Editor's Note: This version of the Fierce Biotech Fundraising Tracker covering July 19, 2022, through the end of the year has been retired. See the new 2023 version here.
2021 was a banner year for biotech venture capital, with more than 200 companies recording at least a $50 million fundraising round and nearly 100 deals north of $100 million, according to Evaluate Vantage. Naturally, that’s a lot of stories to write!
Recognizing that investment has so far decreased in 2022 after the record year, we at Fierce Biotech are excited to launch a new, more efficient way of covering fundraises. Allow us to introduce you to the Fierce Biotech Fundraising Tracker, the new home of our financing coverage moving forward, including any fundraising rounds north of $30 million.
This isn’t our first tracker. Earlier this year, we launched our Layoff Tracker as the industry reeled from the pullback in investment, among other challenges. Now, we’re going to do the same for financing.
We'll still profile exciting new companies and larger rounds that catch our eye in-depth, but we’re hoping to focus more coverage on clinical trial results, special reports and enterprise stories to give our readers insights they couldn’t find elsewhere. We think this is a win-win.
Dec. 21—Enveda Biosciences
CEO: Viswa Colluru, Ph.D.
Series: B equity and debt financing
Amount: $68 Million
Investors: FPV, Jazz Venture Partners, Level Ventures, Amino Collective, Allen & Co, Possible Ventures, True Ventures, Lux Capital, Wireframe Ventures, Hummingbird Ventures, Two Sigma Ventures
The Colorado biotech's drug discovery platform uses metabolomics (the study of small molecules) and machine learning to identify new compounds that could potentially overcome certain challenges that plague the field of small molecules. The new financing will go toward advancing lead compounds to in-human studies across a range of targets and pathways, including cytokine-receptor interactions, GPCRs, and the inflammasome pathway. The series B builds on a $51 million series A, bringing Enveda's total capital raised to $124 million. Release
Dec. 15—Enlaza Therapeutics
CEO: Sergio Duron, Ph.D.
Series: Seed round
Amount: $61 Million
Investors: Avalon Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Frazier Life Sciences and Samsara BioCapital
Enlaza is hitting the scene with $61 million in cash to build out a pipeline of covalent biologics using the company's War-Lock platform, built on technology licensed from scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and the Scripps Research Institute. The belief is that the platform has the potential to identify and design molecules that are both highly specific and come equipped with potent therapeutic warheads to treat disease. The pipeline has not yet been unveiled but Enlaza says preclinical data of its potential cancer candidates hint at high tumor retention and low off-target toxicity. Release
CEO: Per Fischer
Amount: 72 million EUR
Investors: Trill Impact Ventures, Pureos Bioventures, REPAIR Impact Fund (Novo Holdings), Sunstone Life Science Ventures, LF Investment, Wellington Partners, Sanofi Ventures, Adjuvant Capital and Industrifonden
Danish biotech MinervaX is adding fresh financing as it continues a phase 2 trial of its Group B Streptococcus. The company is backed by the venture arms of Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, the former of which is the largest investor in the company. GBS accounts for almost half of all life-threatening infections in newborns and the company says enrollment of pregnant women is underway in the U.K., South Africa and Denmark. MinervaX says the new cash will fund continued clinical development, including preparations for a phase 3 trial. Release
Dec. 14—Alpha-9 Theranostics
CEO: David Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D
Amount: $75 million
Investors: Nextech Invest, Frazier Life Sciences, Samsara BioCapital, Quark Venture, Longitude Capital and BVF Partners
With the radiopharmaceuticals industry burgeoning, Alpha-9 has bagged $75 million to carve out a piece of the potential commercial pie. The company was spun out of UBC and BCCancer and is led by the firm's founder and managing director David Hirsch, who over the course of his career has sat on the board of nearly a dozen biotechs. The company says the latest fundraising will support advancing at least five programs into the clinic over the next two years in addition to completing a research facility in Vancouver. Release
CEO: Richard Markus, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: $47 million
Investors: Westlake Village BioPartners, Corner Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, Caltech
Dantari has debuted with $47 million and platform tech spun out from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The money will be channeled toward building out the newly emerged biotech's antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform, which is designed to enable higher drug-antibody ratio and tunable-release of chemotherapy, and its chemotherapeutic platform. The company's lead pipeline program is DAN-222, an HDC chemotherapeutic agent currently being evaluated in a phase 1/2 trial for metastatic HER 2-negative breast cancer. Release
Dec. 7—Apogee Therapeutics
CEO: Michael Henderson, M.D.
Series: Oversubscribed B
Amount: $149 million
Investors: Deep Track Capital, RTW Investments, Fidelity Management & Research Company, OrbiMed, Perceptive Xontogeny Ventures Fund II, RA Capital Management, Wellington Management, Fairmount and Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners
Apogee is the first spinout from biotech Paragon Therapeutics and already touts a sizable $169 million to advance at least four of Paragon’s preclinical pipeline candidates. Apogee was founded by Fairmount Funds Management and Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners this year, and will funnel its oversubscribed series B money toward filling out its team and advancing its lead pipeline program to the clinic next year. The company has not disclosed what indication the program, dubbed APG777, targets. Fierce Biotech
Dec. 6—Entact Bio
CEO: Victoria Richon, Ph.D.
Amount: $81 million
Investors: Qiming Venture Partners, venBio Partners, Abingworth, Brandon Capital, Janus Henderson Investors, Logos Capital, Citadel’s Surveyor Capital, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 4BIO Capital and Arkin Bio Ventures.
Entact is launching with a mission to develop new precision medicines that improve the function of beneficial proteins (compared to removing or blocking proteins that contribute to disease). The series A funding will help advance its platform, dubbed Encompass, which is built to identify disease targets amenable to enhancement-targeting chimeric (ENTAC) intervention. The newly launched Massachusetts biotech is helmed by Victoria Richon, who most recently served as founding president and CEO of Ribon Therapeutics. Release
CEO: Daniel Burgess
Series: C extension
Amount: $52 million
Investors: Jeito Capital, Pictet Alternative Advisors, Vivo Capital, SV Health Investors, SR One, IP Group plc, F-Prime Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Adjuvant Capital, Asahi Kasei Pharma, Longwood Fund and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The late-stage biotech’s extension round builds off an oversubscribed $92 million, and will go toward clinical development, manufacturing and pre-commercialization of its lead candidate. Named opelconazole, the inhaled anti-fungal is designed to treat invasive pulmonary aspergillosis and is currently being assessed in phase 2 and phase 3 trials. Release
CEO: Kenneth Greenberg, Ph.D.
Amount: $60.6 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, Illumina Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Vertex Ventures, Medical Excellence Capital, Eli Lilly & Company, Alexandria Venture Investments, Lifespan Investments, Formic Ventures, Foothill Ventures and Wilson Sonsini.
