We've launched a new Fierce Biotech Fundraising Tracker for 2023 to track all the venture capital flowing into the industry.
While biotech VC investments in 2022 failed to live up to 2021's banner year, the second half still saw a steady stream of fundraises over $30 million. Now, the industry enters the new year with bated breath, wondering what this year could bring after the swing from high to low.
Like last year's tracker, we will continue to include any fundraising rounds north of $30 million. We'll still profile exciting new companies and larger rounds in-depth, but we’re hoping to focus more coverage on clinical trial results, special reports and enterprise stories to give readers insights they can't find elsewhere.
November 29—Arrivo BioVentures
CEO: Steve Butts
Amount: $45.25 million
Investors: Orlando Health Ventures, Solas BioVentures Emerging Healthcare Fund, Rex Health Ventures and unnamed private investors
The North Carolina biotech has announced the arrival of an oversubscribed series B that brings Arrivo's total capital raised to $100 million. The company will use the new money to advance SP-624, a small molecule designed to treat major depressive disorder (MDD), through a phase 2b/3 clinical trial. The money will also be channeled toward completing a phase 2 study of RABI-767, a small molecule inhibitor of pancreatic lipase being developed for predicted severe acute pancreatitis. Beyond funding ongoing clinical trials, the series B will also allow the company to test out SP-624 in other indications and fund activities associated with filing a new drug application with the FDA for the treatment of MDD. Release (PDF)
November 28—Aro Biotherapeutics
CEO: Susan Dillon, Ph.D.
Amount: $41.5 million
Investors: Cowen Healthcare Investments, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Northpond Ventures, Healthcap and BVF Partners, L.P.
Philadelphia biotech Aro Biotherapeutics has raked in more than $40 million in today’s tough financing landscape, enough to advance its lead program, ABX1100, to treat Pompe Disease. The company just launched a phase 1 trial for the program and initial data is slated for 2024. The money will also help afford additional investment in Aro’s Centyrin-siRNA conjugate programs, which are focused on autoimmune diseases. Christopher Picariello, president of J&J Innovation, has joined the company’s board of directors as part of the round closure. Release
CEO: Andrei Georgescu, Ph.D.
Amount: $38 million
Investors: Khosla Ventures, Kairos Ventures, CS Ventures, MBX Capital, and Bison Ventures.
Vivodyne has secured $38 million in seed funding to advance its drug discovery platform built to better predict drug performance in human organs. The pursuit centers on the biotech's lab-grown human organ tissue, used to test novel therapeutics and produce data that can better establish possible efficacy in humans. Vivodyne says it has engineered over 20 organ tissues that "mimic human physiology and function" and can serve as critical training grounds for early drug research. The data produced from these studies feeds a platform that uses robotic automation to "cultivate, dose and analyze more than 10,000 individual human tissues at a time." Release
November 21—Alto Neuroscience
CEO: Amit Etkin, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: $45 million
Investors: InVivium Capital, Franklin Templeton, Point72, Eli Lilly, Alexandria Venture Investments, Alpha Wave Ventures, Lightswitch Capital, partners of Alkeon Capital, WhatIf Ventures and Windham Venture Partners.
The California-based biotech has closed an oversubscribed $45 million series C, money that will be used to support the development of the company's late-stage central nervous system product candidates. Alto anticipates four phase 2 trial readouts by early 2025, including topline results from its most advanced programs, ALTO-100 and ALTO-300. Both are currently being tested out in phase 2b studies for major depressive disorder. Release
November 15—NMD Pharma
CEO: Thomas Holm Pedersen
Amount: €75 million ($81 million)
Investors: Jeito Capital, Novo Holdings, Lundbeckfonden BioCapital, INKEF Capital and the Roche Venture Fund
Backed by Novo's and Roche's venture funds, Danish biotech NMD Pharma has secured $81 million in a series B fundraise. The new funds will be channeled into three phase 2 studies of NMD670, the biotech's lead program designed to inhibit the skeletal muscle specific chloride ion channel and potentially restore muscle function in a variety of rare neuromuscular diseases. The three studies will assess the candidate in AChR and MuSK antibody positive myasthenia gravis, spinal muscular atrophy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. The series B money will also be used to expand the company's operations in Denmark and in the US. Release
CEO: Allan Bradley, Ph.D.
Amount: £48 million ($59 million)
Investors: Sofinnova Partners, F-Prime Capital, Digitalis Ventures, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Sanofi Ventures and the University of Cambridge Venture Fund
The University of Cambridge spinout has closed a $59 million series A, money that will go toward the biotech's mission of developing next-generation TCR therapeutics to treat cancer and inflammatory disorders. T-Therapeutics hopes to use its platform to create medicines that tackle the limitations of current TCR therapies, which can only treat certain cancers and aren't specific enough, prompting major side effects. Release
CEO: David Guyer, M.D.
Series: A extension
Amount: $65 million
Investors: Bain Capital Life Sciences, Omega Funds,Vertex Ventures HC, SV Health Investors, Jeito Capital, Samsara Biocapital and MRL Ventures Fund
You know what’s better than $65 million? Twice that amount. EyeBio would likely agree, tacking on an additional $65 million in a series A extension to bring the total financing to $130 million. The biotech is stretching the definition of extension given the initial series A was announced in February 2022, but nonetheless, in today’s treacherous financing landscape, more is almost certainly better. The retinal-focused biotech simultaneously announced that it has completed enrollment in the multiple ascending dose portion of a phase 1/2 study testing its treatment for diabetic macular edema and neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Release
CEO: Isan Chen, M.D.
Amount: $85 million
Investors: TPG, Avidity Partners, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Venrock and Alta Partners
Antibody-drug conjugates are all the rage in cancer drug development right now and MBrace Therapeutics is looking to capitalize on the momentum. The San Diego drug developer has added $85 million to develop ADCs against new oncology targets, with the money expected to help pay for the first clinical trial of its lead ADC MBRC-101. The asset targets the EphA5 receptor tyrosine kinase, which the company says is present in multiple solid tumors, with preclinical data set to be presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in early December. With the new funds in hand, the company has raised $110 million to-date. Release
CEO: Marina Udier, Ph.D.
Amount: €67 million ($72 million)
Investors: Andera Partners, Bpifrance, M Ventures, Revelation Partners, Indaco Venture Partners, Panakès Partners, XGen Ventures and other undisclosed investors
Swiss biotech Nouscom has added $72 million in series C funds to help advance its pipeline, namely an off-the-shelf cancer vaccine, NOUS-209. The company says its cash runway will extend past a phase 2 readout of NOUS-209 in combination with Keytruda for patients with dMMR/MSI metastatic colorectal cancer and a phase 1b study testing the targeted neoantigen treatment in patients with Lynch Syndrome. Nouscom is also chasing Moderna, advancing a phase 1b study of a personalized immunotherapy in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor to treat advanced melanoma. In a release, CEO Marina Udier said the financing is a “testament to the faith” that investors have in the company’s tech. Release
November 13—VectorY Therapeutics
CEO: Alexander Vos
Amount: €129 million ($138 million)
Investors: EQT Life Sciences, Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund, Merck & Co.’s MRL Ventures Fund, Insight Partners, ALS Investment Fund, Forbion Ventures, BioGeneration Ventures and another unnamed investor
VectorY has nabbed $138 million, a series A financing round the Dutch biotech is touting as one of Europe’s biggest private biotech fundraises of the year. The biotech will use the new funds to develop vectorized antibody therapies designed to treat neurodegenerative diseases and move lead program VTx-002 into clinical development for ALS. The $138 million follows a $38 million seed financing in 2021. Story
November 8—Forward Therapeutics
CEO: Toufike Kanouni
Amount: $50 million
Investors: BVF Partners LP, RA Capital Management and OrbiMed
Curie.Bio's first partner company has set up shop. Forward Therapeutics emerged with $50 million in series A funding and a mission to advance a portfolio of small molecule immunology therapies. Release
November 7—Blackbird Labs
CEO: Matt Tremblay, Ph.D
Amount: $100 million
Investors: The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation
Former Chief Operating Officer of the Scripps Research Institute Matt Tremblay is looking bolster the Baltimore life science sector with the launch of Blackbird Labs. The accelerator touts initial research collaborations with neighbor institutions like Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, Maryland and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. The current plan is to be relatively disease-agnostic, saying in an announcement that it will advance companies and therapies targeting an array of areas from inflammation to cancer. Blackbird has already helped fund a number of early developments, including an oral treatment for Crohn's and colitis and a "multi-modal approach to schizophrenia." Release
CEO: Mani Subramanian, M.D., Ph.D
Amount: $60 million
Investors: Longitude Capital, Enavate Sciences, Samsara BioCapital, NuevaBio and Lilly
OrsoBio, welcome to Big Pharma validation! The company's latest series A has drawn in Lilly as a new investor, courting the metabolic behemoth while it pursues four early assets. OrsoBio says it's working on four programs aimed at treating obesity and associated metabolic disorders, three of which are in clinical trials. Two of the programs, TLC-3595 and TLC-2716, are working through phase 2 studies as treatments for diabetes and severe hypertriglyceridemia/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, respectively. Release
CEO: Kees Been
Amount: €57 million ($60.9 million)
Investors: Forbion, Ysios Capital and Sunstone Life Science Ventures
Forbion and Ysios co-founded Kynexis is launching with €57 million ($60.9 million) in series A funds to advance a small molecule KAT-II inhibitor to treat cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. The asset, KYN-5356, spawned out of research from scientists at the University of Maryland and the University of Texas UT Southwestern Medical Center. The unveiled biotech licensed the asset from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, but did not disclose financial details of the deal. Release
November 2—Terremoto Biosciences
CEO: Peter Thompson, M.D.
Amount: $175 million
Investors: New investors EcoR1 Capital, Novo Holdings and Cormorant Capital, plus existing investors OrbiMed and Third Rock Ventures.
Small molecule drug discovery biotech Terremoto Biosciences has topped up its total fundraising haul to $250 million with a $175 million series B raise. The company brought on new investors such as Novo Holdings and Cormorant Capital to support its mission to create highly targeted small molecules for devastating and severe diseases. Release
November 1—Gate Bioscience
CEO: Jordi Mata-Fink, Ph.D.
Amount: $60 million
Investors: Versant Ventures, a16z Bio + Health, ARCH Venture Partners and GV
Founded in 2021, Gate Bioscience has exited stealth with $60 million in hand and a plan to create a whole new class of medicines called Molecular Gates. The new potential medicine class are small molecules designed to eliminate disease-causing extracellular proteins, with opportunities ranging from inflammatory conditions to neurodegenerative disease to several cancers. The biotech is currently in preclinical development. Release
October 30—MapLight Therapeutics
CEO: Christopher Kroeger, M.D.
Amount: $225 million
Investors: Novo Holdings, 5AM Ventures, Cowen Healthcare Investments and others
MapLight has picked up a large series C financing to advance its mission of developing treatments for difficult-to-treat brain disorders. The $225 million will go towards M1/M4 muscarinic agonist ML-007C-MA, which is chasing Karuna Therapeutics' KarXT in schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease psychosis. The company expects to begin phase 2 trials in 2024. Press release
October 26—Triveni Bio
CEO: Vishal Patel
Amount: $92 million
Investors: Cormorant Asset Management, Atlas Venture, OrbiMed, Viking Global Investors, Invus, Polaris Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments and other unnamed investors.
Triveni Bio, the product of a merger between Amagma Therapeutics and Modify Therapeutics, has unveiled with $92 million and a lead preclinical antibody program targeting eczema and asthma. The series A was co-led by Cormorant Asset Management and Atlas Venture, founder of Modify Therapeutics. The money will help fund TRIV-509, the biotech’s lead program that targets kallikreins 5 and 7 (KLK5/7) to treat inflammation & immunology conditions such as eczema and asthma. Triveni hopes to fuel TRIV-509 from preclinical development into a phase 2a clinical trial. Story
October 24—Aiolos Bio
CEO: Khurem Farooq
Amount: $245 million
Investors: Atlas Venture, Bain Capital Life Sciences, Forbion, Sofinnova Investments and RA Capital Management
Aiolos Bio is jetting out of stealth with a $245 million series A and a lead asset designed to treat severe asthma. The candidate, AIO-001, is an anti-TSLP antibody licensed from Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals, a Chinese biotech that’s retained rights to the greater China market. The $245 million financing has been spent in part on licensing the asset, the financial details of which Aiolos has declined to disclose. Story
October 24—Rampart Bioscience
CEO: Louis Breton
Amount: $85 million
Investors: Forbion, OrbiMed, RA Capital Management and HealthCap
After a $40 million seed round financed by OrbiMed, Rampart Bioscience is back with an $85 million series A and three new investors in tow. The next-gen biologics biotech centers around a DNA-based medicines platform, dubbed Halo, which is designed to tackle limitations and safety concerns often associated with viral and non-viral gene approaches by producing potent, durable and redosable therapies. Rampart's lead program is a preclinical program designed to treat hypophosphatasia, a rare genetic disease that prevents bone mineralization. Release
October 16—Atom Bioscience
CEO: William Dongfang Shi, Ph.D.
