Based: Blacksburg, VA
Raised: $75 million
Investors: Sandbox Industries, Third Security

The Scoop: When you're backed by a billionaire like Randal Kirk, you never have to wonder where your next round is coming from. Third Security is Kirk's venture company, and it has deep pockets where Intrexon is concerned. Intrexon vows to completely up-end the whole drug development process, using synthetic biology tech to come up with new therapeutics on a faster, cheaper, more easily built approach. And it doesn't do traditional collaborations. It does channel deals, finding a partner it likes and doing a deep dive together, as it first arranged with Ziopharm on cancer drugs and recently announced with Oragenics on a class of peptide antibiotics. Intrexon is not looking for a few million in upfront cash and big milestones, either. Intrexon wants a sizeable share of the revenue from approved products. "Almost nothing is off limits with the power of this technology," a confident Kirk told FierceBiotech last year. And he has every reason to be confident. Kirk built and then sold New River and its Clinical Data, earning a fortune. You can believe he expects to get a big multiple on the money he's investing now in Intrexon. The firm was named a Fierce 15 company in 2011.


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