The new gene therapy biotech has launched with backing from Big Pharmas J&J and Eli Lilly. The series A money will go toward developing SonoThera’s ultrasound-guided, nonviral gene therapy platform and preclinical development. The California biotech’s treatments will be designed to overcome delivery challenges in gene therapy by using a microbubble-mediated biophysical process to non-invasively deliver different nucleic acid payloads and selectively target a wide range of organs. Release
Nov. 29—Cajal Neuroscience
CEO: Ignacio Muñoz-Sanjuán, Ph.D.
Amount: $96 million
Investors: The Column Group, Lux Capital, Two Sigma Ventures, Bristol Myers Squibb, Evotec, Alexandria Venture Investments, Dolby Family Ventures, other unnamed investors
The new Seattle biotech has launched with nearly $100 million and hopes to rapidly revolutionize neurodegeneration drug discovery. Cajal’s platform combines integrative human genetics and multi-omics to systematically validate thousands of targets implicated in diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The biotech is currently working to create a comprehensive understanding of neurodegeneration that includes how, where and when different mechanisms contribute to certain diseases. Release
Nov. 29—Rgenta Therapeutics
CEO: Simon Xi
Amount: $52 million
Investors: AZ-CICC Healthcare Investment Fund, Korean Investment Partners, Delos Capital, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Matrix Partners China, Lilly Asia Venture, Vivo Capital
The Massachusetts biotech has $52 million in hand to develop small-molecule, RNA-targeting medicines for historically undruggable disease targets, with an initial focus on oncology and neurological disorders. The company has its own discovery platform that is built to analyze large amounts of human genomics data to identify targetable RNA processing events and design small-molecule glues to modulate certain interactions. The biotech plans to channel its newest funds toward developing undisclosed lead programs, boost platform capabilities and advance its pipeline. Release
Nov. 28—Strand Therapeutics
CEO: Jake Becraft, Ph.D.
Amount: $45 million
Investors: FPV, Eli Lilly and Co., Potentum Partners, Playground Global, other unnamed syndicate
The Boston biotech has extended its series A fundraise, adding on $45 million for a total of $97 million. The programmable mRNA company will use the money to advance its solid tumor immuno-oncology drug candidate into phase 1 trials next year. Strand will also funnel money toward developing its systemic delivery mechanism, which is designed to deliver microenvironment-modifying mRNA to tumor sites and immune cells. The biotech plans to grow its team to support these efforts. Release
Nov. 28—Escient Pharmaceuticals
CEO: Joshua Grass
Amount: $120 million
Investors: NEA, Abingworth, Forge Life Science Partners, Avego, PFM Health Sciences, The Eleven Fund, The Column Group, 5AM Ventures, Redmile Group, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Sanofi Ventures, Osage University Partners, Altitude Life Science Ventures
The San Diego biotech’s series C follows a $77.5 million series B in September 2020, a round that occurred alongside Escient’s first in-human tests. Now, the $120 million will help the biotech push forward investigational small molecule therapeutics for several neurosensory-inflammatory disorders, with a focus on lead candidates EP547 and EP262. The assets are designed to inhibit cell surface receptors called Mas-related G protein-coupled receptors, or MRGPRs, which mediate the neuro-immune overactivation associated with many chronic disorders. Fierce Biotech
CEO: Phil L’Huillier, Ph.D.
Amount: 50 million euros
Investors: Brandon Capital, Jeito Capital, Forbion, Novartis Venture Fund, Vesalius Biocapital III, Bayern Kapital, BioGeneration Ventures, Coparion
The German immuno-oncology company will use the funds to push its lead candidate, a monoclonal antibody dubbed visugromab, through an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial. The study is evaluating visugromab in combination with an anti-PD1 antibody in patients with advanced solid tumors that are relapsed/refractory, with first data read-outs expected in early 2023. The newest financing round comes almost exactly two years after the company raised an equal-sized series B in 2020. Release
CEO: Gregory Verdine, Ph.D.
Amount: $178 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, Milky Way Investments, Fidelity Management & Research Company, VenBio Partners, Deerfield Management, GV, Cormorant Asset Management, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Invus, Farallon Capital Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Casdin Capital and PagsGroup
A little more than 18 months after raising a $107 million series C, FogPharma is back with another nine-digit fundraising haul. The company's $178 million series D will go towards continuing to advance its pipeline, which currently includes at least six therapies. Fog's lead asset, a TCF-blocking beta-catenin inhibitor, is slated to enter the clinic in mid-2023. As part of the financing, Altos Labs founder Rick Klausner, M.D., joined the company's board of directors. Release
Nov. 21—Opna Bio
CEO: Gideon Bollag, Ph.D.
Amount: $38 million
Investors: Longitude Capital, Northpond Ventures and Menlo Ventures
Opna Bio is hitting the ground running with a couple of already-identified candidates, nabbing five oncology assets from Plexxikon in addition to $38 million in series A funds. The new company's top brass was also scooped up from Plexxikon, with former CEO Gideon Bollag, Ph.D., co-founding and leading Opna. Joining him are chief operating officer Gaston Habets, Ph.D., and chief medical officer Jackie Walling, Ph.D., both of whom are Plexxikon alums. Release
Nov. 17—Rezo Therapeutics
CEO: Nevan Krogan, Ph.D.
Amount: $78 million
Investors: SR One, a16z Bio + Health, Norwest Venture Partners, SV Angel, Liquid 2 Ventures and Hawktail
The University of California, San Francisco spin-out launched with $78 million and plans to focus on oncology drug discovery. The biotech is built around an integrated platform designed to map disease networks and identify new, druggable targets that can be attacked using a range of treatment modalities. Current efforts include pinpointing how mutations rewire cancer-driving networks, with plans to explore other therapeutic areas in the future via potential partnerships. Release
Nov. 15—CG Oncology
CEO: Arthur Kuan
Amount: $120 million
Investors: ORI Capital, Longitude Capital, Decheng Capital, RA Capital Management, Acorn Bioventures, Malin Corporation, Ally Bridge Group and Sirona Capital
The oversubscribed series E brings the California biotech's total funding to more than $200 million to date. The newest financing will go toward advancing the company’s lead clinical programs—currently being assessed in phase 2 and phase 3 trials—in bladder cancer to potential FDA approval. The money will also help CG broaden its pipeline scope, an anomaly amid a time of industry culls, to address unmet medical needs in urologic cancer. Release
Nov. 15—Jnana Therapeutics
CEO: Joanne Kotz, Ph.D.
Amount: $107 million
Investors: Bain Capital Life Sciences, RA Capital Management, Polaris Partners, Versant Ventures, Avalon Ventures, Pfizer Ventures
The company shared two pieces of good news Nov. 15: the closure of a $107 million series C round and a collaboration with Roche for $50 million upfront and potential biobucks that could exceed $2 billion. The two new announcements add significant spring to the company’s clinical step, just as the biotech dosed its first healthy volunteers in a phase 1 study assessing JNT-517, its treatment for phenylketonuria, a metabolic disease marked by the buildup of an amino acid called phenylalanine. U.S. regulators piled onto the good news dump, granting the asset rare pediatric disease designation. The funding haul is also significantly heftier than the biotech's series B round, which pulled in $50 million more than a year ago. Fierce Biotech
Nov. 15—Bonum Therapeutics
CEO: John Mulligan, Ph.D.