Amount: $83 million
Investors: Kaitai Capital, Fortune Capital, Huajin Investment, Unifortune and NNFE Investment
Atom will use the latest funding haul to complete pivotal clinical trials of its URAT1 inhibitor for chronic gout. The candidate, dubbed ABP-671, is also being tested in chronic kidney disease.
The Chinese biotech said part of the cash will help advance additional assets into the clinic. Atom's other named therapy is ABP-6016, which is being readied for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and human papillomavirus. Release
October 11—Agomab Therapeutics
CEO: Tim Knotnerus
Amount: $100 million
Investors: Fidelity Management & Research Company, EQT Life Sciences, Canaan, Dawn Biopharma, a platform controlled by KKR, and existing investors
A week after launching its lead asset into a phase 2 trial for a type of Crohn’s disease, Agomab has secured $100 million to power up its pipeline. The Belgian biotech will allocate some of the new money to fund the trial, which will assess ALK5 inhibitor AGMB-129 among 36 patients with fibrostenosing Crohn’s. The gut-restricted small-molecule inhibitor has also recently received an FDA fast-track tag.
The biotech will also channel some of its nine-figure fundraise across the rest of its pipeline, which includes an inhaled ALK5 inhibitor called AGMB-447 for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, as well as MET agonists AGMB-101 and AGMB-102, which are being targeted at organ failure and fibrotic indications, respectively. Story
CEO: Per Fischer
Amount: 54 million euros ($57.3 million)
Investors: EQT Life Sciences, OrbiMed, Novo Holdings, Pureos Ventures, Sanofi Ventures, Trill Impact Ventures, Adjuvant Capital, Wellington Partners, Industrifonden, Sunstone LifeScience Ventures and LF Invest
Danish biotech MinervaX has raised $57 million for its efforts to develop a novel, prophylactic vaccine against Group B Streptococcus (GBS), which can cause serious illness, particularly in newborns. The company is currently running two phase 2 clinical trials across several countries testing the asset and will use the new funding to advance its vaccine towards phase 3 trials in 2024. Release
October 9—LimmaTech Biologics
CEO: Franz-Werner Haas
Amount: $37 million
Investors: Adjuvant Capital, AXA IM Alts and the Novo Holdings REPAIR Impact Fund
Swiss biotech LimmaTech has reeled in a $37 million series A, money that will go toward the GlycoVaxyn spinout's tech platform and pipeline designed to tackle bacterial infections. The company's portfolio includes both preclinical- and clinical-stage vaccine candidates, including shigellosis and gonorrhea programs. An ongoing phase 2 clinical trial is currently assessing LimmaTech's Shigella vaccine program, which was developed with GSK and exclusively in-licensed by LimmaTech. The company expects to announce preliminary results from the trial by the end of this year. Release (PDF)
Amount: $61 million
Investors: Novartis Venture Fund, MPM Capital, Brandon Capital, EQT Life Sciences, Bristol Myers Squibb and the Dementia Discovery Fund
London-based AstronauTx is working to develop new drugs that correct the disrupted physiology of the brain for several diseases, including Alzheimer's. The biotech aims to create oral drugs that could have uses across “multiple neurodegenerative conditions” as well as in combo with other drugs currently in late-stage development. The young company already secured its first partnership in the form of a collaboration in July with Danish biotech Saniona to discover new drugs that could modulate a “novel, undisclosed ion channel target.” Story
October 4—Iambic Therapeutics
CEO: Tom Miller, Ph.D
Amount: $100 million
Investors: Ascenta Capital, Abingworth, NVIDIA, Illumina Ventures, Gradiant Corporation, Nexus Ventures, Catalio Capital Management, Coatue, FreeFlow, OrbiMed, Sequoia Capital and independent board member Bill Rastetter
Iambic Therapeutics has raised $100 million to advance a pipeline built on technologies for predicting protein-ligand structures, generating molecular designs and other drug discovery tasks. Using the technologies, Iambic claims it can accelerate drug discovery, pointing to the two years it took to take its lead project from program launch to IND. That candidate, IAM-H1, is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets HER2 while sparing EGFR and is set to enter the clinic early next year. The latest financing round builds on a $53 million series A in 2021, back when the company was called Entos. Story
October 4—Shorla Oncology
CEO: Sharon Cunningham
Amount: $35 million
Investors: Kurma Partners’ Growth Opportunities Fund, Seroba Life Sciences Enterprise Ireland, and Irish-, U.S.- and Canadian-based family offices
Women-led Shorla’s latest financing will help advance an oncology portfolio that has a special focus on orphan and pediatric cancers. The Irish company recently gained FDA approval for its Nelarabine injection for patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. The company also recently filed for FDA approval for SH-105, an IV administration designed to treat breast and ovarian cancer. If approved, Shorla anticipates hitting the market in the third quarter of next year. Release
September 27—Sitryx Therapeutics
CEO: Neil Weir
Amount: $39 million
Investors: Oxford Science Enterprises, SV Health Investors, Eli Lilly & Company, Sofinnova Partners, Longwood Fund and GSK.
After raising a $30 million series A, the U.K.-based biotech Sitryx has closed a $39 million fundraising round. The new money will go toward Sitryx's immunometabolism-targeting therapies into the clinic. The company, which is building a pipeline of therapies designed to alter immune cell metabolism to treat chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Release
CEO: Mike Gamson
Amount: $81 million
Investors: Fidelity Management & Research Company, OrbiMed, NVentures, NVIDIA’s venture capital arm, Paragon Biosciences and Valor Equity Partners
Founded in 2020, Evozyne has closed out an $81 million series B. The Chicago-based biotech will use the new funds to further develop its generative AI-powered drug discovery platform that is designed to create new, high-performance proteins. While specific pipeline programs have not been disclosed, the company has said it is pursuing life-changing treatments and ways to potentially cure untreatable diseases. The biotech is currently developing a library of CRISPR-Cas nucleases and designing new IgG proteases. Release
September 27—Avalyn Pharma
CEO: Lyn Baranowksi
Amount: $175 million
Investors: Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Funds, SR One, Eventide Asset Management, Vida Ventures, Wellington Management, Rock Springs Capital, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Citadel's Surveyor Capital, Catalio Capital Management, Piper Heartland, Novo Holdings A/S, Norwest Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, Pivotal bioVenture Partners and RiverVest Venture Partners
Seattle-based Avalyn has closed an oversubscribed $175 million series C to fuel the mid-stage development of its lead pulmonary disease therapies. The biotech will continue building out its portfolio of inhalation therapies for interstitial lung disease that improve upon approved medications and advance lead assets, dubbed AP01 and AP02. Avalyn intends on launching a phase 2b trial for AP01 (inhaled pirfenidone), while AP02 (inhaled nintedanib) is expected to be evaluated in a phase 2a trial, both for patients with pulmonary fibrosis. Release
September 19—Hyku Biosciences
Acting CEO: Milind Deshpande, Ph.D.
Amount: $56 million
Investors: RA Capital Management, Droia Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, KB Investment and Eisai Innovation
Massachusetts-based Hyku has launched with $56 million in seed money to develop precision covalent medicines for patients with cancer. The company is aiming to use its platform to slow or stop disease targets that are hard to reach with currently conventional approaches. The platform is built to stretch the scope of small molecule drug discovery and improve druggability across several target classes, according to Hyku. Release
September 19—Magnet Biomedicine
President/CSO: Brian Safina, Ph.D.
Amount: $50 million
Investors: Newpath Partners and ARCH Venture Partners
The molecular glue discovery biotech has emerged from stealth with $50 million in hand and a dream to advance a preclinical portfolio of programs in multiple indications, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and immune disorders. The Massachusetts-based company was founded by molecular glue researcher Stuart Schreiber, Ph.D.; 2017 Nobel Laureate Michael Rosbash, Ph.D.; chemoproteomics pioneer Benjamin Cravatt, Ph.D.; geneticist Richa Saxena, Ph.D.; and chemical biologist David Spiegel, M.D., Ph.D. Release
September 19—ReCode Therapeutics
CEO: Shehnaaz Suliman, M.D.
Series: B extension
Amount: $50 million
Investors: BLV and Solasta Ventures
The genetic medicine and mRNA biotech is back again with another series B extension round, this time raising $50 million for a series total of $260 million. The fundraise follows a previous series B extension last summer in which the California company raked in $120 million on top of its initial $80 million in 2021.
The first round was co-led by Pfizer Ventures and EcoR1 Capital, with participation from Sanofi Ventures, Orbimed, Vida Ventures and more. The initial extension round included new investors AyurMaya and Leaps by Bayer, with participation from Amgen Ventures. The newest extension was fueled by BLV and Solasta Ventures.
The funds will be used to advance the company's primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis clinical programs, as well as expand its lipid nanoparticle pipeline to include candidates for central nervous system, lung, liver and musculoskeletal indications. Release
CEO: Kris Elverum
Amount: $30 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, ND Capital, Fast Track Initiative, Novalis and Codon Capital.
The RNA-focused biotech emerged from stealth with ambitious plans to tackle both rare and common diseases. The company’s RESTORE+ platform is based on the work of co-founders Thorsten Stafforst, Ph.D., of Germany’s Tübingen University and Stanford’s Jin Billy Li, Ph.D., who were the first to publish peer-reviewed papers demonstrating ADAR-mediated RNA editing. ADAR, shorthand for adenosine deaminases acting on RNA, is a family of proteins that catalyze the editing reaction on double-stranded RNA.
The theory is that ADAR-directed RNA editing can deliver a safe oligonucleotide that is programmed to introduce a precise modification to a patient’s RNA. Top of the Cambridge, Massachusetts and Germany-based company’s to-do list is a potentially best-in-class candidate to treat inherited genetic disease alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. AIRNA has also alluded to a “pipeline of proprietary programs with RESTORE+ to address multiple prevalent diseases with high unmet need.” Release
September 14—Generate Biomedicines
CEO: Mike Nally
Amount: $273 million
Investors: Amgen, NVIDIA’s NVentures, MAPS Capital (Mirae Asset Group), Pictet Alternative Advisors, Flagship Pioneering, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Fidelity Management & Research Company, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., ARCH Venture Partners and March Capital
Flagship Pioneering-founded Generate is tacking on a gigantic $273 million, though the haul didn't reach the heights of a previous $370 million raise back in 2021. The biotech now has close to $450 million in the bank, said CEO Mike Nally, much of which will be aimed at expanding the pipeline and advancing more assets in the clinic.
Right now, the biotech has one clinical candidate: GB-0669, a monoclonal antibody targeting a "highly conserved" region of the COVID-19 virus’s spike protein. The antibody targets a different epitope on the virus to the receptor-binding domain—a target that has been the source of considerable mutations. This gives Nally and his team hope that their antibody will deliver considerable cross-variant protection, which he said has already been demonstrated in some preclinical work. Beyond that, the company invests in all corners of oncology, including bispecifics, T-cell engagers and cell therapy. Story
September 12—Rome Therapeutics
CEO: Rosana Kapeller, M.D.
Series: B extension
Amount: $72 million
Investors: Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eurofarma Ventures, Luma Group, Mirae Asset Capital, family offices Raycap and Sigmas Group, ARCH Ventures, GV, Section 32, Sanofi Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Mass General Brigham Ventures, Casdin Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments
Rome Therapeutics has revealed a series B financing extension of $72 million that includes Big Pharma pillars Johnson & Johnson and Bristol Myers Squibb. The company will put the fresh cash toward advancing a LINE-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitor into early clinical trials. Story
September 12—Arialys Therapeutics
CEO: Jay Lichter, Ph.D.
Amount: $58 million
Investors: Avalon BioVentures, Catalys Pacific, MPM BioImpact, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments.
A new biotech is on the block to find new treatments for neuropsychiatric diseases driven by autoimmunity. Arialys Therapeutics has emerged with $58 million in hand to advance precision medicines that block pathogenic autoantibodies in the central nervous system. Led by Jay Lichter, also managing partner of Avalon BioVentures, Arialys will initially target anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis with its lead therapeutic ART5803. The therapy has already been granted orphan drug designation from the FDA and was purchased from Astellas Pharma. Release
September 12—Actio Biosciences
CEO: David Goldstein, Ph.D.
