Fierce Biotech Fundraising Tracker '24: Metsera emerges with $290M; Asher adds $55M

A new year means a new Fierce Biotech Fundraising Tracker to record all the venture capital being funneled into the industry for 2024.

We're bumping up our reporting criteria from last year's tracker, including any fundraising rounds north of $50 million this time around. We'll still profile exciting new companies and larger rounds in-depth, while we focus more coverage on clinical trial results, special reports and enterprise stories.

 

April

April 18—Corner Therapeutics

Series: A
Amount: $54 million

Investors: Ziff Capital Partners, Cockrell Interests, Tanis Ventures, Sandia Holdings

Corner Therapeutics has closed a $54 million series A to fund the development of lifelong vaccines against cancer and infectious disease. Its coffers also include grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is specifically funding the startup's work against HIV. Corner's tech harnesses T cell-priming immune cells called dendritic cells for a more powerful, precise and durable T cell response to vaccines. Preclinical data has shown that its approach jumpstarts immunity against cancer and infections, even in older or immunocompromised animals. The funding will be used to move its two mRNA-based vaccine platforms to the clinic, with the first in-human study expected next year. Release

 

April 18—Metsera

Series: Seed/A
Amount: $290 million
Investors: Arch Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, GV, Mubadala Capital, Newpath Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and other undisclosed investors.  

Founded in 2022, Metsera has emerged from stealth with $290 million and hopes of ushering in the next generation of obesity and metabolic disease treatments. The biotech's injectable and oral development programs are made up of peptides and peptide-antibody conjugates, two of which are clinical-stage assets. One of those programs is an undisclosed molecule, while the other is an injectable, fully biased GLP-1 receptor agonist being assessed in a phase 1 clinical trial. The asset is designed to trounce competitors in duration of effect and is currently being tested out among non-diabetic patients. The U.S. trial is currently enrolling participants. Story

 

April 16—Asher Bio

Series: C
Amount: $55 million
Investors: RA Capital Management, AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb, Janus Henderson Investors, Third Rock Ventures, Wellington Management, Boxer Capital and other undisclosed institutional investors.  

With two big pharmas in tow, Asher Bio has closed a $55 million series C to support the mission of developing precisely-targeted therapies for cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases. More specifically, the new cash will go toward advancing the biotech's lead program, dubbed AB248, a CD8+ T cell selective IL-2 currently being assessed in a phase 1a/1b clinical trial. The asset is being tested out as a monotherapy and in combination with Keytruda among patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors who have received prior PD1 or PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor treatment. Release

 

April 10—TORL BioTherapeutics

Series: B2
Amount: $158 million
Investors: Deep Track Capital, RA Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors, Avidity Partners, Goldman Sachs Alternatives, UC Investments, Bristol Myers Squibb, Vertex Ventures HC, Moore Strategic Ventures, Blue Owl Healthcare Opportunities and Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund.

TORL BioTherapeutics is the latest biotech to benefit from the ADC boom, bringing in $158 million in an oversubscribed "B2" financing round. The newest funds brings the biotech's total raised to $350 million since launching in 2019. The cash will go toward the Los Angeles-based company's several ADCs already in the clinic, as well as other planned studies. TORL's lead asset, dubbed TORL-1-23, is a new therapy designed to treat CLDN 6+ platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The candidate is currently being tested out in a phase 1 study, with TORL preparing to launch a phase 2 study later this year. Story 

 

April 9—Seaport Therapeutics

Series: A
Amount: $100 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, Sofinnova Investments and Third Rock Ventures.

Karuna creator PureTech is back to launch another biotech. New company Seaport Therapeutics has emerged with an oversubscribed $100 million series A to develop certain clinical-stage neuropsychiatric medicines from PureTech. After the series A round, PureTech will have 61.5% equity ownership in Seaport on a diluted basis. Meanwhile, PureTech's founding CEO Daphne Zoha will take the reins of the brand new biotech. Story

 

April 3—Alterome Therapeutics

Series: B
Amount: $132 million
Investors: Goldman Sachs Alternatives, Canaan Partners, Invus, Driehaus Capital Management, Digitalis Ventures, Blue Owl Capital, Orbimed, Nextech Invest, Vida Ventures, Boxer Capital and Colt Ventures.