Amount: $93 million
Investors: Rivervest Venture Partners, Roche Venture Fund, Digitalis Ventures, 3x5 Partners, Codon Capital and Vivo Capital
Good Therapeutics spinout Bonum Therapeutics has raked in $93 million to develop a new class of conditionally active therapies, with backing from Roche after the Big Pharma snapped up its predecessor two months ago. Bonum, which means “good” in Latin, is made up of Good Therapeutics' 26 employees and led by John Mulligan, Ph.D., CEO and founder of both Bonum and Good. The new Seattle-based company is based around the same platform built at Good, a biotech Roche acquired in September for $250 million. Bonum will funnel the $93 million into developing immuno-oncology applications that aim to regulate cytokines, including IL-12, IFN-alpha and TGF-beta. Fierce Biotech
Nov. 15—Casma Therapeutics
CEO: Keith Dionne, Ph.D.
Amount: $46 million
Investors: Amgen Ventures, Astellas Venture Management, Eisai, Euclidean Capital, Mirae Asset, Ono Venture Investment, Eventide Asset Management, Schroders Capital, The Column Group, Third Rock Ventures, other unnamed funds
A slew of Big Pharmas have joined Casma's series C, which the Massachusetts biotech will use to develop new medicines related to the autophagy system—the body's cellular recycling system. Specifically, Casma will use the $46 million to push its lead program for MYD88 mutant lymphoma through preclinical studies. By selectively degrading disease targets via autophagy, the biotech hopes to slow or reverse the progression of disease in several oncology, inflammation, neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders. Release
Nov. 14—MBX Biosciences
CEO: Kent Hawryluk
Amount: $115 million
Investors: Wellington Management, RA Capital Management, Norwest Venture Partners, Frazier Life Sciences, New Enterprise Associates and OrbiMed
MBX’s science is centered around its Precision Endocrine Peptides, or PEPs, which are designed to overcome limitations of traditional peptide therapeutics. Part of the hefty series B financing will go toward advancing an early-stage pipeline of programs targeting endocrine disease, including lead program MBX 2109. The asset is aimed at treating a rare disorder known as hypoparathyroidism, which received an FDA orphan tag this July and is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 trial. The $115 million, which comes two years after a $34.6 series A, will fuel the Indiana biotech into early 2025. Release
Nov. 14—Renibus Therapeutics
CEO: Frank Stonebanks
Series: Bridge financing
Amount: $33 million
Investors: Oxford Finance, unnamed existing investors and new investors comprised of high-net-worth individuals and family offices
The Texas biotech aiming to develop products for cardiorenal diseases has closed a $33 million bridge financing consisting of a $23 million Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) offering and $10 million in a term loan with Oxford Finance—the first tranche of a $30 million term loan. The SAFE offering was led by existing investors and select new investors comprised of high-net-worth individuals and family offices.
"This funding provides Renibus with significant strategic and operational flexibility against a challenging external backdrop," said Renibus' CEO and chair Frank Stonebanks. Release
Nov. 8—Juvena Therapeutics
CEO: Hanadie Yousef, Ph.D.
Amount: $41 million
Investors: Mubadala Capital, Horizons Ventures, Bison Ventures, Manta Ray Ventures, IRONGREY, Alumni Ventures, Plum Alley, Jeff Dean, Transform VC, Karl Pfleger, BoxOne Ventures, Intersect VC, Compound, Felicis and other unnamed investors
The California biotech has closed an oversubscribed series A, bringing its total funding to date to $50 million. The money will help power Juvena’s AI drug discovery platform designed to map the therapeutic potential of secreted proteins and ultimately build a biologics pipeline that targets chronic and age-related diseases, such as myotonic dystrophy type 1. The biotech is also seeking partnerships with companies that would want to use its platform, according to co-founder and CEO Hanadie Yousef, Ph.D. Release
Nov. 8—Sensorium Therapeutics
CEO: Dick Simon
Amount: $30 million
Investors: Santé Ventures, Route 66 Ventures, CU Healthcare Innovation Fund, Palo Santo, Iter Investments, WPSS.bio, Ocama Partners and re.Mind Capital
The Boston-based biotech, aiming to treat mental health conditions with nature-inspired psychoactive meds, will use the new funds to advance its initial asset and drug discovery platform, dubbed Biodynamic Discovery Platform. The platform prioritizes human brain mechanisms that have already proven effective, and combines chemistry, neuroscience and AI to develop plant- and fungi-based therapeutics.
The biotech aims to develop its initial asset, dubbed SENS-01, for patients with anxiety and depression. The company intends to enter the clinic with SENS-01 in 2024, and touts the ultimate goal of delivering medicines with improved efficacy, fewer side effects and decreased potential for dependence. Release
Nov. 7—Zenas BioPharma
Founder and executive chair: Lonnie Moulder
Amount: $118 million
Investors: Enavate Sciences, Longitude Capital, Vivo Capital, Rock Springs Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Agent Capital, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Superstring Capital, Fairmount, Wellington Management, Tellus BioVentures, Quan Venture Fund and Xencor
The Massachusetts biotech will use its new funds to zoom in on a pipeline of immune-based therapies and launch a phase 3 for its lead candidate that was licensed from Xencor less than a year ago. The company plans to launch the trial by the end of this year for lead candidate obexelimab, a bispecific antibody being assessed in patients with IgG4-related disease, a chronic fibroinflammatory disease. Zenas’ new funding will also help progress its other autoimmune disease programs into clinical development in 2023. Fierce Biotech
Nov. 4—Novadip Biosciences
CEO: Denis Dufrane, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: 40 million euros
Investors: Walloon Region, CR-CP Life Science Fund, New Science Ventures, Fund+, SRIW Life Sciences, VIVES Louvain Technology Fund, InvestSud, family offices and private investors
The Belgium-based biotech's most recent financing brings the company's total raised to €88 million to date. The new funds will go toward accelerating the clinical development of two investigational adipose stem cell-derived tissue regeneration products, which are designed to speed the healing of large bone defects and injuries in a single treatment. The candidates come from Novadip’s 3M³ platform, an extracellular matrix that aims to mimic natural tissue healing. Release
Nov. 2—Alterome Therapeutics
CEO: Eric Murphy, Ph.D.
Amount: $35 million
Investors: Colt Ventures, OrbiMed, Nextech Invest, Vida Ventures and Boxer Capital
The San Diego biotech has now raised almost $100 million in series A funds across an initial $64 million in January and this latest extension round. The new input of money will be used to fuel Alterome's early-stage pipeline of three precision oncology programs, all of which were designed using its in-house computational chemistry platform, dubbed "The Kraken." Release
Nov. 2—Lusaris Therapeutics
Interim CEO: Andrew Levin, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: $60 million
Investors: RA Capital Management, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Deep Track Capital, Boxer Capitala and an undisclosed investor
Lusaris has launched with the mission to advance next-gen serotonergic neuroplastogen therapeutics to treat severe neuropsychiatric and neurological conditions, like treatment-resistant depression and migraines. The biotech, incubated and funded in part by RA Capital Management, has a serotonergic psychedelic called LSR-1019 as its lead program. The new company has also inked a strategic collaboration with Catalent in which Lusaris has been granted an exclusive global license to the New Jersey pharma's orally disintegrating tablet tech. Release
Nov. 1—Human Immunology Biosciences
CEO: Travis Murdoch, M.D.