Amount: $55 million
Investors: Canaan, DROIA Ventures, Deerfield Management, EcoR1 and Euclidean Capital
Precision genetics biotech Actio just closed a $55 million series A that will help build out its human genetics platform and rare disease target database. The company is working to understand the function of specific targets in disease and then develop medicines that modulate them, with an initial focus in rare disease. The biotech then intends to apply insights learned in rare diseases to potential targets in more common diseases. Release
September 8—Grit Biotechnology
CEO: Yarong Liu
Amount: $60 million
Investors: CICC, Qianhai Ark, Liando Group, Yuanhe Capital, HeFangTian Venture Partnership and existing investors Sherpa Healthcare Partners, Decheng Capital and Matrix Partners China.
The Shanghai-based cell therapy company Grit has raised over $60 million in a series B, money that will support its solid tumor pipeline. The biotech uses its four tech platforms, including a genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screening platform, to develop tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) assets. The company's most advanced asset is GT101—an autologous therapy being tested to treat multiple solid tumors—is set to enter a phase 2 clinical trial by the end of this year. Release
September 7—Mariana Oncology
CEO: Simon Read, Ph.D.
Amount: $175 million
Investors: Deep Track Capital, Forbion, Atlas Venture, Access Biotechnology, RA Capital Management, Eli Lilly, Nextech Invest and Citadel’s Surveyor Capital.
Eli Lilly has come aboard for Mariana's oversubscribed $175 million round aimed at making waves in radiopharmaceutical development. The large financing round follows a $75 million series A in December 2021—and a name change. Formerly known as Curie Therapeutics, the biotech rebranded to better reflect its mission to tackle some of cancer’s toughest tumors. The preclinical company will use the $175 million to help transition into human trials, with a particular focus on lead asset MC-339. Mariana expects the precision, next-gen radiopharmaceutical to enter the clinic next year for small cell lung cancer. Story
September 7—Corteria Pharmaceuticals
CEO: Philip Janiak
Amount: 65 million euros ($70.7 million)
Investors: OrbiMed, Jeito Capital, Kurma Partners, Fountain Healthcare Partners, V-Bio Ventures, Invivo Capital and Omnes Capital
France-based Corteria has raised an oversubscribed series A that will be used to push the company’s cardiovascular pipeline into the clinic. Led by Sanofi’s former head of cardiovascular research Philip Janiak, the biotech currently touts three first-in-class therapies. One of these assets is a once daily, subcutaneous CRF2 agonist designed to treat worsening heart failure and is expected to enter phase 1 trials early next year. Release
September 6—Apollo Therapeutics
CEO: Richard Mason
Amount: $226.5 million
Investors: Patient Square Capital, M&G plc, Rock Springs Capital and two unnamed U.S. public pension plans.
Apollo Therapeutics' whopping series C will bolster its hub-and-spoke approach to drug development encompassing 20-plus pipeline programs that remain largely under wraps. The latest financing round—which follows a $145 million series B in 2021—will also help Apollo license or acquire more clinical-stage programs of interest. The company has a scalable R&D platform and houses assets in separate, wholly owned subsidiary companies, a strategy Apollo says helps mitigate risk through its diversified portfolio and subsequently attracts a wider investor base. Story
September 6—Nimbus Therapeutics
CEO: Jeb Keiper
Amount: $210 million
Investors: Google Ventures, SR One, Atlas Venture, Bain Capital Life Sciences, BVF Partners L.P., Gates Frontier, Lightstone Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, RA Capital Management and SV Health Investors
Nimbus just closed its latest private financing, raking in $210 million and surpassing $600 million in total financing since launching roughly 14 years ago.
“So we don't call things, we don't call raises, we don't give them letters,” CEO Jeb Keiper said in an interview with Fierce Biotech. Instead, Keiper refers to stages of the company in chapters, with each chapter marked by the sale of another asset. After the company sold a midstage plaque psoriasis drug to Takeda for $4 billion upfront earlier this year, Nimbus turned the page to chapter 3.
The fresh capital will go toward further development of HPK1-targeting cancer med NDI 1150-101.The drug is through dose escalation and into dose expansion in a phase 1 trial, the CEO said. Data are expected at an upcoming medical conference, but Keiper wouldn’t specify whether that would be this year or next. Story
September 6—Tentarix Biotherapeutics
CEO: Paul Grayson
Amount: $35 million
Investors: Amplitude Ventures, Gilead Sciences, Versant Ventures and Samsara BioCapital
Tentarix has raised $35 million in a series B that will go toward stretching the company's cash runway and expanding its pipeline of cell-specific, conditionally active multifunctional biologics made to go after previously undruggable targets. Since its founding in 2020, the biotech has raked in $132 million from equity and upfront partnership payments. Release
September 5—Star Therapeutics
CEO: Adam Rosenthal, Ph.D.
Amount: $90 million
Investors: Sofinnova Investments, Qatar Investment Authority, Catalio Capital Management, Agent Capital, Soleus Capital, NYBC Ventures, Westlake Village BioPartners, OrbiMed, Redmile Group, RA Capital Management, New Leaf Venture Partners, Cormorant Asset Management and Cowen Healthcare Investments
Investors have showered the biotech portfolio company with $90 million to grow its portfolio companies and develop new antibody drugs for diseases with high unmet need. The new funds nearly double the $100 million Star had already raised since its founding in late 2018.
Star has formed two publicly disclosed offshoots to date—Electra Therapeutics and Vega Therapeutics. While Electra is now an independently financed company, blood-disorder-focused Vega remains under Star’s wing. The newest financing will in part go toward Vega’s VGA039, a monoclonal antibody currently being assessed in a phase 1a/1b study that launched earlier this year. The asset is designed to treat von Willebrand disease (VWD), a bleeding disorder in which blood can’t clot properly. The rest of Star’s series C cash will be channeled into additional portfolio companies that have yet to be publicly revealed. Story
August 29—Epigenic Therapeutics
CEO: Bob Zhang
Amount: $32 million
Investors: Qiming Venture Partners, OrbiMed and Morningside Venture Capital
The China-based biotech Epigenic has raised $32 million, money that will go toward preclinical development and early clinical validation of two leading gene therapy programs. The young gene-editing biotech touts candidates designed to tackle metabolic, cardiovascular, viral hepatitis, ocular and rare diseases. The series A money will also be used for discovery activities, expansion of Epigenic's leadership team and continued investment in the company's tech platforms. Release
August 28—i2o Therapeutics
CEO: Kurt Graves
Amount: $46 million
Investors: "Top-tier biotech investors"
The Boston-based biotech touts a preclinical GLP-1 program as its lead asset and has swapped out its leadership in tandem with a series A closing. The company's former executive chair of the board Kurt Graves is taking the reins as president and CEO, succeeding i2o co-founder and CEO Ravi Srinivasan, Ph.D. Graves will helm the company as it works to create a new standard of care for patients with type 2 diabetes, obesity and other related conditions.
The biotech also recently acquired Intarcia Therapeutics' pipeline of cardiometabolic candidates, including a drug-device combo dubbed ITCA 650. The FDA previously denied an approval for the combo, which is designed for patients with type 2 diabetes, citing product and clinical deficiencies. The investigational implant tech platform will be discussed in a public hearing Sept. 21 before an FDA advisory committee. Release
August 28—Superluminal Medicines
CEO: Cony D'Cruz
Amount: $33 million
Investors: RA Capital Management, Insight Partners, NVIDIA and Gaingels
A new Boston biotech has emerged with one of the year's largest seed financing rounds to date and former Schrödinger executive Cony D'Cruz at the helm. D'Cruz, who previously served as Schrödinger's chief business officer, is also a co-founder of Superluminal. The young biotech will funnel the $33 million into a pipeline of small molecule drug discovery programs initially focused on G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets, a focus companies like Septerna, Sosei Heptares and Tectonic Therapeutic are also chasing. Release
August 23—Rapport Therapeutics
CEO: Abe Ceesay
Amount: $150 million
Investors: Cormorant Asset Management, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Logos Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Sofinnova Investments, Surveyor Capital, Third Rock Ventures, Arch Venture Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
Rapport left stealth in March with $100 million and is back just five months later with a $150 million series B. The neurological disease biotech developing precision medicines spun out from J&J, bringing a clinical-stage asset for seizure disorders along for the ride. The newest funds will help grow Rapport’s team from around 20 people into the low 30s or even 40s by the end of the year, CEO Abe Ceesay told Fierce Biotech. As for potential clinical indications, the CEO sees a lot of opportunity in lesser publicized psychiatric conditions like bipolar disorder, bipolar depression or post-traumatic stress disorder where a significant unmet need remains. Story
August 23—FORE Biotherapeutics
Interim CEO: Shawn Leland
Amount: $75 million
Investors: SR One, Medicxi, OrbiMed, HBM Healthcare Investments, Novartis Venture Fund, 3B Future Health Fund, Cormorant Asset Management, Wellington Management and Samsung Securities.
The Philadelphia-based biotech will use the $75 million for plixorafenib, the company's small molecule, orally available selective inhibitor of BRAF alterations currently being assessed in a phase 1/2a oncology trial. In connection with the fundraise, the biotech's CEO Matthew Ros is set to step down Sept. 1, with Shawn Leland planning to take on the role in an interim capacity until a successor is selected. Leland is the former founder, president and CEO of Elevation Oncology. Release
CEO: Alex Martin
Amount: $155 million
Investors: Redmile Group, Bain Capital Life Sciences, RA Capital Management, Samsara BioCapital, Sanofi Ventures, New Leaf Ventures, Pontifax, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Mass General Brigham Ventures, Eurofarma and Soleus Capital.
Abcuro will draw on an oversubscribed series B round to continue advancing its anti-KLRG1 candidate through clinical trials for a muscle disease and certain cancers. The $155 million round follows a $42 million series A co-led by Sanofi Ventures in 2021. Back then, the company was focused on getting its lead candidate ABC008 into a proof-of-mechanism trial for a muscle inflammation disease called sporadic inclusion body myositis. Since then, the monoclonal antibody has made it into a phase 2/3 study for the same condition. Abcura plans to use some of its new financial firepower to wrap up the trial. The biotech is also overseeing a phase 1/2 trial of ABC008 in T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia, with plans to set aside part of the new financing to launch a third trial in T- and NK-cell lymphomas. Story
August 9—ADARx Pharmaceuticals
CEO: Zhen Li
Amount: $200 million
Investors: Bain Capital Life Sciences, TCGX, Blackrock, Commodore Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Invus, Marshall Wace, Redmile Group, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Vivo Capital, Ascenta Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, OrbiMed, and SR One Capital Management
ADARx's pursuit of RNA fame has taken a giant leap, with the addition of $200 million in funding to advance its pipeline, which currently includes one clinical-stage asset. The company plans on using the money to advance ADX-324 through a phase 1 trial and push runner-up asset ADX-038 into its first human trial. The funds will also help advance a growing pipeline that currently includes nine active programs. Story
CEO: Michelle Werner
Amount: $109 million
Investors: Flagship Pioneering, other investors unknown
Flagship Pioneering, ever-persistant in attempting to replicate its success with mRNA leader Moderna, has raised $109 million for Alltrna. The biotech focuses on using transfer RNA (tRNA) to fight disease. Alltrna aims to treat a bevy of diseases spurred by broken codons, the chain of three nucelotides that form genetic material. CEO Michelle Werner said thousands of rare and common disease could be placed under the umbrella of codon-associated diseases. Story
CEO: Samir Khleif
Amount: $75 million
Investors: General Catalyst, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), Mubadala Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Catalio Capital Management, CJNV BioVenture, and Verition Fund Management
Georgiamune has unveiled with $75 million and its first clinical-stage cancer med, GIM-122, a dual-acting monoclonal antibody to tackle immunotherapy resistance that just received human study clearance from the FDA. The oversubscribed round will help pay for the phase 1/2 trial set to test the safety and pharmacokinetics of GIM-122 as a monotherapy in patients with solid tumors who advanced after previous checkpoint inhibitor treatment. Georgiamune plans to launch the trial in the second half of 2023, with a pipeline of other cancer and autoimmune meds waiting in the wings. Release
August 9—CG Oncology
CEO: Arthur Kuan
Amount: $105 million
Investors: Foresite Capital,TCGX, Avidity Partners, BVF Partners, Janus Henderson Investors, Acorn Bioventures, Ally Bridge Group, Decheng Capital, Longitude Capital, Malin Corporation and RA Capital Management.
California-based CG has raised the rare crossover funding, a pre-IPO round that has all but dried up amid the biotech bear market. CG’s fully enrolled phase 3 bladder cancer clinical trial persuaded investors to pump $105 million into the business. The new money will further clinical development for cretostimogene grenadenorepvec, a candidate designed to infect and replicate in tumor cells, directly killing them while also stimulating an immune attack. CG has completed enrollment in a phase 3 trial that is testing the asset as a monotherapy in patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer that is unresponsive to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin. The study is set to wrap in January 2024. Release
August 1—Solu Therapeutics
CEO: David Donabedian, Ph.D.