California-based Alterome has closed a $132 million series B, cash that will go toward the development of next-gen, small molecule targeted oncology therapies. More specifically, the new funds will be used to help push two programs into the clinic over the next year: a highly specific AKT1 E17K inhibitor and a KRAS selective inhibitor. Underpinning Alterome's pipeline is its Kraken platform, a structure-guided machine learning approach to drug discovery. Release

 

April 3—Neurosterix 

Series: N/A
Amount: $63 million
Investors: Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund II, Perceptive Life Sciences Fund and Acorn Bioventures. 

Addex Therapeutics and funds associated with Perceptive Advisors have launched new biotech Neurosterix, a company designed to develop allosteric modulators to treat underserved neurological disorders. Swiss biotech Addex is giving the new company a portfolio of preclinical assets and its allosteric modulator drug discovery platform in exchange for 5 million Swiss francs ($5.5 million) and a 20% equity interest in Neurosterix. The spinout will slash operating costs for Addex as Neurosterix aims to move those preclinical programs into the clinic, according to Addex CEO Tim Dyer. Release

 

April 3—Diagonal Therapeutics

Series: N/A
Amount: $128 million
Investors: BVF Partners, Atlas Venture, Lightspeed Venture Partners, RA Capital Management, Frazier Life Sciences, Viking Global Investors, Velosity Capital and Checkpoint Capital.

Diagonal Therapeutics has raised $128 million to advance its antibody agonist-building platform, with an early pipeline of four assets already in the works. Two of the candidates are aimed at inherited bleeding disorder hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), respectively. CEO Alex Lugovskoy, Ph.D., an entrepreneur-in-residence at Atlas, previously held leadership roles at Dragonfly Therapeutics and Morphic Therapeutic. He told Fierce the company plans to grow its headcount in the single-digits as it builds out a clinical development team. Story

 

April 3—Obsidian Therapeutics

Series: C
Amount: $160 million
Investors: Wellington Management, Foresite Capital, Janus Henderson Investors, Novo Holdings, Paradigm BioCapital, RTW Investments, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Woodline Partners LP, Atlas Venture, Blue Owl Healthcare Opportunities, Bristol Myers Squibb, Deep Track Capital, Logos Capital, RA Capital Management, TCGX, Samsara BioCapital and Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company). 

Obsidian has sharpened its financial standing by cashing in on an oversubscribed $160 million series C. The raise adds momentum to drug developers working on T-cell therapies, after Iovance nabbed FDA approval for its tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte in February. Like Iovance, Obsidian's lead asset, OBX-115, is being targeted at patients with melanoma in addition to non-small cell lung cancer. The biotech also lists a "next-generation TIL" in the discovery stage of its pipeline, but a target or indication has not been disclosed. Release

 

March

 

March 26—Avenzo Therapeutics

Series: A-1
Amount: $150 million
Investors: New Enterprise Associates, Deep Track Capital, Sofinnova Investments, Sands Capital, INCE Capital, TF Capital, Delos Capital and Quan Capital.  

Avenzo is adding on an oversubscribed $150 million A-1 financing, bringing the biotech's total capital raised since emerging in 2022 to $347 million. The new cash will be funneled into Avenzo’s oncology pipeline, including lead asset AVZO-021, a potentially best-in-class cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) selective inhibitor currently being assessed in a phase 1 clinical trial for patients with HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer and other advanced solid tumors. Release

 

March 21—Mirador Therapeutics

Series: A
Amount: $400 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, OrbiMed, Fairmount, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Point72, Farallon Capital Management, Boxer Capital, TCGX, Invus, Logos Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Blue Owl Healthcare Opportunities, Sanofi Ventures, Woodline Partners LP, Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, RTW Investments and Alexandria Venture Investments.

Move over Alumis, there's a new top financing in town. Mirador Therapeutics has secured a massive $400 million series A funding round—the biggest of 2024 thus far. The new biotech aims to develop precision medicines for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, with an initial focus on gastrointestinal tract, lung and skin diseases, CEO Mark McKenna told Fierce Biotech. The former Prometheus Biosciences leader, along with a team from Prometheus, have formed a new enterprise around the Mirador360 platform—technology that uses data from millions of patient molecular profiles to find genetic targets for immuno-fibrotic diseases.  

