After launching in late 2013 with $50 million and a clutch of gene therapies out of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Spark Therapeutics hit the gas. It picked up another $73 million and a Big Pharma partner en route to its upsized IPO in 2015.
In nine years, Ultragenyx grew from two employees to 700, striking partnerships, jumping into gene therapy through its acquisition of Dimension Therapeutics and getting two rare disease drugs to market.
If Axovant was a textbook example of how not to create a company around somebody else’s castoffs, Tesaro was a model of how to do it right. The startup came to life in 2010 with a trio of cancer drug business veterans and $20 million stumped up by New Enterprise Associates.