Amount: $31 million
Investors: Longwood Fund, Santé Ventures, DCVC Bio, Astellas Venture Management and Alexandria Venture Investments.
The precision-medicine company founded by the Longwood Fund will use the proceeds from the oversubscribed seed round to develop its platform—dubbed CyTaC for cytotoxicity-targeting chimera—and drug candidates. Both the platform and pipeline candidates were in-licensed from GSK and, in return, the Big Pharma has received equity in Solu and may receive milestone payments on any products derived from CyTaC.
The platform combines antibody and small molecule science and has potential applications across several therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology and autoimmunity. Solu intends to push its lead program—an oncology asset—into the clinic within two years. Release
July 31—Tisento Therapeutics
CEO: Peter Hecht
Amount: $81 million
Investors: Sanofi Ventures, Venrock, J. Wood Capital, Invus, Peter Hecht, Polaris and other unnamed investors.
Tisento is launching with an $81 million series A to push forward a mid-stage mitochondrial disease asset it acquired from Cyclerion Therapeutics. The phase 2 soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) stimulator zagociguat is designed to treat mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and other genetic mitochondrial diseases, and was snapped up in an earlier transaction between the young biotech and Cyclerion. In the deal, Tisento acquired zagociguat and CY3018, a sGC stimulator currently in IND-enabling studies. In exchange, Cyclerion received 10% equity ownership in Tisento and the right to buy additional equity in the future. Release
July 26—Kriya Therapeutics
CEO: Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D.
Amount: $150 million
Investors: Patient Square Capital
Kriya Therapeutics is tacking on $150M to a series C round first announced more than a year ago, in May 2022. CEO Shankar Ramaswamy insists the new financing isn't a clever interpretation of a down series D round, telling Fierce Biotech that the company was tapping into additional demand left over from the series C that couldn't be utilized at the time. The biotech has made a number of acquisitions since launching, including Redpin Therapeutics which is now serving as the foundation of Kriya's neurology pipeline. Other focus areas are ophthalmology and metabolic diseases, assets for which Ramaswamy says are being developed in parallel, along with neurology.
"We'll have several programs in the clinic over the next year and a half," Ramaswamy said, though he declined to say whether or not the company expects to file its first IND in 2023. Release
July 26—Nexo Therapeutics
CEO: Andrew Phillips, Ph.D.
Amount: $60 million
Investors: Versant Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Cormorant Asset Management.
The Versant Ventures-founded company is exiting stealth with $60 million, a research collaboration with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a platform designed to unlock new oncology therapies for previously intractable targets. The series A funding will help the young biotech build out its platform, which combines both covalent ligand discovery and chemical biology capabilities. Nexo hopes its platform and resulting therapies will be able to overcome ligand discovery obstacles and reach lesser-known cancer targets. Release
July 24—Crescendo Biologics
CEO: Theodora Harold.
Amount: $32 million
Investors: Sofinnova Partners, Andera Partners, IP Group BioNTech, Takeda, Quan Capital, and Kreos Capital
Crescendo is plotting a new path in its clinical development plan and has raised an additional $32 million to finance it. The biotech says it's amending an ongoing phase 1b trial testing its T cell enhancing therapy, CB307, to tack on a Keytruda combination arm. The company said explicitly that the new cash will help afford the study arm which is slated to start sometime before the end of September. The monotherapy expansion arm has already gotten underway in patients with PSMA+ metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer as a last line of treatment. The clinical trial record for the study was updated on July 20 to push back the primary competition timeline by a year, from July 2023 to July 2024. Release
July 19—Surge Therapeutics
CEO: Michael Goldberg, Ph.D.
Amount: $32 million
Investors: Bioluminescence Ventures, KdT Ventures, Piedmont Capital, 8VC, Alumni Ventures, Camford Capital, Cancer Research Institute, Intuitive Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Pitango HealthTech.
The Massachusetts-based biotech will use the latest funds to further accelerate its intraoperative immunotherapy approach, expand its team and advance multiple clinical trials for its injectable biodegradable hydrogel designed to be administered during cancer surgery. The company's lead candidate, dubbed STM-416, is currently being assessed in a phase 1/2a trial among patients with recurrent bladder cancer to improve post-resection outcomes. Surge hopes to improve survival rates and has designed its platform to boost the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy treatment. Release
July 18—Renibus Therapeutics
Co-CEOs: Frank Stonebanks, D. Jeff Keyser, Ph.D.
Amount: $47 million
Investors: New and existing investors
Hot on the heels of receiving FDA breakthrough designation for its lead asset RBT-1 to reduce the risk of complications after cardiothoracic surgery, Renibus has closed a $47 million series B financing. The Texas-based biotech, which is focused on preventing organ damage from cardiorenal diseases and complex surgery, will use the new funds to advance RBT-1 through a pivotal phase 3 study. Release
July 12—Tenpoint Therapeutics
CEO: Eddy Anglade, M.D.
Amount: $70 million
Investors: British Patient Capital, F-Prime Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Eight Roads and the UCL Technology Fund and other unnamed investors.
The London-based biotech is unveiling with $70 million and a mission to treat genetic and age-related eye conditions via its regenerative medicine platform. The newly launched company hopes to advance cell therapies for reversing vision loss by replacing diseased cells with healthy ones. Release
July 11—Arthrosi Therapeutics
CEO: Litain Yeh, Ph.D.
Amount: $75 million
Investors: Guangrun Health Industry Co. Limited, ApicHope Pharmaceuticals' Reichstein Biotech Co. Limited and other unnamed investors.
The San Diego-based biotech will funnel the $75 million financing toward the development of AR882, a selective next-gen URAT1 inhibitor designed to change the treatment paradigm for gout. The mid-stage asset is delivered in a once daily, immediate release oral capsule, with recent phase 2b trials having demonstrating the therapy's efficacy and safety, according to Arthrosi. Release
CEO: Jeffrey Finer, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: $150 million
Investors: RA Capital Management, Third Rock Ventures, Samsara BioCapital, Invus, Catalio Capital Management, BVF Partners, Casdin Capital, Logos Capital, Deep Track Capital, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Vertex Ventures HC, Mirae Asset Financial Group, Driehaus Capital Management, Woodline Partners LP, Soleus Capital and an additional undisclosed investor.
Septerna's $150 million series B will help finance two newly unveiled programs including moving its first G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) drug into the clinic for hypoparathyroidism. The San Francisco-based biotech launched early last year with $100 million in hand and a mission to redesign the field of GPCR drug discovery. The company has since unveiled a second preclinical program that targets the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor to treat Graves' disease. Story
July 11—Crossbow Therapeutics
CEO: Briggs Morrison, M.D.
Amount: $80 million
Investors: PM BioImpact, Pfizer Ventures, Polaris Partners, BVF Partners, Eli Lilly, Mirae Asset Venture Investment and Mirae Asset Capital.
Crossbow is loading its quiver with $80 million and taking aim at a new class of antibody therapies that imitate T-cell receptors. Crossbow will then incorporate the TCR-mimetics into off-the-shelf T-cell engagers and other immunotherapies to target a broad range of cancers. Release
June 22—Tagworks Pharmaceuticals
CEO: Marc Robillard, Ph.D.
Amount: $65 million
Investors: Ysios Capital, Gilde Healthcare, Novartis Venture Fund, New Enterprise Associates, Lightstone Ventures, Meneldor and Oost NL.
Tagworks has unveiled its first series fundraise, with $65 million to advance the company's lead ADC program, dubbed TGW101. Tagworks hopes to use the money to bring TGW101 toward initial clinical proof-of-concept and advance a broader pipeline that is currently focused on oncology. The funds will also be used to continue developing the company's platform, dubbed Click-to-Release. Release
CEO: Valerie Daggett
Amount: $52.9 million
Investors: Senator Investment Group, Section 32, Korea-based Partners Investment, Eli Lilly and Company, Alexandria Venture Investments and Matrix Capital Management Company.
The amyloid disease-focused company has raised nearly $53 million to further its mission of developing early disease-modifying treatments and detection tools for such diseases. AltPep aims to identify Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease before symptoms occur with its own diagnostic tools, dubbed SOBA diagnostics, and then neutralize the toxic oligomers tied to the diseases with their treatments, dubbed SOBIN therapeutics. The new financing will be mainly used to push SOBIN therapeutics into phase 1 clinical trials for both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as advance AltPep's first diagnostic tool toward FDA approval. Release
June 21—Empress Therapeutics
CEO: Jason Park
Amount: $50 million
Investors: Flagship Pioneering
Flagship has launched Empress Therapeutics with plans to advance up to four small-molecule medicines into human trials over the next two years. The $50 million will help further the company’s ongoing development work, which includes 15 drug leads. Much of Empress’ early work has existed in the microbe, a tiny organism that exists in the body by the dozens of trillions. Microbial cells serve as genetic artifacts through which Empress has been able to build a database of genes that code for potential compounds worth drugging. The targets the company has landed on include ion channels, cytokines, enzymes and G protein-coupled receptors. Story
June 20—Attovia Therapeutics
CEO: Tao Fu
Amount: $60 million
Investors: Frazier Life Sciences, venBio and Illumina Ventures.
Precision proteomics company Alamar Biosciences and VC Frazier Life Sciences have launched Attovia, unveiling with $60 million and hopes to build out a pipeline of biotherapeutics for immune-mediated diseases and cancer. The company will be based around Attobody, Alamar’s proprietary biparatopic nanobody platform, which Attovia will receive an exclusive global license to, alongside related pipeline assets. The newly fledged company plans to use the series A money to achieve clinical proof-of-concept for its lead program in immune-mediated diseases, nominate more development candidates and continue developing the Attobody platform. Release
June 12—Beacon Therapeutics
CEO: David Fellows
Amount: £96 million ($120 million)
Investors: Syncona, Oxford Science Enterprises and others
Launching with £96 million to hand, Beacon aims to use its expanded bank balance to guide a new generation of gene therapies to market for retinal diseases. Specifically, the British biotech will use the money to develop a varied portfolio including a phase 2 asset for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) called AGTC-501, which Syncona has passed over to Beacon after acquiring the asset from its takeover of Applied Genetic Technologies last year. A 12-month readout from the mid-stage trial is expected “shortly,” Beacon said.
There’s also two preclinical programs, one of which was developed at Oxford University as a treatment for cone-rod dystrophy. The program’s creator, Professor Robert MacLaren, has joined Beacon’s board. The other program is an intravitreally delivered novel AAV based program for dry age-related macular degeneration.
David Fellows, former CEO of fellow ocular-focused gene therapy company Nightstar Therapeutics, is heading up the London-headquartered company. Release
June 8—Upstream Bio
CEO: Samantha Truex
Amount: $200 million
Investors: Led jointly by Enavate Sciences and Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, with participation from other new investors Bain Capital Life Sciences and Wellington Management and series A investors OrbiMed, Access Biotechnology, Decheng Capital, Altshuler Shaham Provident Funds Ltd., TCG X, HBM Healthcare Investments, Omega Funds and Samsara BioCapital
Inflammation-focused Upstream Bio has landed a $200 million series B to support clinical development for UPB-101, a monoclonal antibody in phase 1b development for asthma. The company plans to use the cash to move into a mid-phase study for asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, all the while looking ahead to prep for phase 3. Release
June 8—Kate Therapeutics
CEO: Kevin Forrest, Ph.D
Amount: $51 million
Investors: Westlake Village BioPartners, Versant Ventures, Osage University Partners and UF Innovate | Ventures
Muscular dystrophy-focused Kate Therapeutics burst onto the scene with $51 million in series A funds and potentially plenty more cash to come down the line courtesy of a licensing deal with Astellas announced on the same day. The Japanese Big Pharma has pledged an undisclosed amount of biobucks for the exclusive rights to Kate’s gene therapy KT430. By using a MyoAAV capsid to deliver a functional copy of the MTM1 gene, both companies are hoping the preclinical asset will show promise as a treatment for a potentially life-threatening neuromuscular disease called X-linked myotubular myopathy.
Proceeds from the financing round will go towards advancing the remainder of Kate’s portfolio of muscle and heart disease programs. Backed up by a capsid platform sprung from the lab of co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Sharif Tabebordbar, Ph.D., key focuses of the San Diego-based biotech are myotonic dystrophy type 1 and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) — two of the leading causes of adult-onset muscular dystrophy. Release
June 7—Bitterroot Bio
CEO: Pavan Cheruvu, M.D.
Amount: $145 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, Deerfield Management, GV, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Alexandria Venture Investments and other unnamed investors.
Bitterroot Bio officially emerged from stealth mode following the close of its $145 million series A, which the company claims is the largest-ever investment for a preclinical cardiovascular disease-focused biotech.The funds will go toward homing in on a fresh treatment angle for the disease, one that’s taken straight from the oncology and autoimmune playbook: immunotherapies, starting with a drug for atherosclerosis. Story
CEO: Sonny Hsiao, Ph.D.