The eye-popping $400 will, of course, be used to advance multiple internal programs into the clinic, but McKenna is also looking for deals that Mirador could “supercharge” with its precision medicine approach. Story

 

March 20—Capstan Therapeutics

Series:
Amount: $175 million
Investors: RA Capital Management, Forbion, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Mubadala Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Sofinnova Investments, Alexandria Venture Investments, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Company, Leaps by Bayer, Novartis Venture Fund, OrbiMed, Pfizer Ventures, Polaris Partners, and Vida Ventures

Capstan Therapeutics has reeled in another seismic round, bagging $175 million from an oversubscribed series B that will help advance the biotech's in vivo CAR-T pipeline. Joining this round was Johnson & Johnson, the sixth pharma venture fund to buy into Capstan. It's a who's who of investors around them, including RA Capital, OrbiMed and Sofinnova. Recognizing the shifting cell therapy landscape, the company says the proceeds will help finance a proof of concept trial for lead asset CPTX2309 in autoimmune disorders. Forbion General Partner Nanna Luneborg, Ph.D., is joining Capstan's board of directors following the raise. Release

 

March 20—Clasp Therapeutics

Series:
Amount: $150 million
Investors: Catalio Capital Management, Third Rock Ventures, Novo Holdings, Vivo Capital, Cure Ventures, Blackbird BioVentures, Pictet Alternative Advisors, American Cancer Society’s Bright Edge and Alexandria Venture Investments

Immuno-oncology's next act appears centered on T-cell engagers, and investors are flocking. Clasp Therapeutics is the latest to rake in big bucks, unveiling with $150 million backed by the likes of Novo Holdings, Third Rock and Catalio. The biotech touts the specificity of its bispecific antibody-like molecules, which use a patient's human leukocyte antigen immune signature as the matching code. The company says that its technology lends itself to treating patients with tumor mutations that override existing immunotherapies. The bispecific T-cell engager space has ascended as of late, with a number of biotech suitors chasing Amgen's BiTE platform. Story

 

March 19—Engrail Therapeutics

Series:
Amount: $157 million
Investors:  F-Prime Capital, Forbion, Norwest Venture Partners, RiverVest Venture Partners, Red Tree Venture Capital, funds managed by abrdn Inc., Ysios Capital, Longwood Fund, Eight Roads Ventures, and Pivotal Life Sciences

Engrail Therapeutics is dousing fuel on a growing flame of investment warming the neuropsychiatric space. The company closed a $157 million series B to help fund further clinical development, particularly for phase 2-stage anxiety med, ENX-102. The biotech is also readying two more preclinical assets for human studies, with the therapies aimed at depression and PTSD, respectively. A third preclinical candidate, ENX-103, is in development for Menkes disease. The sizeable raise propels Engrail's cash runway into roughly the middle of 2026, about a year after the company expects topline data from the ENX-102 study. Story

 

March 14—Tubulis

Series: B2 
Amount: 128 million euros ($138.8 million)
Investors: EQT Life Sciences, Nextech Invest Ltd, Frazier Life Sciences, Deep Track Capital, Andera Partners, BioMedPartners, Fund+, Bayern Kapital (with ScaleUp-Fonds Bayern), Evotec, coparion, Seventure Partners, OCCIDENT and High-Tech Gründerfonds.  

The antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) craze shows no signs of stopping soon, with Tubulis pulling in nearly $140 million in an upsized series B2 for its preclinical ADC pipeline. The cash infusion will be used to help Tubulis enter the clinic for one of the biotech's two lead candidates: TUB-040 and TUB-030. The former focuses on the tumor-antigen Napi2b, a well-known area of interest for ovarian and lung cancer that is also the target of Mersana and GSK’s investigational ADC UpRi. Tubulis’ other lead asset, TUB-030, targets the protein 5T4, an antigen often overexpressed in solid tumors. Tubulis is preparing to present preclinical proof-of-concept data for the two ADCs at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research next month. Story

 

March 6—Alumis  

Series:
Amount: $259 million 
Investors: Foresite Capital, Samsara BioCapital, venBio Partners, Cormorant Asset Management, SR One, Lilly Asia Ventures, Nextech, Ally Bridge Group, HBM Healthcare Investments, Omega Funds, Piper Heartland Healthcare and existing investors AyurMaya, an affiliate of Matrix Capital Management and a U.S.-based healthcare-focused fund.  