Amount: $120 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, Monograph Capital, Jeito Capital, unnamed institutional investors and family offices
HI-Bio is unveiling itself with $120 million in financing and two clinical-stage assets licensed from MorphoSys in June. The company's lead asset, felzartamab, is in two phase 2 trials in patients with immunoglobulin A nephropathy and membranous nephropathy, respectively. The other med, HIB210, is currently in a phase 1 trial in China as an oncology med, but HI-Bio plans to test it in the U.S. as a treatment for immune-mediated diseases. CEO Travis Murdoch told Fierce Biotech that the fundraising round would certainly be enough to last through readouts from both of the phase 2 trials.
CEO: Rachel Humphrey, M.D.
Amount: $65 million
Investors: Canaan Ventures, Sanofi Ventures, Taiho Ventures and Osage University Partners
Normunity has exited stealth mode with $65 million in hand and a vote of confidence from Big Pharma Sanofi. The biotech is designing a new class of agents called immune normalizers, which aim to target previously undiscovered mechanisms of immune disruption in cancer. The company’s pipeline leverages discovery platforms from the Yale Medicine lab of Lieping Chen, Ph.D., and a portion of the $65 million will help build on multiple discovery platforms to pursue additional mechanisms, as well as advancing immune normalizer candidates into the clinic. Release
Oct. 25—Alto Neuroscience
CEO: Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: $35 million
Investors: Lightswitch Capital, Alkeon Capital partners, Novartis, Sobrato Capital, Valor Equity Partners, Vine Ventures, Gaingels, Apeiron Group, WhatIf Ventures, Korify Capital, Windham Venture Partners and unnamed investors
The precision psychiatry company’s series B was co-led by two new investors, Lightswitch Capital and partners of Alkeon Capital, with Big Pharma Novartis in tow. The round brings Alto’s total funding to $75 million to date, money that will help the company expand its AI-enabled brain biomarker platform designed to match each patient with the most suitable Alto drug.
The latest funding will also fuel Alto’s lead candidates into phase 2b studies among patients with major depressive disorder, as well as launch new trials in areas of high unmet need. The Californian company’s pipeline includes assets for depression and PTSD, among other mental health conditions. Release
Oct. 19—Orionis Biosciences
CEO: Nikolai Kley, Ph.D.
Amount: $55 million
Investors: Cormorant Asset Management, Novartis and other unnamed investors
Belgium-based Orionis has completed a private financing round, following a separate private funding in 2021 and $25.5 million series B the year before. The newest fundraise will help Orionis expand R&D, grow its pipeline aimed at reprogramming the cancer immunity cycle and advance its lead cancer programs into the clinic. The company also touts two of its own platforms, dubbed A-Kine and Allo-Glue, to target core disease vulnerabilities and reach previously hard-to-reach targets.
Orionis has been around since 2015 but kept a low profile until 2020, when the company announced a four-year research collaboration with Big Pharma Novartis. The agreement tasks Orionis with applying its technologies to “historically elusive targets” in multiple therapeutic areas. Release
Oct. 19—Nucleome Therapeutics
CEO: Danuta Jeziorska
Amount: 37.5 million pounds sterling ($42.5 million)
Investors: M Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Pfizer Ventures, British Patient Capital and Oxford Science Enterprises
The venture arms of three large pharmas are doling out over $40 million in series A cash to Nucleome Therapeutics as the Oxford University spinout looks to make use of the “dark genome.” The term is biopharma speak for parts of the genome that do not code for proteins, a region that Nucleome notes contains 90% of disease-associated variants. The company says its 3D genome tech is able to precisely link variants to genes in this region, gleaning new insights into how the area impacts gene regulation. Nucleome itself plans to aim the platform and early discovery work toward autoimmune diseases. Release
CEO: Deborah Geraghty, Ph.D.
Amount: $35 million equity investment
Investor: Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative
The Massachusetts autoimmune biotech has pulled in a $35 million equity investment from Pfizer which will in part help launch a phase 2 clinical program for lead candidate KAN-101. The asset has received an FDA fast-track designation for treating celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder for which there are currently no approved treatments. With the support of Pfizer, Anokion is prepping to start patient dosing for the phase 2 during the second half of 2022. Release
Oct. 17—Inversago Pharma
CEO: François Ravenelle, Ph.D.
Amount: 95 million Canadian dollars ($70 million)
Investors: New Enterprise Associates, Forbion Growth and Amgen Ventures
More than two years after closing a $35 million series B, Inversago has loaded up on additional cash, netting $70 million in series C funds to move its lead program, INV-202, into phase 2. The company expects to shortly have topline data available from the asset’s phase 1b trial. Inversago also plans to use the money to advance its other preclinical assets. Joining the company’s team of investors is Amgen’s venture arm, adding Big Pharma interest to the Inversago’s CB1 blocker-focused pipeline. Release
Oct. 17—Matchpoint Therapeutics
CEO: Andre Turenne
Amount: $70 million
Investors: Sanofi Ventures, Vertex Ventures, Digitalis Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments
Matchpoint Therapeutics unveiled itself after closing a $70 million series A round, almost a year after it raised $30 million in seed funds. Among the latest group of investors is Sanofi’s venture arm, with managing director Jason Hafler, Ph.D., now joining Matchpoint’s board. The company is looking to capitalize on covalent bonds, which it hopes will create medicines that can more durably bond to targets and increase potency. The company said it will only go after targets where covalent bonds is the best or only option for treatment. Matchpoint’s pipeline has yet to be unveiled but its first asset will focus on immunology. Fierce Biotech
Oct. 13—Odyssey Therapeutics
CEO: Gary Glick
Amount: $168 million
Investors: General Catalyst, Fidelity Management & Research Company, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., GreatPoint Ventures, Catalio Capital Management, Walleye Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments and The Healthcare Innovation Investment Fund LLC
Odyssey Therapeutics has wrapped up its second nine-digit fundraising haul in less than a year, totaling a gargantuan $386 million raised since December 2021. The company says the money will help push forward its pipeline of precision immunomodulators with the expectation that it will advance "multiple" programs into IND-enabling studies in 2023. Currently, Odyssey has eight programs in its early pipeline. In Glick, Odyssey has a biotech founder who's placed his stamp on a number of other companies, including Lycera, IFM Therapeutics and Scorpion Therapeutics. Fierce Biotech
Oct. 12—Vita Therapeutics
CEO: Douglas Falk
Amount: $31 million
Investors: Cambrian BioPharma, Solve FSHD, Riptide Ventures, Cedars Sinai, TEDCO other unnamed existing investors
The Baltimore-based cell engineering company aims to harness the power of genetics to develop new cell therapies to treat muscular dystrophies and cancers. The biotech, which has raised a total of $66 million since inception, will use the most recent financing to advance its lead pre-clinical program to clinic. Dubbed VTA-100, the limb-girdle muscular dystrophy asset is currently undergoing studies that, upon completion, would enable Vita to ask the FDA to begin in-human clinical trials. Release
Oct. 12—Ascidian Therapeutics
CEO: Romesh Subramanian, Ph.D.