Amount: $100 million
Investors: Digital Mobile Venture, unnamed existing investors
Acepodia is ready to ante up its bet on cell therapy after raising a $100 million series D financing that will support the biotech's pipeline of medicines for solid tumors and hematological cancers. More specifically, the funds will be used to advance two lead T-cell therapies: an off-the-shelf gamma delta T-cell therapy called ACE1831 for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and ACE2016 for EGFR-expressing solid tumors. The series D brings Acepodia’s total fundraising haul to $259 million including a $109 million series C round in December 2021. Story
May 25—Carmot Therapeutics
CEO: Heather Turner
Amount: $150 million
Investors: Led by Deep Track Capital with 5AM Ventures, Franklin Templeton, Frazier Life Sciences, Janus Henderson Investors, RA Capital Management, Millennium Management, TCGX, The Column Group, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners and Willett Advisors.
Obesity and diabetes drug developer Carmot is adding $150 million in series E funds, about 10 months after collecting $160 million in a series D. The biotech will use the cash from the oversubscribed and up-sized fundraising to conduct phase 2 clinical trials of GLP-1/GIP receptor modulator CT-388 for obese adults with and without type 2 diabetes. Release
CEO: Jan Öhrström
Amount: €30 Million
Investors: Sound Bioventures, the European Innovation Council Fund, EQT Life Sciences, Inkef, Lundbeckfonden BioCapital, Ysios Capital, BioGeneration Ventures, InnovationQuarter and Libertatis Ergo Holding
VarmX has added €30 Million after closing a series B2 round, enough to wrap up the company's IND application for lead asset, VMX-C001. The med is a modified version of recombinant human blood clotting factor X, meant to help blood clot in patients on factor Xa anticoagulants. The spontaneous bleeding treatment is already in a proof-of-concept phase 1 trial in healthy older subjects, with full study results slated for later this year. The company was spun out of Leiden University Medical Center in 2016. Release
CEO: David Hallal
Investors: AyurMaya Capital Management Fund, Woodline, Lee Family Office (Asia), Novo Nordisk, Matrix Capital Management, The Invus Group, Emerson Collective, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Fidelity Management & Research Company, MPM Capital, F2 Ventures, Redmile Group, EcoR1 Capital, Samsara BioCapital, Citadel’s Surveyor Capital, EDBI, Vertex Ventures, iTochu and an unnamed institutional investor.
After just one day, ElevateBio’s $401 million haul has already bumped ReNAgade's $300 million out of the running for the largest private biotech fundraise of 2023. The financing follows ElevateBio's $525 million series C in 2021—the second highest private biotech fundraise for the year. Since then, the company has advanced its tech platforms to allow for the development of both in vivo and ex vivo therapeutics. ElevateBio will now use the new money to advance its tech platforms and manufacturing business. The biotech touts several R&D platforms, including induced pluripotent stem cells; RNA, cell, protein and vector engineering tech; and a gene editing platform dubbed Life Edit. The $401 million will also go toward BaseCamp, ElevateBio's genetic medicine manufacturing and process development business, and will help the 500-employee company continue expanding its geographic reach. Story
May 23—ReNAgade Therapeutics
CEO: Amit Munshi
Investors: MPM BioImpact and F2 Ventures
ReNAgade unveiled after closing a $300 million series A—the largest biotech fundraise for the year to date—fueled by the promise of RNA technology and a leadership team made up of Moderna vets. The differentiator for the biotech's science is fusing a myriad of technologies under one platform to significantly grow where RNA therapies could be delivered, particularly by adding gene editing capabilities. The biotech’s potential has already spurred a partnership with Orna Therapeutics, and the two have drawn in Merck & Co. as the first customer. Story
May 23—OnKure Therapeutics
CEO: Tony Piscopio, Ph.D.
Investors: Citadel's Surveyor Capital, Deep Track Capital, Acorn Bioventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Perceptive Advisors, Samsara BioCapital, BlackRock and other undisclosed investors.
OnKure, a Colorado-based precision medicine biotech, has raised $54 million that will help advance its lead discovery program OKI-219, a selective PI3K alpha H1047R inhibitor, into the clinic early next year. OnKure is currently developing bocodepsin (OKI-179), a Pfizer-partnered asset in mid-stage clinical development, for the potential treatment of hematological and solid tumors. Release
May 23—Larkspur Biosciences
CEO: Catherine Sabatos-Peyton, Ph.D.
Investors: Polaris Innovation Fund, 3E Bioventures Capital, Takeda Ventures, Creacion Ventures, Med-Fine Capital and Cornell University.
The Massachusetts-based platform biotech is unveiling with $35.5 million in a combined seed and series A financing and an all-female leadership team. Larkspur hopes to develop new precision immunotherapies to treat certain cancers, with initial focus on a colorectal cancer subtype. Patients with the form of colorectal cancer have T cells at the tumor that can be identified via biopsy, making them a prime population for proof-of-concept using the company's tech. Release
May 22—Quanta Therapeutics
CEO: Perry Nisen, M.D., Ph.D.
Investors: Avidity Partners, Sofinnova Investments, Vida Ventures, Citadel's Surveyor Capital, Longitude Capital, BVF Partners, AbbVie Ventures, GC&H Investments and Wilson Sonsini’s venture arm WS Investment Company.
Quanta has closed a $50.7 million series D financing round, money that will go toward advancing its KRAS pipeline. The biotech's allosteric approach offers the potential to expand the reach of treatable KRAS-mutant cancers while avoiding known mechanisms of resistance. The company's pipeline includes two preclinical allosteric KRAS inhibitors, QTX3034 and QTX3046, which are both currently in IND-enabling studies that could enter clinical trials next year in solid tumor indications. Release
May 18—Myeloid Therapeutics
CEO: Daniel Getts, Ph.D.
Investors: Hatteras Investment Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Moore Strategic Ventures, and all existing investors, including Newpath Partners, 8VC and Alexandria Venture Investments.
After an initial $50 million series A, Myeloid is back for more with a $73 million A2 financing. The newest funds will support the ongoing clinical development of the biotech's lead cell therapy program, dubbed MT-101. The asset is currently being evaluated in a phase 1/2 trial for patients with T cell lymphoma. The money will also go toward accelerating the development of MT-302, the company's lead in vivo program. The CAR is currently being tested in a phase 1/2 clinical trial for TROP2-expressing tumors. Release
May 16—Ray Therapeutics
CEO: Paul Bresge
Investors: Novo Holdings, Deerfield Management, Norwest Venture Partners, Platanus, MRL Ventures Fund, Merck & Co.'s venture fund and 4BIO Capital.
California-based Ray Therapeutics has closed an oversubscribed $100 million series A, with the new funds set to advance several programs that target blinding diseases. The optogenetics company uses gene therapy to deliver a light-sensitive protein to retina cells in hopes of producing a visual signal that is then sent to the brain. The biotech's optogenetic platform is designed for bioengineering a next-gen pipeline of genotype-independent therapeutics for vision restoration in multiple retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, other inherited retinal dystrophies and macular degeneration. Ray's lead candidate, dubbed RTx-015, is expected to enter clinical trials soon, according to the company. Release
CEO: Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D.
Series: B extension
Investors: Gilead's Kite, Bioluminescence Ventures, Delos Capital and SymBiosis.
Genomic medicines company Ensoma is building on its $85 million series B raised this January, tacking on $50 million for a round total of $135 million. The Boston-based biotech is developing one-time, in vivo treatments designed to engineer any cell of the hematopoietic system. The latest funds will go towards developing Ensoma’s cell therapy platform, dubbed Engenious, and a preclinical pipeline of genomic medicines for immuno-oncology and genetic disease indications, among others. Release
May 16—Boundless Bio
CEO: Zachary Hornby
Investors: Leaps by Bayer, RA Capital Management, Sectoral Asset Management, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Company, ARCH Venture Partners, Nextech Invest, Wellington Management, Vertex Ventures, Redmile Group, Citadel's Surveyor Capital, GT Healthcare Capital Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments, PFM Health Sciences, Logos Capital and City Hill Ventures.
Boundless Bio, a precision oncology company working on treatments for oncogene-amplified cancers, launched in 2019 with a $49 million series A round, followed by a $105 million series B round in April 2021. Now, the company will use its newest $100 million series C to push forward development of BBI-355, a checkpoint kinase 1 inhibitor currently being assessed in a phase 1/2 study among patients with oncogene-amplified cancers, as well as support other trials and preclinical research. Story
May 16—Metaphore Biotechnologies
CEO: Lovisa Afzelius, Ph.D.
Investors: Flagship Pioneering
Flagship is looking to build a new class of therapies, launching Metaphore with $50 million to tap into the potential of “biomimicry.” The overarching goal is to replicate the work of pharmacophores, chemical combination codes that guide the interaction between molecules that spur downstream behavior. Metaphore’s “MIMiC” platform takes molds of these pharmacophores and duplicates them, using machine learning to create novel compounds that can be aimed at specific targets and disease areas. The platform is designed to develop treatments with whatever modality best suits the targets. Story
May 15—Nido Biosciences
CEO: Jeremy Springhorn, Ph.D.
Investors: 5 AM Ventures, Abingworth, Bessemer Venture Partners, Eli Lilly, Osage University Partners, Bioluminescence Ventures and other unnamed investors.
Nido has left stealth with $109 million in combined seed, series A and B money. The funds will be aimed toward developing new precision medicines for neurological diseases. The Watertown, Mass.-based biotech’s clinical stage candidate, a small molecule asset dubbed NIDO-361, is in phase 1 development for patients with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy, a rare neuromuscular disease that begins in adulthood. Also known as Kennedy’s disease, the inherited X-linked disorder causes muscle loss and a decline in motor neuron function. Phase 1 trials evaluating Nido's asset started in 2022, with a readout anticipated for the coming weeks, a Nido spokesperson told Fierce Biotech. Story
CEO: Wouter Verhoeven
Investors: Fountain Healthcare Partners, Forbion, Andera Partners, V-Bio Ventures, BGV, PMV, VIB, HTGF and GFF.
Belgium-based biotech Dualyx has raised €40 million ($44 million) to go toward a pipeline of potential autoimmune disease treatments. The company will use the new money to move forward lead program DT-001, which is currently in studies that could enable in-person trials. The asset targets the TNF receptor 2 (TNFR2), which is known to be a key control switch in immune modulation. Dualyx has developed an agonist to the receptor through antibody development that is aimed to selectively activate T cells (Tregs). Alongside DT-001, Dualyx has several other Treg discovery projects. Release
CEO: Igor Fisch, Ph.D.
Investors: Recipharm, company co-founders Igor Fish and Nicolas Mermod
Swiss company NewBiologix has emerged from stealth with plans to build out its platform for engineering cell lines used to manufacture gene and cell therapies. The company's DNA-based platform is designed to tackle key manufacturing challenges tied to the production of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors, taking specific aim at human and mammalian cell lines. The platform is made to to engineer cell lines that allow for more stable rAAV production, higher quality and predictable expression levels, less empty capsids and better production reproducibility. The company hopes its platform will help partners address rare, chronic and currently incurable diseases. Release
CEO: Benjamin Charles
Investors: Roche Venture Fund, Eli Lilly, Omnes, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, JDRF T1D Fund and AdBio partners.
The French biotech focused on treating diabetes has raised €27.5 million ($30 million) with multiple Big Pharmas in tow. The new funds will be used to push forward DiogenX’s lead drug candidate for patients with type 1 diabetes into the clinic. The asset is designed to regenerate pancreatic insulin-producing beta cells and, if successful, holds the potential to be a first-in-class, disease-modifying therapy for the condition. Release
CEO: Ying Luo, Ph.D.
Investors: AstraZeneca-CICC Venture Capital Partnership, Sincere Capital, Voyagers Capital, Wuxi Capital Group (subject to pending ODI approval), GNI Group Ltd.
Cullgen, a biotech developing small molecule therapeutics using its targeted protein degradation tech platform, has closed a $35 million series C financing round led by Big Pharma AstraZeneca. The fundraise follows a $50 million series B round in 2021. Alongside the newest financing round, GNI Group has chosen to exercise its outstanding warrants for Cullgen stock, giving the biotech an additional $5 million. The $40 million total will go toward developing its technology and preclinical pipeline of targeted protein degraders in oncology and other diseases. Release
May 3—Convergent Therapeutics
CEO: Philip Kantoff, M.D.
