With crossover investors still crowding into the biotech field to help launch a wave of new IPOs, the industry recorded $1.7 billion in new venture funds in the first quarter, according to The MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters.
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 day after Galapagos rolled out promising results for its oral rheumatoid arthritis drug filgotinib on Tuesday, the Belgian biotech confidently rolled out its plan to raise $150 million in an IPO on Nasdaq. And with topline results for a follow-up study expected in a matter of days, Galapagos says it should be poised to jump into Phase III with a $200 million licensing deal from AbbVie expected before the end of this year.
OrbiMed Advisors is reportedly laying the groundwork for a second Israeli life science investment fund. And after four years of positive results for its initial government-partnered foray into the country, the big-name biotech VC shop is prepared to try to raise $250 million (€235 million) without state support.
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.
Biotech venture capitalists have increasingly embraced the virtual model, seeding companies with promising assets, tiny staffs and a willingness to outsource. Now, as Reuters notes, a recent Big Pharma buyout signals that the idea is gaining steam among larger players.
New Jersey biotech Edge Therapeutics pocketed $72.5 million in a series of funding rounds, piling up cash as it prepares to take its lead treatment for brain injuries into Phase III development.
When U.K. investment guru Neil Woodford outlined his initial plans for a new, publicly traded tech fund that would seek out up-and-coming biotechs for its portfolio, he pegged the fund as a $300 million player with an option to jump to $750 million if it proved popular.
Neil Woodford has weighed into the debate over whether biotech is in a bubble or sustainable bull market. The veteran fund manager drew a distinction between what he sees as the bubbly multiples of some publicly traded U.S. stocks and the bargain-basement valuations of unquoted British biotechs.
The veteran Alzheimer's researchers at Alzheon believe their novel treatment for the disease has a chance to come through where so many others have failed, raising $10 million amid a "perfect storm" for the company's top prospect, the CEO said.