Alumis has taken the crown for the largest private biotech haul of 2024—for now. The biotech has raised an eye-popping $259 million series C financing that will support a pipeline of oral therapies designed to tackle immune dysfunction and help launch a phase 3 psoriasis trial for lead asset ESK-001. The series C even tops Alumis’ own $200 million series B in 2022, which followed a $70 million series A in 2021, when the company went by the name Esker Therapeutics.    

The California-based biotech is going to use the new cash to start pivotal phase 3 trials for ESK-001, an allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor, in moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in the second half of this year. Alumis plans to share efficacy and safety data from a phase 2 study evaluating ESK-001, dubbed STRIDE, on March 9 at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting. Story

 

March 6—Sionna Therapeutics 

Series: C
Amount: $182 million 
Investors: Enavate Sciences, Viking Global Investors, Perceptive Advisors, RA Capital, OrbiMed, TPG's The Rise Fund, Atlas Venture, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and Q Healthcare Holdings, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of QIA. 

Sionna has raised a $182 million series C, enough to last through 2026 and more than double the company's cystic fibrosis treatments in clinical development. The biotech's lead candidate, a NBD1 inhibitor, will have interim phase 1 data coming out in the next few months. The asset is one of three NBD1 inhibitors in development, with the other two set to enter the clinic before the end of the year. Story

 

March 4—Nocion Therapeutics

Series: B
Amount: $62 million 
Investors: Arkin Bio Capital, Monograph Capital, Canaan Partners, F-Prime Capital, Mass General Brigham Ventures, Mission BioCapital and Osage University Partners.  

Nocion has reeled in a $62 million series B, bringing the company's total raised to $122 million since emerging in 2018. The new funds will go toward developing small molecule, permanently charged sodium channel blockers (CSCBs), called nocions, for treating conditions involving cough, itch, and pain. Specifically, the cash will be funneled into Nocion's lead program—taplucanium dry powder for inhalation—in a phase 2b study for chronic cough. Release

 

March 1—FogPharma

Series: E 
Amount: $145 million 
Investors: Nextech Invest, RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital, General Catalyst, Marshall Wace, Samsara Biocapital, Foresite Capital, Symbiosis, Catalio Capital Management, Sixty Degree Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, Fidelity Management & Research Company, GV, Cormorant Asset Management, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Farallon Capital Management, venBio Partners, Invus, Milky Way Investment and Alex Gorsky. 

FogPharma has raised $145 million in a series E that has plenty of big name investors in tow, including former chair and CEO of Johnson & Johnson Alex Gorsky. The cash will be used on clinical development and commercialization strategy for FOG-001, an intracellular TCF-blocking β-catenin inhibitor being tested in a phase 1/2 trial for solid tumors. Mutations of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, which the drug targets, are particularly common in colorectal cancer. Story

 

February

Feb. 29—BlossomHill Therapeutics

Series: B 
Amount: $100 million 
Investors: Colt Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, OrbiMed, Vivo Capital, Hercules BioVentures Partners LLC, Plaisance Capital Management LLC, H&D Asset Management and others.  

BlossomHill has raised $100 million in a series B, bringing the company’s total fundraising to $173 million so far. The biotech will use the cash to develop a pipeline of medicines for multiple high-need cancers and autoimmune diseases. Dubbed a “drug design company,” BlossomHill wants to extend life expectancy and quality of life for patients, combining proven drug design efforts—such as CEO J. Jean Cui's own—and creativity to develop small molecule drugs. Story

 

Feb. 29—Kenai Therapeutics  

Series: A 
Amount: $82 million 
Investors: Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, Cure Ventures and The Column Group, Euclidean Capital and Saisei Ventures. 

Kenai Therapeutics, formerly known as Ryne Bio, has pulled in $82 million for its induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. The tech is being used to discover and develop a platform of allogeneic neuron replacement cell therapies for neurological disorders. The biotech's lead asset, dubbed RNDP-001, is a dopamine progenitor designed to treat Parkinson’s disease. The company will use the new funds to advance the preclinical asset into the clinic. Release

 

Feb. 27—Curve Therapeutics  

Series: A 
Amount: £40.5 million 
Investors: Pfizer Ventures, Columbus Venture Partners, British Patient Capital, Advent Life Sciences and Epidarex Capital. 

