While there is a well-established path from seed funding to exit for web startups, genomics plays with big ambitions require investors with deep pockets and an appetite for risk. Bryan Johnson seemingly has both and has set up a $100 million fund with the objective of turning "crazy" ideas into "viable" businesses.
Finland's Forendo Pharma has pulled in €12 million ($15.2 million) to advance its treatment for a painful uterine condition, drawing the support of a few major drugmakers.
The busy partners at Atlas Venture have gathered together a $17 million Series A for their latest biotech creation: Quartet Medicine, which pairs together two scientific founders who have been exploring the frontiers of pain management. This is Atlas' fourth maiden round for one of their biotech launches in a little more than a week, with Cambridge, MA-based Quartet joining Unum, Raze and Bicycle in a rare streak of startups. And there are likely some more to come.
As the promise of harnessing the immune system to fight cancer grabs headlines around the industry, venture stalwarts Fidelity Biosciences and Atlas Venture have teamed up to launch Unum Therapeutics, a Cambridge, MA, startup with a hybrid approach to the field.
Biotech startup machine PureTech has raised a $55 million round to fund the next stage of its evolution, recruiting some big thinkers to help it advance its stable of ventures and develop new technologies.
Last quarter biotech attracted a whopping $1.8 billion in new venture cash, the biggest quarter since 2005.
Today Menlo Park, CA-based Canaan is rolling out a new fund, its 10th, with $675 million to invest in new companies--about a third of which will be devoted to biotech and healthcare.
DNAtrix, at work on viral treatment that selectively infects brain cancer cells, picked up $20 million in venture cash, funds the company said will help speed its candidate into late-stage study.
While Atlas Venture was busy putting together a syndicate for Raze in Cambridge, MA, the venture group was also engaged in hatching a $32 million round across the Atlantic in the scientific hotbed of Cambridge, U.K. Atlas partnered with SV Life Sciences and three corporate venture arms--Novartis Venture Fund, GlaxoSmithKline's SR One and Astellas Venture Management--to back Bicycle Therapeutics.
With report after report finding flaws in the data security practices of healthcare and life science organizations, Exostar has decided to accelerate its expansion into the sector. And the company has snagged funding from the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund to support its plans.