As CEO of Sanofi, Chris Viehbacher was always an outspoken champion of the innovation that could be found in biotech, even as it remained an elusive goal inside the Big Pharma. He backed up that belief with major partnerships with the likes of Regeneron and Alnylam. And now, 8 months after getting booted out of Sanofi by an angry board, he's getting back in the hunt for the best of biotech and the life sciences industry as the head of a $2 billion healthcare investment fund set up by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli.
Patrick Soon-Shiong thinks he can beat CAR-Ts in the clinic. And after quietly taking control of a small biotech named Conkwest, the biotech billionaire is now floating a $172.5 million IPO in a sizzling hot market to raise new funds for the midstage program that lies ahead.
Six months after nailing down a $20 million series C led by Pfizer, a group of crossover investors have backed a $70 million follow-up round for South San Francisco-based CytomX, a cancer-focused biotech with next-gen antibody tech that is positioning itself as a player at the crossroads of two of the hottest fields in oncology R&D.
South San Francisco startup Kezar Life Sciences is looking to follow through on some promising programs discovered at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, raising $23 million and securing Amgen's blessing as it targets autoimmune disease.
San Diego-based Avalon Ventures has doubled up on its pipeline of programs being developed in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline. The venture group has launched three new companies, plucking new drug projects that range from cardiovascular disease, to cancer to a rare lysosomal storage disorder.
Hot on the heels of executing a $645 million deal to work with Seattle Genetics on a portfolio of antibody-coupled T-cell receptor programs, Cambridge, MA-based Unum Therapeutics has taken the wraps off a whopping $65 million crossover round aimed at fueling their drive into the clinic with their next-gen approach to CAR-T.
Targovax is to merge with fellow Nordic biotech Oncos Therapeutics to create an immuno-oncology player with the critical mass to get noticed in the congested and fiercely fought field. The merged company will fuel the first-phase of its ambitions through a private placement, with an IPO in Oslo to follow within the next 12 months.
After spending the last four years germinating an idea for a new biotech company with some top scientists, the partners at Polaris have allied with New Enterprise Associates and a trio of biotech investors to launch XTuit, jumping out of stealth mode with a $22 million A round and a new take on fighting cancer and liver disease.
Pieris Pharmaceuticals has filed to step up to Nasdaq from OTCQB and add $35 million (€31 million) to its bank balance in the process. The listing would end Pieris' short stay on OTCQB, which began when it acquired Marika in a reverse merger late last year and allowed it to raise $13.5 million in a private placement from investors including OrbiMed Advisors.
Cosmo Pharmaceuticals is pushing ahead with plans to spin out its dermatology assets and list the resulting company on the SIX Swiss Exchange. To get the project underway, Cosmo and its shareholders have clubbed together for a €49.9 million ($56.5 million) capital increase, giving the spinout the cash it needs to wrap up a Phase III trial of its lead candidate.