PARIS--Sofinnova Partners has reloaded its cash reserves and started to build the next wave of 15 to 20 biotechs for its portfolio. The venture group has wrapped a €300 million ($324 million) transatlantic biotech fund, easily blazing past its €250 million goal and far surpassing any of the earlier 7 funds that preceded it. Sofinnova Capital VIII brings the total amount under its management to €1.5 billion.
A group of scientists at UCLA have cooked up some compounds that could harness the cancer-fighting properties of metformin while avoiding the biological hurdles that have limited its effect in past studies. And Enlibrium, a weeks-old startup, has licensed those assets and raised a $15 million in Series A cash to test out the idea.
South San Francisco startup Neurona Therapeutics raised a $23.5 million A round to support its work on a cell therapy approach to neurological disease.
Just 8 months after raising a $35 million B round, South San Francisco-based biotech True North has come back with an added $40 million draw, adding a new group of investors--including some crossovers--as the company moves further ahead in the clinic with its lead drug.
Seattle startup Nohla Therapeutics is developing an off-the-shelf alternative to bone marrow transplants, securing $20 million in venture commitments and partnering up with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to push its efforts forward.
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.
When Paolo Paoletti joined GlaxoSmithKline in 2011 to build an oncology group, the number of cancer specialists on staff ranged in the dozens. By the time GSK decided to scrap the organization in a swap with Novartis, he had recruited 2,000 staffers around the world working on a full pipeline of therapies.
San Francisco's Symic raised $25 million to fund its work on a pair of anti-inflammatory medicines targeting the extracellular matrix, recruiting Eli Lilly to lead the round as it works through clinical development.
Belgian VC shop V-Bio Ventures has raised €63 million ($67 million) to invest in life science startups. The newly formed fund has a remit to back new and emerging biotechs from across Europe, but with strong ties to VIB, the Belgian research institute that spawned Ablynx, is likely to funnel a chunk of its cash into local companies.
Molecular Health has raised $27 million to drive adoption of its data-crunching technology, which includes a tool aimed at drug developers. The investment moves the sum raised by Molecular Health to date beyond the $100 million mark.