Amount: $50 million
Investor: Apple Tree Partners
Ascidian Therapeutics is floating to the surface with $50 million to fund ambitions to rewrite RNA for therapeutic benefit. The company, launched by venture capital firm Apple Tree Partners, is led by former Dyne Therapeutics CEO Romesh Subramanian, Ph.D. Prior to joining Ascidian, Subramanian led muscular disease-focused Dyne as co-founder, chief scientific officer and CEO. He also co-founded mRNA-focused Translate Bio, which was bought by Sanofi in 2021.
The primary focus for the company will be further developing its lead asset targeting ABCA4 retinopathy, including Stargardt disease, which the biotech said is moving toward an application to enter the clinic. Fierce Biotech
October 11—Neumora Therapeutics
CEO: Paul Berns
Amount: $112 million
Investors: Arch Venture Partners, Amgen, F-Prime Capital, Invus, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Exor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Newpath Partners, Polaris Partners, undisclosed investors
The neuroscience startup is back a year after its splashy $500 million unveiling with a series B financing round aimed to move its pipeline toward and through the clinic. To date, Neumora has raised around $650 million to test the idea that the precision medicine advances that have transformed oncology are now ready to redefine how neurological diseases are treated.
The newest money will support the development of a pipeline that is led by NMRA-140, a KOR antagonist in phase 2 development as a treatment for depression. Neumora completed a 204-patient phase 2a trial of the candidate in adults with major depressive disorder and symptoms of anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities, over the summer. Fierce Biotech
Oct. 10—Ochre Bio
CEO: Jack O’Meara
Amount: $30 million
Investors: Khosla Ventures, Hermes-Epitek, Backed VC, LifeForce Capital, Selvedge, AixThera, LifeLink, Verge Genomics CEO Alice Zhang, BioAge CEO Kristen Fortney, Recursion Pharmaceuticals Chair Marty Chavez
Founded in 2019, Ochre Bio is working to develop RNA therapies for chronic liver diseases. The U.K. biotech will funnel some of the $30 million toward nominating its first candidate for human studies, as well as expanding its RNA chemistry capabilities to address a wider range of liver-related diseases.
The biotech is using deep phenotyping and precision RNA medicine to develop therapies with the end-goal of organ regeneration in patients, removing the need for organ transplants entirely. Release
CEO: Ebrahim Delpassand, M.D.
Amount: $40 million
Investor: Portland Investment Counsel
The Texas biotech has completed an equity round with Canadian Portland Investment Counsel to advance its targeted alpha therapy (TAT) platform and diagnostic companion radiopharmaceuticals designed to treat rare and aggressive cancers. The $40 million will, in part, go toward developing its radiopharmaceutical dubbed AlphaMedixTM. The TAT is currently being assessed in a phase 2 trial for patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Release
Oct. 6—Nested Therapeutics
CEO: Darrin Miles
Amount: $90 million
Investors: Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Foresite Capital, Avidity Partners, Cowen Healthcare Investments and Section 32
The Versant Ventures-founded biotech has emerged from stealth mode with $125 million to fund its preclinical pipeline of precision medicines for hard-to-treat cancers. The money includes $90 million from its series A to fuel a drug discovery platform that maps mutational clusters onto the structural proteome to identify druggable pockets and cancer-driving mechanisms.
Nested’s lead compound, dubbed NEST-1, is a non-degrading dual molecular glue that targets multiple components of the MAPK pathway. The company expects to nominate a candidate from the NEST-1 program for development by the first quarter of 2023.
Based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the team is led by CEO Darrin Miles, who previously served as chief commercial officer at Agios Pharmaceuticals. Fierce Biotech
CEO: Fabrice Chouraqui
Amount: $121 million
Investors: Flagship Pioneering, Kyowa Kirin Co., Hanwha Impact Partners and unnamed investors
Flagship-founded Cellarity has hauled in $121 million as it continues to push its cell behavior therapies toward the clinic. The series C brings the company’s total raised to $274 million since launching at the end of 2019. Cellarity says the money will be used to continue hiring, build out its platform and advance pipeline assets toward the clinic.
While the company’s pipeline has not yet been unveiled, CEO Fabrice Chouraqui said that its identified compounds have already been validated in lab and animal testing. On its website, Cellarity says it's advancing a number of programs spanning hematology, immuno-oncology, metabolism and respiratory disease areas. Fierce Biotech
Oct. 3—Alloy Therapeutics
CEO: Errik Anderson
Amount: $42 million
Investors: 8VC, Mubadala Capital, Thiel Capital, Presight Capital, Founders Fund and other unnamed investors
The biotech, which launched in 2017, will use the proceeds from the most recent financing round to to invest in expanded offerings across all six of its modalities: antibodies, T-cell receptors (TCRs), genetic medicines, peptides, cell therapies and drug delivery. Since its $75 million series C in March 2021, the Boston-based drug discovery company has launched its Keyway TCR Discovery division—the biotech's second fully integrated technology. Alloy's first platform was ATX-Gx, a suite of transgenic mouse strains for human antibody discovery that has been employed by many life sciences teams in biopharma and academia. Release
Sept. 28—Pheon Therapeutics
CEO: Bertrand Damour
Amount: $68 million
Investors: Brandon Capital, Forbion, Atlas Venture and Research Corporation Technologies
The new biotech, named after the visual depiction of a javelin or arrowhead, has made its debut with $68 million and hopes to develop its own slate of piercing cancer drugs. Pheon touts a platform focused on antibody-drug conjugates with plans to "reach IND" within the next year and a half, and says the series A round could help fund its “clinical proof-of-concept” and “establish a pipeline of novel ADCs.” At the helm of the new biotech is Bertrand Damour, former CEO of NBE Therapeutics, which under his tenure sold an anti-ROR1 ADC asset to Boehringer Ingelheim for $1.4 billion. Fierce Biotech
Sept. 28—Sudo Biosciences
CEO: Scott Byrd
Amount: $37 million
Investors: Frazier Life Sciences, Velosity Capital
The Menlo Park, California-based biotech plans to use its series A money to build out its pipeline of precision tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) therapeutics. Since its founding in 2020, Sudo has developed four TYK2 pseudokinase programs, though target indications have yet to be disclosed. The funding will be used to push lead drug candidates into the clinic, according to the company. Inhibiting TYK2 has been shown to help treat psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and lupus. Some evidence suggests that TYK2 inhibition could benefit a range of other autoimmune disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis and multiple sclerosis. Release
Sept. 22—Rivus Pharmaceuticals
CEO: Allen Cunningham
Amount: $132 million
Investors: RA Capital Management, Bain Capital Life Sciences, BB Biotech AG, Longitude Capital, Medicxi RxCapital and
Charlottesville, Va.-based Rivus emerged in July 2021 with $35 million and ambitions to treat metabolic disorders, including the tricky nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) indication, via weight loss. The biotech is designing controlled metabolic accelerators to activate mitochondrial uncoupling, a natural process by which the body generates heat, to selectively reduce fat.