England-based Curve Therapeutics has circled up £40.5 million ($51.3 million), money that will be used to build out the biotech's proprietary discovery platform and advance a preclinical pipeline designed to tackle challenging cancer targets into the clinic. Curve's assets include a first-in-class dual-inhibitor of HIF-1 and HIF-2 designed to address mechanisms in more than half of solid tumors, and a first-in-class inhibitor of ATIC dimerization that targets a key vulnerability found in several cancers. Release

 

Feb. 22—Frontier Medicines

Series: C
Amount: $80 million 
Investors: Deerfield Management Company, Droia Ventures, Galapagos NV, DCVC Bio, MPM Capital and RA Capital Management. 

Frontier has closed a $80 million fundraising round, but CEO Chris Varma, Ph.D., told Fierce Biotech that corralling the capital was harder than the bleakest days of the Great Recession. He attributed the difficulty in part to the tech sector beginning its recovery last year, drawing in early-stage investors while drug developers clawed for new money. 

In conjunction with the financing, Frontier has dosed the first patient in a phase 1/2 trial testing lead asset FMC-376 in patients with solid tumors. The new money will go toward advancing that trial and other follow-up candidates. Story

 

Feb. 15—Firefly Bio

Series: A
Amount: $94 million 
Investors: Versant Ventures, MPM BioImpact, Decheng Capital and Eli Lilly & Co.

Firefly has broken stealth, debuting with $94 million and a novel platform to develop degrader-antibody conjugates (DACs), which combine antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) with protein degraders to create a new class of therapies to fight cancer. The company will focus on solid tumor targets that have already been validated in the clinic, specifically targets that have run up against dose-limiting toxicities and could use a more precise approach. Story

 

Feb. 14—Latigo Biotherapeutics

Series: A
Amount: $135 million 
Investors: Westlake Village BioPartners, 5AM Ventures, Foresite Capital and Corner Ventures

Love was in the air for Latigo Biotherapeutics, which came out of stealth on Valentine's Day with $135 million. The company is chasing Vertex in the non-opioid pain race, tackling the same target as VTX-548. The drug was better than placebo at reducing pain intensity in a recently-reported phase 3 trial but failed to beat Vicodin, the standard of care. Westlake's founding managing partner Sean Harper, M.D., acknowledged that beating opioids is a tall task but that Latigo's molecule, LTG-001, could differentiate from Vertex's in safety and in treating chronic pain. 

Westlake founded the company in 2020 and has been incubating it since, hiring a number of scientists from Amgen after the pharma divested from neuroscience in late 2019. LTG-001 is currently in a phase 1 trial with healthy volunteers but plains to launch a phase 2 acute pain trial before the end of the year. The company also expects to launch its second molecule into the clinic in the near future, according to interim CEO Desmond Padhi. Story

 

Feb. 14—NextPoint Therapeutics

Series: B extension
Amount: $42.5 million
Investors: Catalio Capital Management, Arkin Holdings, WTT investment, MPM BioImpact, Leaps by Bayer, Sanofi Ventures, Invus, Sixty Degree Capital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Binney Street Capital and NextPoint founder Gordon Freeman, Ph.D.  

February has been good to NextPoint. Two weeks after announcing Eisai’s Ivan Cheung as CEO, the biotech has pulled in $42.5 million in a series B extension round, bringing the series total to $122.5 million. The money will go toward the company’s two immuno-oncology clinical programs, NPX267 and NPX887, as well as advance development of potential candidates that could target the HHLA2 tumor antigen. The biotech aims to use the HHLA2 pathway to deliver therapies for cancer patients who don't benefit from PD-1/L1 inhibitors. Release

 

Feb. 13—BioAge Labs

Series: D
Amount: $170 million
Investors: Sofinnova Investments, Longitude Capital, RA Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, RTW Investments, SV Health Investors, OrbiMed Advisors, Sands Capital, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Osage University Partners, Lilly Ventures, Amgen Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health

BioAge is rocketing into the new year $170 million richer thanks to a series D financing that adds a who's who of blue chip healthcare investors to the biotech's syndicate. Sofinnova led the financing and was joined by the likes of OrbiMed and RA Capital, which CEO Kristen Fortney, Ph.D., says puts the company in a good position to go public in the future, should that make the most sense. There's plenty of time to land on a future fundraising strategy, given that the new funds extend BioAge's runway into late 2026, at least. 