Investors: OrbiMed, RA Capital Management and Invus
Convergent has rounded up $90 million to develop next-gen radiopharmaceuticals, with its lead clinical program targeting prostate cancer. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech will channel the new funds toward building a pipeline of radioantibodies and moving forward CONV01-α, a monoclonal antibody designed to bind to prostate-specific membrane antigen. The antibody is then supposed to be internalized and deliver a radioactive payload to the cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. The Ac-225 radioantibody is Convergent’s sole pipeline candidate and is being assessed in a phase 1 single ascending dose trial. Convergent is also looking at other radioantibody targets in oncology and is exploring in-licensing and pipeline acquisition opportunities. Story
May 3—ARTHEx Biotech
CEO: Frédéric Legros, Ph.D.
Investors: Columbus Venture Partners, the European Innovation Council fund, Hadean Ventures, Sound Bioventures, Invivo Capital, AdBio Partners and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology through its Innvierte program.
The Valencia, Spain-based biotech has raised €42 million ($46.3M) to develop new medicines through the modulation of microRNAs. The new funds will be used to push forward lead compound, ATX-01, into a phase 1/2a clinical trial for the treatment of myotonic dystrophy type 1, a rare neuromuscular disorder that currently lacks disease-modifying treatment options. Release
May 1—Initial Therapeutics
CEO: Spiros Liras, Ph.D.
Investors: Apple Tree Partners
Life sciences VC Apple Tree has launched new biotech Initial Therapeutics, a company developing medicines that block hard-to-drug protein targets. The biotech touts a new platform, dubbed STOPS for selective termination of protein synthesis, to discover new small molecule therapeutics for cancer and other conditions. The STOPS platform is based on multiple technologies discovered by Initial's founders Jamie Cate, Ph.D., professor at the University of California (UC) Berkeley; Brian Paegel, Ph.D., professor at UC Irvine; and Kevan Shokat, Ph.D., professor at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley. The biotech is currently led by Spiros Liras, Ph.D., founding CEO and venture partner at Apple Tree Partners. Release
April 27—Antiva Biosciences
CEO: Kristine Ball
Investors: MPM-BioImpact Capital, Canaan Partners, Sofinnova Investments, Adjuvant Capital, GV, Lumira Ventures and other unnamed investors.
Antiva has cinched a $53 million series E round, a rare late-stage private financing that’s set to extend the company's cash runway into late 2025, enough to get critical readouts on lead asset ABI-2280. The med is slated for a phase 2 trial in patients with high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and an exploratory study in patients with high-risk HPV infection. Alongside the financing, current CEO Gail Maderis will shift to chair of the board with Kristine Ball tapped to take over the role. Ball was most recently CEO of Soteria Biotherapeutics, an immuno-oncology company that launched in 2021. Story
April 27—Therini Bio
CEO: Michael Quigley, Ph.D.
Investors: Dementia Discovery Fund, Merck's MRL Ventures Fund, Sanofi Ventures, SV Health Investors’ Impact Medicine Fund, Eli Lilly and Company, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Dolby Family Ventures and Foundation for a Better World.
With a $36 million series A financing, the biotech focused on treating inflammatory neurodegenerative and retinal diseases has brought its total amount raised since emerging to $62 million. The newest funds will help Therini advance its pipeline of candidates that aim to selectively target the inflammatory component of fibrin to treat neurological diseases like Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as several retinal diseases. The money will be used to advance biotech's lead antibody THN391 into clinical trials for undisclosed inflammation-driven diseases. Release
April 26—Orbital Therapeutics
CEO: Giuseppe Ciaramella, Ph.D.
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, a16z, Newpath Partners, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Redmile Group, Exor N.V., Invus, Moore Strategic Ventures, iGlobe Platinum Fund Group, Casdin Capital, Agent Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Rellim Capital Management, Heritage Medical Systems and other undisclosed investors.
Orbital has raised an eye-popping series A for its collection of RNA tools and pursuit of next-gen medicines, while also managing to bring two new execs into its circle. The young biotech has a host of distinguished co-founders, including CEO Ciaramella, current president of Beam Therapeutics and former head of Moderna's infectious disease unit. John Maraganore, Ph.D., former founding CEO of Alnylam, also helped co-found the company and serves as chair. The biotech holds the lofty goal of improving global health by releasing the full potential of RNA-based medicines—except for small interfering RNA. The $270 million will go toward further platform development, conducting research, accelerating programs and building the company out. Story
CEO: Luis Peña
Investors: Arix Bioscience, EQT Life Sciences, SymBiosis, Amplitude Ventures, Pivotal bioVenture Partners and Andera Partners.
The California-based biotech Evommune just cinched $50 million to further discovery and development of new treatments for inflammatory diseases. The money will help advance the biotech's three priority programs, including EVO101, a small molecule inhibitor of protein kinease IRAK4. The asset is currently being assessed in a phase 2a trial in patients with atopic dermatitis and a data readout is anticipated later this year. Evommune is also evaluating preclinical molecule EVO756 for chronic spontaneous urticaria and interstitial cystitis, alongside a discovery program targeting autoimmune diseases. Release
April 25—Vedanta Biosciences
CEO: Bernat Olle, Ph.D.
Amount: $106.5 million
Investors: AXA IM Alts, The AMR Action Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Skyviews Life Science, Reimagined Ventures, Fiscus Ventures, PEAK6, Atlantic Neptune, K2 HealthVentures, Korea Investment Partners, Korea Investment & Securities Asia Ltd. and Korea Investment & Securities US, PureTech Health, Revelation Partners, QUAD Investment Management, Seventure Partners, Hambro Perks and Pfizer Inc.
Vedanta has found investors willing to bankroll its phase 3 microbiome clinical trial set to challenge Seres Therapeutics’ near-approval SER-109 for C. difficile infection. Vedanta stands somewhat apart from other microbiome drug developers because its treatments are made by growing sets of bacteria from clonal cell banks using scalable fermentation processes, an approach thought to be more rational and controllable. The $106.5 million allows Vedanta to kick off a pivotal trial of VE303 in the third quarter of this year while advancing a second asset, VE202, into a phase 2 study in ulcerative colitis. Story
April 20—Abdera Therapeutics
CEO: Lori Lyons-Williams
Amount: $142 million
Investors: Versant Ventures, venBio Partners, Amplitude Ventures, adMare BioInnovations, Viking Global Investors, Qiming Venture Partners USA, RTW Investments, AbCellera and Northview Ventures.
Abdera has exited stealth mode with $142 million in combined series A and B funding to advance a fleet of radiopharmaceuticals. The cancer-focused company aims to distinguish itself by developing a unique kind of antibody to transport a radiotherapy that will dissolve quicker than existing antibodies, thus limiting toxicities impacting background tissues. The biotech's platform also takes aim at a host of new targets separate from the rest of the class. For example, Abdera's lead asset is aimed at delta-like ligand 3 (DLL3), a target often found on small-cell lung cancer and other solid tumors that’s been difficult to treat due to low expression levels. Abdera plans to ask regulators to greenlight a phase 1 trial for the DLL3-targeting therapy sometime in 2024. Story
April 20—Enveda Biosciences
CEO: Viswa Colluru, Ph.D.
Series: B extension
Amount: $51 million
Investors: Kinnevik, KKR Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chair Henry Kravis, FPV, True Ventures, Dimension, and Wireframe.
The Colorado-based company is adding on to a $68 million series B raised in December with a $51 million extension round. The AI-powered drug discovery company aims to unlock new chemicals and potential treatments found in plants with a platform designed to tackle obstacles in natural product drug development. The money raised will help Enveda move several molecules into the clinic across inflammation, fibrosis and neurosensory indications. Release
April 17—Complement Therapeutics
CEO: Rafiq Hasan
Amount: €72 Million ($79.8 million)
Investors: Gimv, Forbion, BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), Panakès Partners, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), Hadean Ventures and Seroba Life Sciences
Just more than a year removed from closing a €5 million seed round, Complement Therapeutics has once again been financially complemented on its swift progress, tacking on €72 Million from a series A round. The proceeds will primarily go toward wrapping up a phase 1b study of the company's geographic atrophy gene therapy, CTx001. The new funds will also help advance lab activities in Stevenage, UK, and evaluate non-ocular indications that complement the pipeline. The biotech was spun out of the University of Manchester in 2021 and launched in February 2022. Release
April 13—TORL BioTherapeutics
CEO: David Licata
Investors: Goldman Sachs Asset Management, UC, Office of the Chief Investment Officer, Bristol Myers Squibb, Deep Track Capital, Vertex Ventures, Moore Strategic Ventures, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund, Alexandria Venture Investments and OCV Partners.
The eye-popping $158 million was raised to advance the oncology company's pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). The biotech—which is built around a partnership with the Slamon Research Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles—touts two lead programs. Both programs are currenly in separate phase 1 clinical trials, with one program targeting Claudin 6 and the other taking aim at Claudin 18.2. The new sum is a big figure for the company, which has operated with less than $50 million since forming in 2018. TORL now plans to push two or three new compounds into clinical trials over the next year. Release
April 13—Alentis Therapeutics
CEO: Roberto Iacone, M.D., Ph.D.
Investors: Jeito Capital, Novo Holdings, RA Capital Management, BB Pureos Bioventures, Bpifrance via InnoBio 2 and Schroders Capital.
The oversubscribed series C will be channeled to pushing the company's Claudin-1 antibodies for organ fibrosis and tumors through the clinic. Drawing “deep pocket, blue chip investors” behind the biotech was possible due to the “tailwinds” from AstraZeneca and Astellas's antibody zolbetuximab, Alentis CEO Roberto Iacone, M.D., Ph.D., told Fierce Biotech in an interview. “That demonstrated that now the Claudin space can be targeted, in particular in gastric cancer patients, with a remarkable effect in terms of overall survival,” Iacone said. Story
April 13—Aer Therapeutics
CEO: Jim Shaffer
Investors: Canaan OrbiMed, and Hatteras Venture Partners
The University of California, San Francisco lab spinout has closed a $36 million fundraise that will go toward developing AER-01, an inhaled small molecule drug designed to liquefy mucus plugs in the lungs of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The biotech intends to transition to clinical development this year, with hopes of launching a phase 1 trial for AER-01 in mid-2023. Release
CEO: Michael Pehl
Series: A extension
Investors: Pontifax Venture Capital, Novo Holdings, Ysios Capital, RA Capital Management, HealthCap and Gilde Healthcare.
The Danish biotech focused on developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) to treat certain cancers has added on €31 million ($34 million) to its €51 million ($56 million) Series A raised in April 2021, bringing the round total to €82 million ($90 million). The extension money will go toward launching a clinical program for lead asset uPARAP ADC across multiple sarcoma subtypes, as well as push forward development of a second pipeline asset, which is set to be publicly nominated at the beginning of 2024. Release
CEO: Max Colao
Investors: argenx, UCHealth and University License Equity Holdings, Inc
Colorado biotech OncoVerity is hitting the ground running, licensing CD70-targeting monoclonal antibody cusatuzumab from argenx and nabbing $30 million in financing along the way. UCHealth and University License Equity Holdings, entities of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, contributed to the financing as well. Cusatuzumab is a clinical-stage asset being tested in both a phase 1 and phase 2 trial in patients with hematological malignancies. In addition to the bolt-on deal and financing, Max Colao is jumping aboard as CEO and Clay Smith will be chief medical officer. Colao was previously commercial chief at Aurinia after roles of increasing responsibility at AstraZeneca-bought Alexion. Smith was previously a professor and associate chief of the hematology division at the University of Colorado. Release
March 28—Sonoma Biotherapeutics
CEO: Jeff Bluestone, Ph.D.,
Less than two years after securing a massive $265 million fundraising round in 2021, Sonoma Biotherapeutics is once again front and center after inking a new licensing deal with Regeneron. Regeneron is paying $75 million in upfront cash, including a $30 million equity investment in Sonoma, in addition to $45 million available in biobucks. In exchange, Sonoma will work on discovering four targets with an optional fifth. Two of autoimmune assets Regeneron will look to identify will be to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease with two additional indications still undisclosed. Story
CEO: Rami Hannoush, Ph.D.
Investors: Mubadala Capital, Polaris Partners, Vivo Capital and GV.
The California biotech has launched with $50 million and the mission to develop a next-gen antibody-based protein degradation platform for membrane and extracellular drug targets. The tech platform is based on the work of EpiBiologics' co-founder Dr. Jim Wells, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco and has been exclusively licensed to the biotech. The company has also snagged Shyra Gardai, Ph.D., to serve as chief scientific officer. Gardai most recently served as Seagen's VP of therapeutic discovery research and has clocked in more than 20 years of scientific and pre-clinical drug development experience. Story
March 22—Flare Therapeutics
CEO: Amit Rakhit, M.D.
Investors: GordonMD Global Investments, Pfizer Ventures, Boxer Capital, Casdin Capital, Eventide Asset Management, Invus Financial Advisors, Nextech Invest, Third Rock Ventures, Agent Capital, Eli Lilly and Company, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Novartis, Pavilion Capital and ShangBay Capital.
