year, early signs suggest 2014 may struggle to keep the pace.
San Diego biotech Lumena Pharmaceuticals has nailed down a $45 million B round with plans to move forward with treatments for two liver diseases, one a painful orphan condition and the other a fast-spreading cause célèbre in the biotech world.
Texas biotech ZS Pharma banked a $55 million D round, cash that should help get its Phase III-tested treatment into the hands of regulators and, eventually, onto the market.
Anyone looking to start a biotech company should pay close attention to this list. Venture groups, entrepreneurs and increasingly Big Pharma have been concentrating their money and their attention in a few key places, only occasionally straying from the beaten path when funding a high-risk drug development effort.
Days after word got out that Abingworth was nigh on closing its latest raise, the London-based venture capital stalwart has signed the final line on an upsized $375 million fund. Now, after coming through with some high-profile exits in recent years, Managing Partner Stephen Bunting said his firm is looking for the next generation of biotech winners.
Life sciences venture outfit Abingworth is creeping up on a close for its 6th fund, according to Dow Jones Venturewire, reportedly outstripping its goal of $330 million as it stocks up for another round of investments.
Novo Ventures has stepped up to lead a $49 million round for San Diego-based Thesan Pharmaceuticals, which is developing new dermatology drugs for conditions like acne and atopic dermatitis.
On the same day it announced a $55 million E round, California biotech Versartis filed to go public in an $80 million IPO, planning to use its fast-growing bank account to get a promising orphan therapy through late-stage trials.
Swiss biotech Novimmune has closed a $66 million B round to bankroll its broad pipeline of monoclonal antibodies, and one of the company's lead investors told a local newspaper that it's considering going public to further finance its projects.