The humongous financing was fueled by BioAge's entrance into the obesity space, validated by a collaboration with Lilly announced last year. The money will help pay for a phase 2 trial testing BioAge's lead asset, azelaprag, in combination with Lilly's tirzepatide (marketed as Zepbound) in patients with obesity. Exploratory endpoints in the trial while assess body composition, which, if positive, would further boost azelaprag and BioAge's profile. Story

 

Feb. 13—ProfoundBio

Series: B
Amount: $112 million
Investors: Ally Bridge Group, T. Rowe Price Associates, Janus Henderson Investors, RA Capital Management, OrbiMed, Surveyor Capital, Medicxi, Logos Capital, Octagon Capital, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners, Lilly Asia Ventures and LYFE Capital.

With Big Pharmas heading into 2024 with a renewed interest in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), it’s no surprise that ProfoundBio managed to assemble a who’s who of biotech investors for an oversubscribed series B round. Profound’s three clinical-stage ADCs are headed up by Rina-S, which is targeted at folate receptor-alpha and is in phase 2 trials for ovarian and endometrial cancers, with pivotal studies in ovarian cancer in the works for later this year.

Profound, which has operations in both Seattle and Suzhou, China, also has two ADCs in phase 1 trials. An initial readout from a study of a CD70-targeted ADC called PRO1160 is due later in 2024, to be followed next year by results from PRO1107, a protein tyrosine kinase 7-targeted therapy. This year may also see a bispecific ADC called PRO1286 enter the clinic. Story

 

Feb. 13—Areteia Therapeutics

Series: A extension
Amount: $75 million
Investors: Viking Global Investors, Marshall Wace, Bain Capital Life Sciences, Access Biotechnology, GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Saturn Partners, Sanofi, Maverick Capital, Population Health Partners.

Having secured $350 million in an initial series A raise back in 2022, Areteia is topping up that haul with an additional $75 million. The North Carolina-based biotech will use the funds to continue to push ahead with its oral small molecule dexpramipexole, which is already in three phase 3 trials for eosinophilic asthma.

Specifically, the top-up funding has been ear-marked for clinical development in Japan and some other global markets, as well as stepping up manufacturing activities and working on a once-daily formulation of dexpramipexole. Release

 

Feb. 8—Neurona Therapeutics

Series: E 
Amount: $120 million 
Investors: Viking Global Investors, Cormorant Asset Management, The Column Group, LYFE Capital, Schroders Capital, Willett Advisors, Ysios Capital Partners, Euclidean Capital, SymBiosis, Alexandria Venture Investments, Berkeley Frontier Fund, Sphera Biotech Master Fund LP, Spur Capital Partners, UCB Ventures and UC Investments.

Almost a year ago to the day, Neurona was cutting staff, citing a difficult funding environment. Fast forward to today, and the company has reeled in $120 million after a positive early readout for epilepsy cell therapy NRTX-1001. The cash will help accelerate Neurona's phase 1/2 trial to a higher dose level this year, then move into bilateral MTLE, which means epilepsy that is impacting both sides of the brain. Story 

 

January

Jan. 30—Basking Biosciences

Series: N/A
Amount: $55 million
Investors: ARCH Venture Partners, Insight Partners, Platanus, Solas BioVentures, RTW Investments, Longview Ventures, Rev1 Ventures and Ohio State University.  