The series B follows a February phase 2a data drop, in which Rivus found its lead candidate showed a reduction in liver fat, a key hallmark of NASH. The results also provided some evidence that suggests improvements in metabolic parameters related to type 2 diabetes and a type of heart failure. The company intends to launch a phase 2b study of HU6 in obesity, including a subset of participants with Type 2 diabetes, in 2023. Fierce Biotech
Sept. 14—Capstan Therapeutics
CEO: Laura Shawver, Ph.D
Amount: $165 million
Investors: Pfizer Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, Novartis Venture Fund, Eli Lilly, Bristol Myers Squibb, OrbiMed, RA Capital, Vida Ventures, Polaris Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments
After raising $63 million in seed financing, the new biotech brought in a further $165 million series A that will advance its preclinical CAR-T therapy. The in vivo cell engineering company was spun out of science developed at the University of Pennsylvania. The biotech's platform aims to bring together expertise in cell engineering, mRNA, targeted lipid nanoparticle technologies and more to develop therapies suitable for outpatient settings. The biotech intends to target oncology, fibrosis, inflammation-related diseases and monogenic blood disorders. Fierce Biotech
CEO: Stéphane Boissel
Amount: 75 million euros
Investors: Jeito Capital, UPMC Enterprises, Ysios Capital, 4BIO Capital, Bpifrance and the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ RD Fund
SparingVision is seeing green, bringing in €75 million to fund the first trials for its gene therapy products aimed at treating ocular diseases.
One preclinical asset, dubbed SPVN06, is designed to stop or slow disease in patients affected by inherited retinal diseases and dry age-related macular degeneration, with an initial focus on mid-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The Paris-based company’s second asset, SPVN20, aims to restore visual acuity and color vision in advanced and late-stage RP and is anticipated to enter the clinic in 2024.
The financing extends SparingVision’s cash runway to the second half of 2025 and will also fuel a CRISPR-based genome editing portfolio collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics. The partnership, launched last year, focuses on an undisclosed ocular target. Release
Sept. 13—Novome Biotechnologies
CEO: Blake Wise
Amount: $43.5 million
Investors: Tencent, University of Minnesota, Navian Investments, Colorcon Ventures, Touchdown Ventures, DCVC Bio, 5AM Ventures, Alta Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments
The California biotech's newest financing round will fuel its pipeline of therapeutically engineered microbes a candidate, specifically NOV-001 through an ongoing phase 2a clinical trial in patients with enteric hyperoxaluria, a serious condition that can cause end-stage kidney disease. Novome's pipeline also includes several genetically engineered microbial medicines—dubbed GEMMs—for the potential treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. The candidates are either fully owned by Novome or part of a collaboration with Genentech, in which Novome received $15 million cash and has the opportunity to make up to $590 million in biobucks. Release
CEO: Ken Song, M.D.
Amount: $160 million
Investors: Viking Global Investors, Sofinnova Investments, Wellington Management, Ally Bridge Group, Sands Capital, Laurion Capital Management, Soleus Capital, an undisclosed global investor and other unnamed investors
The targeted radiopharmaceutical company's series D brings the company's total raised to $418 since starting operations in August 2020. Part of the funds will go toward advancing lead drug candidate, RYZ101, into clinical trials for several solid tumor indications. The investigational drug delivers Ac225—a potent alpha-emitting radioisotope—and is currently being assessed in a phase 1b clinical trial enrolling patients with neuroendocrine tumors. RayzeBio said phase 3 studies evaluating the drug could launch as early as 2023. Release
CEO: Shao-Lee Lin, M.D., Ph.D
Amount: $300 million
Investors: Access Biotechnology, AyurMaya, Westlake Village BioPartners, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Decheng Capital, Marshall Wace, OrbiMed, Samsara BioCapital, Surveyor Capital, Tybourne Capital Management and venBio Partners
Any biotech that can rake in half a billion dollars from investors in 12 months is clearly doing something right. Acelryin's $300 million series C funding round means the inflammatory-disease-focused drug developer has reached that marker and now has its sights set on entering late-stage trials.
After a phase 2 trial showed its lead asset, izokibep, was well tolerated in psoriatic arthritis, the biotech wants to use its new funds to push the therapy into phase 3 trials for both psoriatic arthritis and axial spondyloarthritis, hopefully followed by a submission for FDA approval. Fierce Biotech
Sept. 12—Nimbus Therapeutics
CEO: Jeb Keiper
Amount: $125 million
Investors: Bain Capital Life Sciences, SV Health Investors, Pfizer Ventures, Access Biotechnology, Atlas Venture, BVF Partners L.P., Bill Gates, Lightstone Ventures, RA Capital Management, SR One
Investors have flooded Nimbus with $125 million in private financing, money that will go toward three clinical inflammatory and autoimmune disorder programs, including a phase 3 psoriasis study. The financing follows a $105 million funding round last summer, and will be partly used to round out ongoing phase 2b clinical trials of NDI-034858, the biotech’s oral allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 inhibitor designed to treat psoriasis, as well as initiate a phase 3 study in the indication. Fierce Biotech
Sept. 12—Pretzel Therapeutics
CEO: Jay Parrish, Ph.D.
Amount: $72.5 million
Investors: Arch Venture Partners, Mubadala Capital, HealthCap, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Cambridge Enterprise, Angelini Ventures, GV, Invus, Eir Ventures, GU Ventures and Karolinska Institutet Holding
Pretzel’s new dough will go toward developing mitochondrial therapies for both rare and common diseases. The Massachusetts biotech boasts three platform technologies to modulate mitochondrial function: genome correction, genome expression modulation and mitochondrial quality control. Jay Parrish, Ph.D., venture partner with Arch and, most recently, co-founder and chief business officer of Vir Biotechnology, will head up the company. Release
CEO: Nader Halim, Ph.D.