Things are heating up at Flare Therapeutics, with Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Novartis all adding fuel to the biotech’s fire in an oversubscribed $123 million series B. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech—which launched in 2021 with an $82 million series A—is targeting transcription factors, proteins that control gene expression and play a key part in cancer and other disease development. The new money will be used to launch the company’s first clinical trial assessing FX-909, a small-molecule inhibitor targeting the PPARG transcription factor in patients with advanced urothelial cancer. The biotech also plans to name at least one more development candidate in 2024 and then nominate another in 2025. Story
March 14—Switch Therapeutics
CEO: Dee Datta, Ph.D.
Investors: Insight Partners, UCB Ventures, Upfront Ventures, BOLD Capital Partners, Eli Lilly, Ono Venture Investment, Digitalis Ventures, Dolby Family Ventures, Free Flow Ventures, PhiFund Ventures and other unnamed investors.
Switch's conditionally activated siRNA (CASi) platform uses CASi molecules designed to “switch on” and activate small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutics only in select cells, with the hope of achieving self-delivery, high potency and a long-lasting effect. The California-based biotech will use its new funds to select a lead candidate, which will target a central nervous system disease, as well as recruit new R&D and corporate team members. The biotech also plans to explore opportunities for expanding its platform into additional therapeutic areas via potential pharma partnerships. Release
March 10—Allorion Therapeutics
CEO: Peter Ding
Investors: INCE Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, TF Capital, Long River Investment, 3SBio, Octagon Capital and Elikon Venture
The precision medicine biotech has brought in $50 million, doubling its funds for a total of $100 million raises since its formation in July 2020. The new money will go toward launching phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for two small molecule candidates in both China and the U.S., as well as identifying clinical candidates for additional programs. The biotech will also keep advancing its early discovery platform tech, including an allosteric inhibitor screening platform and a platform for discovering synthetic lethality targets and molecules, all with the ultimate goal of designing next-gen treatments for oncology and autoimmune diseases. Release
March 9—Ring Therapeutics
CEO: Tuyen Ong, M.D.
Investors: Alexandria Venture Investments, Altitude Life Science Ventures, CJ Investment, Flagship Pioneering, Invus, Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd., Partners Investment, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., UPMC Enterprises, and Ring’s existing institutional shareholders.
Ring Therapeutics has been busy publishing a record of pre-clinical research on its gene therapy platform. Now, the Flagship Pioneering-founded biotech has ducked out from the lab to pull in an $86.5 million series C round. Headed by Flagship CEO-Partner Ong, Ring is taking a different approach to gene therapy using anelloviruses to develop unique vectors that aim to overcome typical limitations of the modality. Ring recently brought on its first Chief Medical Officer in Christopher Wright, M.D., Ph.D., and intends to use the cash to get one of its AnelloVector candidates into human testing. Ring has raised $230 million to date. Release
CEO: Kasper Roet, Ph.D.
Investors: Led by EQT Life Sciences, other investors the LSP Dementia Fund, Sanofi Ventures, Droia Ventures and the ALS Investment Fund. Existing investors LS Polaris Innovation Fund, Mission BioCapital, INKEF Capital, Dementia Discovery Fund, Amgen Ventures, MP Healthcare Venture Management, Mitsui Global Investment, Dolby Family Ventures, Mission Bay Capital and Sanford Biosciences.
From the Fierce 15 class of 2020, QurAlis has collected $88 million in series B funds to advance two lead candidates for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), QRL-201 and QRL-101, through the clinic. The therapies entered human testing in December 2022 and January, respectively. The Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech will also use some of the proceeds for its other ALS and frontotemporal dementia pipeline research.
March 7—Rapport Therapeutics
CEO: Abraham Ceesay
Investors: Third Rock Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC
Though some of Third Rock Ventures’ startups may have struggled in recent months, the VC firm is nothing if not persistent, launching biotech Rapport with $100 million and a clinical-stage neuroscience asset born in Johnson & Johnson’s labs. The company was set up by Third Rock and J&J’s investment arm JJDC and is based on the work of molecular neuroscientist David Bredt, M.D., Ph.D., who has now taken up the role as Rapport's chief scientific officer. The biotech's platform harnesses genomics, protein science and brain imaging technologies to identify RAPs for use in precision neuromedicines. So far, the biotech has one clinical candidate in the form of a phase 1 seizure disorder program. Story
March 7—LENZ Therapeutics
CEO: Eef Schimmelpennink
Investors: Sectoral Asset Management, Alpha Wave Ventures, Point 72, RA Capital Management, Versant Ventures, RTW Investments and others
The California-based biotech's oversubscribed series B will help fund late clinical-stage programs LNZ100 (aceclidine) and LNZ101 (aceclidine and brimonidine), both of which are for near vision loss tied to the eye condition presbyopia. Lenz is currently conducting three phase 3 trials in parallel with the goal of demonstrating that both LNZ100 and LNZ101 are safe and effective once-daily eye drops to correct vision loss. The newest funds will allow the biotech to complete trial development and registration and, pending FDA approval, launch LNZ100/101 in the U.S. Release
March 7—Volastra Therapeutics
CEO: Charles Hugh-Jones
Investors: Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Droia Ventures, Catalio Capital Management, Vida Ventures, Cornell University and Meyers Ventures
Volastra boosted its pipeline and its bank balance in one day, securing its first clinical-stage asset courtesy of an Amgen licensing deal as well as gathering $60 million in financing to focus on human trials. The lead asset in question is sovilnesib, a small-molecule K1F18A inhibitor from Amgen that is currently proceeding through a phase 1 trial in patients with advanced solid tumors. Volastra is also tacking on series A funds nearly two years after the company unveiled an expanded seed round. The addition of sovilnesib is a rare, early hedging of the bets for a biotech that’s now raked in more than $100 million in two years and a biobucks-heavy pact with Bristol Myers Squibb worth more than $1 billion. Story
March 7—Noema Pharma
CEO: Luigi Costa
Investors: Forbion, Jeito Capital, UPMC Enterprises, Sofinnova Partners, Polaris Partners, Gilde Healthcare, Invus, an unnamed investor
Noema was founded with the aim of taking a clutch of Roche’s clinical-stage neurological disease drugs through development, and the biotech has just raised $112 million to continue their journey. Chief among them is basimglurant (formerly NOE-101), a mGluR5 inhibitor in phase 2 trials for severe pain in trigeminal neuralgia and seizures in tuberous sclerosis complex. Also in phase 2 is gemlapodect (formerly NOE-105), a PDE10a inhibitor being evaluated to treat Tourette syndrome and childhood onset fluency disorder or stuttering. Finally, there’s NOE-115, a triple reuptake inhibitor that the biotech said is ready to enter mid-phase trials for atypical depression and binge eating disorder.
With the money in the bank, and new board members courtesy of lead investors Forbion and Jeito, the company promised “extensive news flow over the next 24 months.” Release
March 7—Ampersand Biomedicines
CEO: Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D.
Investors: Flagship Pioneering
Flagship is back with a new biotech designed to tackle a key drug development challenge: on-target, off-tissue toxicity. By creating drugs that only act at the diseased tissue, regardless of whether a target is expressed elsewhere, Ampersand aims to provide powerful punches without the side effects. As is typical for early-stage biotechs, full details of exactly how Ampersand will pull off that trick are yet to emerge. The approach relies on the multiomics characterization of human biology, spanning healthy and diseased states. Using the data, Ampersand aims to identify localizers that ensure the drug only acts on particular organs or cells. The biotech says the platform is applicable to a range of modalities and therapeutic areas. Story
March 6—Bicara Therapeutics
CEO: Claire Mazumdar, Ph.D.
Investors: Red Tree Venture Capital, RA Capital Management, F-Prime Capital, Eight Roads Ventures, Invus, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, Premji Invest, Omega Funds, Bioqube Ventures, Acorn Bioventures and Janus Henderson Investors
The biotech has raised an oversubscribed series B that will help finance lead program BCA101 and pipeline candidates targeting solid tumor cancers. Bicara said the funds will be funneled into future studies of BCA101, a dual-action bifunctional antibody currently being tested in a phase 1/1b trial among patients with head and neck cancer. The money will also go toward advancing preclinical trials that could allow for in-human testing of BCA356, a second precision tumor modulator program. Release
March 1—Chroma Medicine
CEO: Catherine Stehman-Breen, M.D.
Investors: GV (Google Ventures), ARCH Venture Partners, DCVC Bio, Mubadala Capital, Sixth Street, Alexandria Venture Investments, Atlas Venture, Casdin Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Janus Henderson Investors, Newpath Partners, Omega Funds, Osage University Partners, Sofinnova Partners, T Rowe Price and Wellington Management
A more cautious financing market is evidently no barrier for Chroma and its epigenetic-focused tech, as the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech bags $135 million to build out its platform. At the center of the excitement is Chroma's single-dose, epigenetic-editing ambitions, looking to regulate gene expression without changing the genetic code itself. The company says its platform has the ability to “durably silence, activate and multiplex genes.” Compared to gene editing companies that actually add or subtract genes from the genome, Chroma believes the lack of concern regarding off-target edits could be both a regulatory and a safety boost. However, they remain coy about what exactly they’re up to, teasing 2023 as a critical year for unveiling preclinical data. Story
March 1—CARGO Therapeutics
CEO: Gina Chapman
Investors: Co-led by Third Rock Ventures, RTW and Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund. New investors Nextech, Janus Henderson Investors, Ally Bridge Group, Wellington Management, T. Rowe Price, Cormorant Asset Management and Piper Heartland with participation from existing seed investors.
CARGO Therapeutics has packed up $200 million in an oversubscribed, upsized series A, with plans to advance next-gen CAR-T cell therapies. The emerging biotech already has a phase 2-ready asset in the clinic, CRG-022, which previously demonstrated a durable response in more than 50% of patients with relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma during an early-stage study.
The company, which launched officially in 2021, hopes to get the mid-stage pivotal trial underway by the middle of this year. The therapy has been granted breakthrough designation by the FDA. CARGO also plans to study the therapy in pediatric B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Release
Feb. 28—Eluminex Biosciences
CEO: Jinzhong Zhang, Ph.D.
Investors: Cenova Capital, Guangzhou Yuexiu Industrial Investment Fund Management, 3E Bioventures Capital, Oriza Holdings, and Series A investors
Eluminex has wrapped up a $40 million series B to continue developing its pipeline and building out a manufacturing facility in China. CEO Jinzhong Zhang said in a release that the company has made "substantial pipeline progress" since raising a $50 million series A in November 2020. The ophthalmology-focused company has disclosed five assets, two of which are in clinical trials. The company's lead asset, EB-301, is in a phase 2 trial to treat patients with corneal blindness. Construction continues on the company's manufacturing facility in Suzhou Industrial Park, with the goal of being operational by the middle of 2023. Release
Feb. 28—Oricell Therapeutics
CEO: Helen Yang
Investors: RTW Investments, Qatar Investment Authority, Qiming Venture Partners and C&D Emerging Industry Equity Investment
The China-based platform company developing tumor cellular immunotherapeutics has added $45 million to a $125 million series B round raised last July. The new funds will be used to support U.S. clinical development of OriCAR-017, a CAR-T therapeutic designed to treat relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma. The product is currently in preclinical development, and Oricell intends to apply to test the asset in humans in both the U.S. and China. Release
Feb. 27—Paratus Sciences
CEO: Amir Nashat
Investors: Polaris Partners, Arch Venture Partners, ClavystBio, EcoR1 Capital, Leaps by Bayer and Alexandria Venture Investments
New biotech Paratus has launched with $100 million and backing from Big Pharma VC arm Leaps by Bayer. Inspired by the humble and much maligned bat, Paratus is hoping to study the unique characteristics that have evolved in the only flighted mammal over millions of years to solve afflictions such as inflammation, viral infection and more. Story
Feb. 23—Transcend Therapeutics
CEO: Blake Mandell
Investors: Alpha Wave Global, Integrated Investment Partners, Global Founders Capital, Emerald Development Managers and other unnamed investors
The New York-based biotech working to develop meds for neuropsychiatric diseases has raised $40 million that will help launch multiple clinical trials. One of those studies is a phase 2 assessing its next-gen psychoactive compound for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While various psychedelics show promise for treating PTSD, Transcend is focusing on methylone, a psychoactive compound it believes may be more accessible for patients. Release
CEO: Hartmut Ehrlich, M.D.
Investors: CGX, Invus, Deep Track Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Great Point Partners, Deerfield Management Company, Commodore Capital, Samsara BioCapital, Boxer Capital
The French biotech has closed an oversubscribed financing round, raking in €130 million to advance therapeutics that modulate the immune system for patients with chronic inflammatory diseases. The funding will help extend the company's cash runway through the second quarter of 2024 and will be used to continue its phase 3 clinical program evaluating lead asset obefazimod among patients with ulcerative colitis. Release
Feb. 21—Hemab Therapeutics
CEO: Benny Sorensen, M.D., Ph.D.