Basking Biosciences has closed a $55 million fundraise led by new investor ARCH Venture Partners. The Ohio-based company will use the new money to accelerate clinical development of BB-031, a first-in-class, reversible RNA aptamer targeting von Willebrand Factor (vWF), a protein in the blood. The company plans to launch a phase 2 proof-of-concept trial this year to assess the candidate among patients with acute ischemic stroke. Release

 

Jan. 30—COUR Pharmaceuticals

Series: A
Amount: $105 million
Investors: Co-led by Lumira Ventures and Alpha Wave Ventures, with Roche Venture Fund, the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative, Bristol Myers Squibb, Angelini Ventures and the JDRF T1D Fund

A trio of Big Pharmas pitched into a $105 million series A round for COUR Pharmaceuticals, a biotech developing disease modifying therapies for immune-mediated diseases. Roche Venture Fund, the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative and Bristol Myers Squibb joined the round, led by Lumira Ventures and Alpha Wave Ventures. COUR plans to use the cash to advance its immune tolerance platform, including phase 2a studies in myasthenia gravis and type 1 diabetes. COUR also has partnered programs with Takeda in celiac disease and Ironwood in primary biliary cholangitis. Release

 

Jan. 29—Eyconis

Series: A
Amount: $150 million
Investors: Frazier Life Sciences, RA Capital Management, venBio and HealthQuest Capital

Ascendis Pharma is focusing on endocrinology and oncology, handing over its eye disease work to new venture Eyconis. The new biotech will be based in Redwood City, California, with some Ascendis employees expected to join the team. Ascendis will have an undisclosed amount of equity in Eyconis and stands to make up to $248 million in biobucks should the assets thrive and reach the market. Story

 

Jan. 24—Synnovation Therapeutics 

Series: A
Amount: $102 million
Investors: Third Rock Ventures, Nextech, Lilly Asia Ventures, Sirona Capital and Cormorant Asset Management

Synnovation Therapeutics, founded by Incyte vets Wenqing Yao, Ph.D., and Liangxing Wu, Ph.D., has pulled in $102 million to develop competitors to approved cancer drugs from AstraZeneca, GSK, Novartis and Pfizer. Armed with medical chemistry expertise that contributed to Incyte products such as Olumiant, Pemazyre and Tabrecta, the pair have worked to create better molecules against validated targets, namely PARP and PI3K. 

Synnovation plans to start dosing patients in a phase 1 clinical trial of its brain-penetrating challenger, SNV1521, in the coming weeks. In preclinical tests, the biotech showed the molecule has greater than 500-fold selectivity against PARP2 and is more effective at inhibiting tumor growth than Lynparza. Story

 

Jan. 23—Calluna Pharma

Series: A
Amount: 75 million euros ($81 million)
Investors: Forbion, Sarsia, p53 and Investinor 

Oxitope Pharma and Arxx Therapeutics have merged to form Calluna, a new biotech that touts a current pipeline of four selective antibodies targeting inflammatory and fibrotic indications. The company's lead program, sourced from Arxx and now dubbed CAL101, is a monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the bioactivity of S100A4, a DAMP protein tied to conditions such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic kidney disease, systemic sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and severe forms of asthma. The series A round was financed by Oxitope and Arxx’s existing lead investors. Release

 

Jan. 23—Accent Therapeutics

Series: C
Amount: $75 million 
Investors: Mirae Asset Capital Life Science, Mirae Asset Capital, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson Innovation–JJDC, The Column Group, Atlas Venture, Droia Ventures, GV, EcoR1 Capital, AbbVie Ventures, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, Timefolio Capital and others.  

RNA drug developer Accent will use the new series C funds to further develop the company’s two lead small molecules, targeting DHX9 and KIF18A, respectively. Accent’s plan is to formally ask regulators to enter human trials for both programs before the end of the year and put each in phase 1 studies by early 2025. Story

 

Jan. 17—Comanche Biopharma

Series: B
Amount: $75 million 
Investors: GV (Google Ventures), F-Prime Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV), Longview Healthcare Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Atlas Venture

Comanche has snagged $75 million to advance the preeclampsia treatment CBP-4888 through the clinic. Preeclampsia is a blood pressure condition that affects roughly 10 million pregnant people globally each year. It often manifests after the 20th week of pregnancy and can endanger the mother and baby. Comanche's lead asset is targeting what is believed to be an underlying cause of the disease, overproduction of the sFlt1 protein by the placenta, which can cause vascular damage of the mother and prompt premature delivery. Comanche has already completed a phase 1 study in healthy volunteers and plans to use the new cash to launch a phase 2 trial in pregnant preeclamptic patients later this year. As part of the financing, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., is joining the board. Release

 