Amount: Up to $40 million
Investors: Deerfield Management, IP Group, Penn Medicine and WARF Ventures
The new regenerative medicine biotech has snagged up to $40 million for developing the first implantable biofabricated neural pathway to restore brain circuitry. Based on a platform spun out of the University of Pennsylvania, Innervace’s lead program is designed to reconstruct the lost nigrostriatal pathway in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Release
Sept. 8—Photys Therapeutics
CEO: Brian Fenton
Amount: $75 million
Investors: MPM Capital, Merck & Co.’s MRL Ventures Fund, Eli Lilly and Co., Omega Funds, Longwood, 8VC, Arkin Bio, Mass General Brigham Ventures and Heritage Medical Systems
The Boston biotech just exited stealth mode with plans to advance a new class of bifunctional molecules to treat underserved diseases. Founded by Longwood Fund and Amit Choudhary, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the biotech is pioneering the development of phosphorylation-inducing chimeric small-molecule medicines. Release
Sept. 6—Arsenal Bio
CEO: Ken Drazan
Amount: $220 million
Investors: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Softbank Vision Fund 2, Byers Capital, Emerson Collective Investments, Green Sands, Hitachi Ventures, Sixth Street, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Westlake Village BioPartners, the University of California, San Francisco Foundation Investment Company, Euclidean Capital, Waycross Ventures and Kleiner Perkins
The series B is one of the largest single hauls of 2022 and will go toward developing Arsenal's fine-tuned, gene-edited cell therapies. The fundraising round will pay for more staff and push the company’s early programs toward the clinic, led by its lead asset AB-1015 that is set to launch into a phase 1 trial for ovarian cancer in the coming weeks. Fierce Biotech
Aug. 25—Aktis Oncology
CEO: Matthew Roden, Ph.D.
Series: A extension
Amount: $84 Million
Investors: Merck & Co.’s MRL Ventures Fund, Bristol Myers Squibb, Novartis, Cowen Healthcare Investments, ArrowMark Partners, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Timefolio Capital, Pappas Capital, MPM Capital, Vida Ventures, EcoR1 Capital, Octagon Capital, TCG Crossover and unnamed investors
The MPM Capital-founded biotech will funnel the money toward developing a new class of targeted alpha radiopharmaceuticals designed to treat a range of solid tumors. Aktis’ extension round follows an initial $72 million series A in 2021 and brings the biotech’s total raised to date to $161 million. Fierce Biotech
CEO: Bernard Sagaert (interim)
Amount: 39 million euros
Investors: Novalis LifeSciences, Kenneth Chien, Marijn Dekkers, EQT Life Sciences, PMV, Grand Pharma, Fund+ and Omega Fund, among others
Twelve years after founding Moderna, Kenneth Chien, M.D., Ph.D., is dipping his toes back into the piping hot waters of mRNA startups, helping finance Belgian-based eTheRNA. Like Moderna, the company is looking to discover, develop and manufacture a suite of mRNA therapies. For now, eTheRNA’s platform is teased at a macro-level, with the company saying it hopes to build out “an integrated set of proprietary capabilities for an end-to-end solution” to all facets of mRNA drug development. The company did, however, zero in on making customized lipoid nanoparticle formulations.
The financing news also came with personnel changes, with CEO Steven Powell headed for the exits. COO Bernard Sagaert has been named as an interim replacement. Fierce Biotech
Aug. 16—Bluejay Therapeutics
CEO: Keting Chu, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: $41 million
Investors: Arkin Bio Ventures, Synergenics, RiverVest Venture Partners, Yonjin Capital, Octagon Capital and InnoPinnacle International
The California virology and liver disease biotech will use the new funds to push two chronic hepatitis B candidates toward the clinic. The money will go toward demonstrating proof-of-concept for lead program BJT-778, a human anti-HBsAg monoclonal antibody. It will also fuel the development of BJT-574, an orally delivered small-molecule HBsAg inhibitor, into human clinical trials. Release
Aug. 16—Senda Biosciences
CEO: Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D.
Amount: $123 Million
Investors: Flagship Pioneering, The Samsung Life Science Fund, Qatar Investment Authority, Bluwave Capital, Stage 1 Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, Longevity Vision Fund, Mayo Clinic, Partners Investment and the State of Michigan Retirement System
The Flagship-founded biotech will use its most recent financing round to push an unnamed preclinical program into the clinic by 2024—two years behind schedule. In June 2021, the biotech said it planned to push three programs into the clinic in 2022. Now, however, the biotech says it is still selecting indications for these initial programs and expects to choose the first round of candidates in 2023.
Senda hopes its platform, which includes an mRNA engine and an atlas of programmable systems at the molecular level and across species, can help create a new class of medicines for infectious, genetic, metabolic and autoimmune diseases, as well as oncology. The biotech believes its platform holds potential in mRNA therapeutics, vaccines, gene-editing and protein-based therapies. Fierce Biotech
Aug. 16—Orna Therapeutics
CEO: Tom Barnes, Ph.D
Amount: $221 million
Investors: Merck, MPM Capital and BioImpact Capital
Orna is looking to stake its claim in the RNA field, creating a slate of therapies centered on circular RNA. And it's caught the attention of Big Pharma, with Merck dolling out up to $3.5 billion in biobucks for a number of programs. Merck also contributed $100 million to the company's series C. At Orna's core is its circular RNA and lipid nanoparticle delivery particle, developed in conjunction with ReNAgade Therapeutics, another MPM and BioImpact-funded startup. The company's early pipeline already includes programs in genetic disease and infectious diseases, plus a lead anti-CD19 CAR indicated for B cell lymphomas. The company intends to advance that program into the clinic in 2024. Fierce Biotech
Aug, 10—Insilico Medicine
CEOs: Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D.; Feng Ren, Ph.D.
Series: D extension
Amount: $35 million
Investors: Prosperity7 Ventures and Insilico founder and CEO Alex Zhavoronkov join previous investors BHR Partners, Warburg Pincus, B Capital Group, Qiming Venture Partners, Deerfield, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Bold Capital Partners and Pavilion Capital
Insilico isn’t pumping the brakes, raising an additional $35 million for a series D total of $95 million. But that doesn’t mean the clinical-stage, AI-driven company is boosting its emissions. The money will support Insilico’s pipeline and lead asset, which aims to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, while also allowing the company to expand its AI platform into other areas such as sustainable chemistry, green energy and agriculture. The dual-CEO company is structured to be equal parts AI and drug development and is working to develop drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases and aging-related diseases. The oversubscribed fundraising round follows a $255 million series C last year. Release
Aug. 10—Vector BioPharma
CEO: Lorenz Mayr, Ph.D.
Amount: $30 million
Investors: Versant Ventures
VC firm Versant Ventures has launched Vector BioPharma, a precision gene delivery biotech spun out from tech developed at the University of Zurich. The biotech’s platform aims to enable precisely targeted delivery of high-capacity genetic payloads and overcome obstacles other related technologies face, such as limitations on genetic cargo size and adverse immunogenic reactions. Vector intends to have technical proof-of-concept data in several areas, including immuno-oncology and genome editing, this year.
The Switzerland-based company—currently 40 team members strong and growing—is led by CEO Lorenz Mayr, Ph.D., who has leadership experience at Bayer, Novartis, AstraZeneca and GE Healthcare. Release
CEO: Francesco Maria Lavino
Amount: $70 million
Investors: Forbion, Sofinnova Partners, Novo Holdings, Morningside Ventures, Cowen Healthcare Investments and Advent Life Sciences
Building off its recent $480 million collab with Shionogi, F2G has added $70 million in new financing to further develop of olorofim, an oral antifungal therapy to treat invasive aspergillosis. The company touts the med as the only antifungal to receive FDA breakthrough designation for multiple indications. Data from a phase 2b trial of the med were slated to be presented at ID Week's annual conference in October.