Investors: Access Biotechnology, Deep Track Capital, Avoro Ventures, Invus, Rock Springs Capital, Maj Invest Equity, Novo Holdings, RA Capital Management and HealthCap
The Denmark and U.S.-based biotech secured the oversubscribed series B funds to accelerate work on monoclonal and bispecific antibodies that it believes could offer the first “functional cures” for neglected blood disorders like Glanzmann thrombasthenia and von Willebrand disease. The cash will be used to drive Hemab’s so-called “1-2-5” strategy, which will see the biotech try and get five clinical assets into the clinic by 2025, as well as double its headcount to around 30 staff. Story
Feb. 16—Aera Therapeutics
CEO: Akin Akinc, Ph.D.
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, GV and Lux Capital
The new gene therapy biotech, led by a 20-year Alnylam vet Akin Akinc, has emerged with $193 million in hand and hopes of unlocking genetic medicine’s fullest potential. The biotech’s delivery platform—spun out of the lab of world-renowned synthetic biology and functional genomics expert Feng Zhang, Ph.D.—is based on endogenous human proteins and is designed to expand the reach of genetic medicines to different tissues and applications so more patients can benefit. As the genetic medicine space has exploded over the last decade, the advancement of delivery technologies has remained slow, with genetic medicines typically restricted to the liver and ex vivo settings—something Aera hopes to change. The series A&B money is expected to last through 2025, and will go toward expanding and building out its platform and team. Story
Feb. 13—Hexagon Bio
CEO: Maureen Hillenmeyer, Ph.D.
Investors: The Column Group, Two Sigma Ventures, 8VC, Nextech Invest, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments)
Microbe-focused biotech Hexagon Bio is looking to take on all diseases of all shapes and sizes with its computational discovery platform, hoping that more robust data analysis can spawn new drug targets. The company says that its database of microbial genomes is ten times that of public databases, the latter of which have accumulated roughly 1% of the world's fungal genomes, according to Hexagon. The company says that the fresh round of funding will be used to continue hiring and to select initial programs in oncology and infectious disease for candidate nomination. Release
CEO: Craig Thompson
Series: B extension
Investors: Gates Frontier, Dementia Discovery Fund, Foresite Capital, Google Ventures, Lightstone Ventures, Takeda Ventures, UPMC Enterprises, Dolby Family Ventures
The Boston biotech has tacked on $51 million to its series B round, bringing the total series funding to $116 million. The company is focused on developing new therapeutics for central nervous system diseases using its proprietary Nuclear Enriched Transcript Sort sequencing (NETSseq) platform, and will use the new money to support upcoming clinical trials focused on Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and schizophrenia. Release
CEO: Kristen Albright
Investors: Flerie Invest
The U.K.-based biotech's fundraise follows a $21M series A in 2020 and a newly announced partnership with Gingko Bioworks. The collab focuses on developing a bactofection platform that combines several advancements in immuno-oncology, such as gene therapy, RNA therapeutics and bacterial therapeutics. Meanwhile, Prokarium hosts a preclinical pipeline that aims to leverage benefits of a proprietary strain of Salmonella as a microbial immunotherapy platform. Release
Feb. 7—Garuda Therapeutics
CEO: Dhvanit Shah, Ph.D.
Investors: Northpond Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors, Cormorant Asset Management, Aisling Capital, Sectoral Asset Management, Mass General Brigham Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, other unnamed investors
The new funds bring the Massachusetts-based biotech's total funding to $134 million. The newest $62 million will be funneled toward advancing Garuda's platform for generating off-the-shelf, self-renewing blood stem cells toward the clinic as potential treatment for patients with hematological diseases. The money will also be used to advance its proprietary HSC-derived off-the-shelf, durable immune cell program for patients with cancer, and push forward development of HLA-matched pluripotent stem cells in efforts to reach a greater scope of patients. The company believes its technology has the potential to address more than 120 diseases. Release
CEO: Jessica Grossman, M.D.
Investors: Alexandria Venture Investments, Khosla Ventures, Sean Parker, AllerFund and other unnamed investors
The preclinical biotech has pulled in Big Pharma Eli Lilly as a new investor for its series B financing, money that will be used to advance its lead program, which targets peanut allergy, to the clinic. The proceeds will also be used to expand the company's discovery platform in efforts to encompass more IgE-mediated disease beyond allergy. Currently the platform works to target common immunodominant allergens and their most immunodominant epitopes in pediatric and adult patients with severe food and environmental allergies. Release
Jan. 30—Ribon Therapeutics
CEO: Prakash Raman, Ph.D
Amount: $25 million
Ribon Therapeutics received a $25 million boost in the form of a new equity investment from Pfizer. The additional financing technically falls below our coverage threshold for our tracker, but the direct handoff from Pfizer made the news more notable. Ribon also announced it was partnering with the Big Pharma to "leverage Pfizer’s global development expertise and capabilities to support the advancement of Ribon’s pipeline." That was the extent of details associated with the new collaboration, with no deal value mentioned. As for the financing, Ribon says it will go towards continued development of its small molecule pipeline aimed at treating cancer and immunology-based diseases. Release
Jan. 26—Grey Wolf Therapeutics
CEO: Peter Joyce, Ph.D.
Amount: $49 million
Investors: Led by Pfizer Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital, plus Canaan, Andera Partners, Oxford Science Enterprises and British Patient Capital
Grey Wolf’s quest to overcome common resistance mechanisms in immuno-oncology has received a nice boost with $49 million in a second round of financing. The company emerged in early 2019 with £10 million ($14 million) raised for the mission.
Four years down the road, Grey Wolf has a lead candidate, the ERAP1 inhibitor GRWD5769, which will be taken into the clinic thanks to the venture cash. Pfizer Ventures adds a little bit of sparkle to the list of investors, with the firm’s principal Marie-Claire Peakman, Ph.D., saying: “The scientific ground being pursued by the Grey Wolf team is fertile with potential solutions for overcoming two of the most significant resistance mechanisms limiting current immune-oncology therapies—poor tumor visibility and T cell exhaustion.” Peakman and others who participated in the financing will join the board. Release
Jan. 25—Atomic AI
CEO: Raphael Townshend, Ph.D.
Amount: $35 million
Investors: Playground Global, with participation from 8VC, Factory HQ, Greylock, NotBoring, AME Cloud Ventures, GitHub ex-CEO Nat Friedman, Doug Mohr, Curai CEO Neal Khosla and UC Berkeley professor and Arc Institute Co-founder Patrick Hsu
Atomic AI has capitalized on biopharma's appetite for fusing artificial intelligence and machine learning with drug development, raising $35 million in series A funds to further fund its discover efforts. The biotech is focused on using vast amounts of data and in-house wet labs to churn out new RNA structural datasets that can spur medicine design and additional tools. The company does plan to ultimately use this platform to unveil an in-house pipeline of medicines, though it did not lay out a timeline. Atomic's unveiling comes as company's like Insilico tout wholly AI-designed and tested clinical assets that are making their way through the clinic. Release
Jan. 20—ADARx Pharmaceuticals
CEO: Zhen Li
Amount: $46 Million
Investors: Ascenta Capital, OrbiMed Advisors, SR One Capital Management, Lilly Asia Ventures and Sirona Capital.
ADARx has bagged $46 million in fresh funds to continue pushing its pipeline into the clinic, just as the company's first program enters phase 1. The siRNA-focused company says it's currently working on nine programs including ADX-324, its lead asset to treat hereditary angioedema. The latest fundraising round comes almost 18 months after closing a $75 million series B round to expand the pipeline. Release
Jan. 18—Iaso Bio
CEO: Wen (Maxwell) Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Amount: $74.1 million
Investors: Shanghai Guoxin Investment & Development, Efung Capital, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone Group, Nanjing Jiangbei New Area State-owned Asset Management, Housen Care Brothers, Hongcheng Investment and other unnamed investors
Cell therapy biotech Iaso, with bases in both China and California, will use the newest C1 funding to support R&D and the expected commercial launch of its core product equecabtagene autoleucel. The asset is a fully human BCMA CAR-T injection currently under review for approval in China for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. The candidate also received breakthrough and orphan drug designation from the FDA and just received agency clearance for clinical trials. The biotech's remaining pipeline includes multiple autologous and allogeneic CAR-T and biologics product candidates. Release
Jan. 10—NextPoint Therapeutics
CEO: Detlev Biniszkiewicz, Ph.D.
Amount: $80 million
Investors: Leaps by Bayer, Sanofi Ventures, Invus, Catalio Capital Management, Sixty Degree Capital, PagodaTree Partners, MPM Capital Management, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Binney Street Capital, NextPoint founder Gordon Freeman, Ph.D.
The precision immuno-oncology company's series B, which was co-led by the VC arms of Big Pharmas Bayer and Sanofi, will be used to push two lead programs into the clinic. The biotech is aiming to deliver monotherapies for cancer patients who don't benefit from PD-1/L1 inhibitors by instead using the novel HHLA2 pathway. Release
CEO: Emile Nuwaysir, Ph.D.
Amount: $85 million
Investors: Co-led by Arix Bioscience and 5AM Ventures, plus F-Prime Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Viking Global Investors, Takeda Ventures, Inc., SymBiosis, Alexandria Venture Investments, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Qatar Investment Authority, Catalio Capital Management, Solasta Ventures and Mirae Asset.
Genomic medicines biotech Ensoma has snagged $85 million in a series B, while also sealing an acquisition deal for CRISPR engineering company Twelve Bio. Ensoma plans to use the funds to advance its Engenious in vivo engineered cell therapy platform as well as accelerate its pipeline. The acquisition will expand the Engenious platform and boost Ensoma's ability to develop the next generation of genome editors for new medicines that address rare and prevalent disease. Twelve Bio was seeded by Arix Bioscience. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed. Release
Jan. 5—HighTide Therapeutics
CEO: Liping Liu, Ph.D.
Amount: $107 million
Investors: TCM Healthcare Fund of Guangdong, Yuexiu Fund and Yuthai Fund
A strong $107 million financing has swept in for Shenzhen, China-based HighTide Therapeutics, which is pursuing novel multifunctional therapies for metabolic and digestive diseases. The clinical-stage biopharma will use the funds for multiple global development programs, including mid- and late-stage clinical trials. HighTide’s lead asset is HTD1801, under development for complex metabolic and digestive diseases. The treatment is currently being investigated in phase 2 trials for type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. The company raised a $60 million series B+ round at the end of 2020. Release
CEO: Brian C. Thomas
Series: B extension
Amount: $100 million
Investors: Novo Holdings A/S, Catalio Capital Management, SymBiosis and other unnamed investors
The $100 million extension round brings Metagenomi's series B total to a hefty $275 million and comes on the heels of partnerships with Big Pharma Moderna and Ionis Pharmaceuticals. The gene editing company plans to use the new money to advance its lead therapeutic programs through preclinical development and into clinical proof-of-concept studies. The California-based biotech also intends to nominate additional therapeutic targets to its genetic medicines pipeline. Release
Jan. 5—Perceive Biotherapeutics
CEO: K. Angela Macfarlane
Amount: $78 million
Investors: Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Deerfield Management, Braidwell, the Retinal Degeneration Fund and Catalio Capital Management
The San Francisco biotech has received a large vote of confidence from Big Pharma J&J's venture arm, which led the series B financing round. The company is focused on developing gene therapies and other treatments for eye diseases with high unmet need. The biotech has identified protective biological targets that they believe they can use to develop therapies for addressing over half of currently untreatable retinal blindness. The new money will go toward advancing programs in geographic atrophy/age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other undisclosed disease areas. Release
Jan. 4—Belharra Therapeutics
CEO: Jeff Jonke
Amount: $50 million
Investors: Versant Ventures
Belharra emerged from stealth with a total of $130 million in capital thanks to a $50 million series A plus a multi-year collaboration with Genentech. Belharra’s tech boasts a “library” of photoaffinity-based chemical probes, which are commonly used in drug discovery, to explore protein-ligand interactions in the cell. The company is helmed by Jeff Jonker, who previously held upper leadership roles at Ambys Medicines and NGM Biopharmaceuticals. Release
CEO: Larry Miller, M.D.
Series: C extension
Amount: $79.75 million
Investors: Alpha Wave Ventures, Sectoral Asset Management, Columbia-Seligman Investments, Tao Capital Partners and other unnamed investors.
The Massachusetts-based biotech aiming to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and related disorders has raised an oversubscribed $79.75 million round that extends its series C financing to a total of $142.25 million. The money will go toward the planned phase 3 trials for Apnimed’s lead candidate, dubbed AD109, that could be the first oral treatment for OSA if approved. The clinical trials are expected to start enrollment in the second quarter of 2023 pending discussions with the FDA. Release