Jan. 17—Ratio Therapeutics

Series: B
Amount: $50 million 
Investors: Schusterman and Duquesne, PagsGroup, Bristol Myers Squibb and the Center for Technology Licensing at Cornell University

Radiopharmaceutical biotech Ratio is $50 million richer after its latest financing, adding Bristol Myers Squibb as a new investor. The money will go towards expanding the use of the company's two main platforms, Trillium and Macropa, while also helping advance a lead radiopharmaceutical asset aimed at fibroblast activation protein-alpha (FAP). The company's full pipeline has yet to be unveiled but CEO Jack Hoppin said in a release that Ratio has filed two investigational new drug applications and completed enrollment in two radiation dosimetry studies. Release

 

Jan. 17—Tr1x

Series: A
Amount: $75 million 
Investors: The Column Group, NEVA SGR and Alexandria Ventures

Tr1x has emerged from stealth with $75 million to design regulatory T-cell-based therapies to treat diseases in inflammation and immunology. The biotech was based on science from Maria Grazia Roncarolo, M.D., who's discovery of type 1 Tregs could pave new ground in the cell therapy field. Tr1x's first asset, TRX103, will soon be tested in a phase 1 trial to prevent graft versus host disease in patients undergoing mismatched bone marrow transplants. More programs are also in the works targeting Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and "multiple B-cell mediated autoimmune diseases." Release

 

Jan. 5—Lykos Therapeutics

Series: A
Amount: $100 million 
Investors: Helena, the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation (led by Alex Cohen), Eir Therapeutics, Vine Ventures, True Ventures, Unlikely Collaborators Foundation, The Joe and Sandy Samberg Foundation, Bail Capital, KittyHawk Ventures and Satori Neuro. 

MAPS PBC, a spin out out of its parent organization MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), has rebranded to Lykos Therapeutics. The rebranding and nine-digit raise add more fuel to the growing flame of interest in psychedelics and their chemical analogs among investors and biotechs. Story

 

Jan. 4—Claris Bio

Series: A
Amount: $57 million 
Investors: Novo Holdings A/S, RA Capital, Mass General Brigham Ventures and Janus Henderson Investors

A new biotech has emerged with $57 million in hand to tackle corneal disease. Claris Bio broke stealth cover Thursday, led by Clarke Atwell. The company, initially funded in 2020, is developing CSB-001 as a topical ocular biologic solution to restore structural and functional corneal integrity to eyes with neurotrophic keratopathy. Release 

 

Jan. 4—Moonwalk Biosciences

Series: A
Amount: $57 million
Investors: Alpha Wave Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Future Ventures, GV, Khosla Ventures and YK Bioventures

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard's CRISPR gene editing legend Feng Zhang, Ph.D., is the scientific backer of Moonwalk Therapeutics, which emerged today with $57 million to develop new epigenetic medicines. The company's epigenetic profiling and engineering technology platform targets the epigentic code, called the software of the genome. Release

 

Jan. 4—Human Immunology Biosciences (HI-Bio) 

Series: B 
Amount: $95 million 
Investors: Alpha Wave Global, Viking Global Investors, Arkin Bio Capital, Jeito Capital and ARCH Venture Partners.  

HI-Bio has secured $95 million in a series B round, money that will be funneled toward felzartamab, the biotech's lead therapeutic candidate. The clinical-stage monoclonal antibody targets CD38 and was in-licensed from MorphoSys. HI-Bio is assessing felzartamab in antibody-mediated rejection, IgA nephropathy, lupus nephritis and primary membranous nephropathy. The biotech will also direct the new money toward a clinical study for HIB210, an anti-C5aR1 candidate targeting neutrophil activation and chemotaxis. Release

 

Jan. 3—Radionetics Oncology

Series: A
Amount: $52.5 million
Investors: Frazier Life Sciences, 5AM Ventures, DCVC Bio, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals and GordonMD Global Investments.

Radionetics has raised a $52.5 million series A, bringing the radiopharma biotech's total raised to $82.5 million. The young biotech plans to use the new funds to build out a pipeline of small molecule radiopharmaceuticals targeting novel G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) to treat a range of cancers. In tandem with the financing, the company has also tapped Paul Grayson to take on the top spot as CEO. With more than 25 years of industry experience under his belt, Grayson most recently served as president and CEO of Tentarix Biotherapeutics. Release