CEO: Aaron Ren, Ph.D.
Amount: $200 million
Investors: Gaorong Capital, Yunfeng Capital, Temasek, Invus, F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads, ARCH Venture Partners, K2 Venture Partners and more
Beijing-based biotech Sironax has racked up $200 million in series B funds, bringing the company's total war chest north of $300 million. BeiGene co-founder Xiaodong Wang also helped launch this venture, which is focusing on age-related degenrative diseases. It currently has two clinical-stage programs including one utilizing serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 to treat COVID-19 hyperinflammation. The company says its newfound cash will help progress additional programs into the clinic and advance its lead program, SIR0365. Release
CEO: Ben Auspitz
Amount: $122 million
Investors: a16z, Casdin Capital, Nextech Invest and Forge Life Science Partners
Serial biotech founder Alexis Borisy is back at it with a new venture, launching IDRx to develop a pipeline of precision medicines in oncology. The company is already equipped with two assets, including one, IDRX-42, that was licensed from Merck KGaA and will begin dosing later this month. But it's the combination of both that has Borisy and CEO Ben Auspitz most excited as a potential gamechanger to treat gastrointestinal cancer. The fundraising haul is expected to last through the development of the combo therapy, or roughly three years. Fierce Biotech
Aug. 1—Structure Therapeutics
CEO: Raymond Stevens, Ph.D.
Series: B extension
Amount: $33 million
Investors: Deep Track Capital and Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital
After raising $100 million in October, Structure Therapeutics—formerly known as ShoutTi—has added to its haul, nabbing an additional $33 million after extending a series B round. Since the round was first announced, the company has completed dosing in a phase 1 ascending dose trial testing its type 2 diabetes and obesity med GSBR-1290. Structure says the new funds will continue to help finance further clinical development and expansion of the company's drug discovery platform.
CEO: Mani Mohindru, Ph.D.
Amount: $40 million
Investors: UPMC Enterprises
Spun out of UPMC, the new biotech aims to redefine cancer care, building off years of research in tumor biology, immunology, computational biology and drug discovery. The series A funding will help advance its antibody-based therapeutics pipeline and grow its computational platforms for target discovery. The $40 million is expected to push at least one of the biotech’s three nominated solid tumor programs into the clinic by 2024. Release
July 28—Vicinitas Therapeutics
Amount: $65 million
Investors: a16z, Deerfield Management, Droia Ventures, GV, the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and the Berkeley Catalyst Fund
Vicinitas is a spinout from the research collaboration between the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and the University of California, Berkeley and owns exclusive license to the deubiquitinase targeting chimera (DUBTAC) platform that came from the partnership. Now, the new biotech aims to develop next-gen disease therapies against previously inaccessible aberrantly degraded proteins, with initial focus on cancer and monogenic diseases. Release
July 27—BridGene Biosciences
CEO: Ping Cao, Ph.D.
Amount: $38.5 million
Investors: Lapam Capital, Junson Capital and Dyee Capital
The California biotech has come a long way since its $12 million series A last May, raising more than triple that in its second financing round. The Takeda-partnered biotech is currently leveraging its chemoproteomic platform to discover and develop small-molecule drugs for currently undruggable oncology targets. Release
July 26—Carmot Therapeutics
CEO: Stig Hansen, Ph.D.
Amount: $160 million
Investors: The Column Group, RA Capital Management, Deep Track Capital, Willett Advisors, Horizons Ventures and other unnamed investors
Carmot’s fourth financing round follows a $47 million series C round in 2020 and will be funneled into the biotech’s drug discovery platform to discover and develop therapies in metabolic disease and cancer. The most recent financing will support the completion of phase 2 studies for two separate Type 2 diabetes assets. Release
CEO: Adrian Woolfson, Ph.D.
Amount: $55 million
Investors: KKR OMX Ventures, Artis Ventures, Lansdowne Partners, SALT, DeciBio Ventures and Axial
New biotech Replay unveiled with a $55 million seed financing to build its toolkit of platform technologies for writing and delivering so-called “big DNA” that targets complex conditions. The biotech is led by president, chair and co-founder Adrian Woolfson, Ph.D., former head of R&D at genomic medicine biotech Sangamo Therapeutics. Woolfson has also held leadership roles with Big Pharmas Pfizer and BMS. Fierce Biotech
July 20—Auron Therapeutics
CEO: Kate Yen, Ph.D.
Amount: $48 million
Investors: DCVC Bio, Eli Lilly, Mubadala Capital, Apollo Health Ventures, Arkin Bio Ventures, Polaris Partners, Qiming Venture Partners USA, the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge, Franklin Berger and Casdin Capital
Auron exited stealth mode with $48 million, touting a new machine learning platform and lofty hopes to flip the current cancer treatment paradigm on its head. The Massachusetts biotech will funnel the cash toward developing new cancer therapies that target dysregulated differentiation and cellular plasticity as well as expanding its machine-learning-based computational platform—dubbed AURigin—to identify new drug targets. Fierce Biotech
July 20—CAMP4 Therapeutics
CEO: Josh Mandel-Brehm
Amount: $100 million
Investors: Enavate Sciences, Gaingels, 5AM Ventures, Polaris Partners, Northpond Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, The Kraft Group and other unnamed investors
CAMP4 Therapeutics is bound for the clinical wilderness with $100 million to expand the company’s RNA platform. The money will help carry the biotech’s lead asset for severe genetic epilepsy into phase 1 trials, and comes just over a year after a $45 million series A. For now, the company is backpacking solo, but partners may soon join the journey. Fierce Biotech
July 20—BigHat Biosciences
CEO: Mark DePristo, Ph.D.
Amount: $75 million
Investors: Section 32, BMS Ventures, Amgen Ventures, Quadrille Capital, Gaingels, Grids Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, 8VC, AME Cloud Ventures and other unnamed investors
BigHat just capped off a $75 million series B to design safer, more effective antibody therapies using its integrated artificial intelligence and machine learning wet lab platform. The financing round is a far jump from the $19 million series A collected earlier last year. Since then, the biotech’s platform has grown tenfold, with five internal discovery programs currently underway. Fierce Biotech
July 19—Cartography Biosciences
CEO: Kevin Parker, Ph.D.
Amount: $57 million
Investors: 8VC, Andreessen Horowitz, Wing VC, Catalio Capital Management, Artis Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, AME Cloud Ventures, the Cancer Research Institute and Gaingels
Cartography Biosciences has put its name on the map, exiting stealth with $57 million for an antigen atlas designed to direct scientists to more precise and effective immunotherapies. The California biotech’s ultimate destination: an atlas that can pinpoint targets that only interact with cancerous cells and avoid toxic side effects. Fierce Biotech