Four biopharmaceutical companies raise big bucks in Series B funding rounds
It takes money to develop innovative new treatments and this morning several companies announced major fundraisers. A summary of each funding round is below:
Icosavax, Inc. has lifted $ 100 million in Series B funding round. The funds will be used to advance the bivalent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) vaccine program through initial clinical studies, as well as for the ongoing evaluation of its SARS vaccine candidate. -CoV-2.
A portion of the cycle’s proceeds will be used to expand the Company’s portfolio of particle-virus-like vaccine (VLP) candidates focused on protecting the elderly from life-threatening respiratory illnesses.
The company’s RSV vaccine candidate, IVX-121, comprises a stabilized pre-fusion F antigen. Icosavax aims to advance IVX-121 into Phase I studies this year. For COVID-19, Icosavax is also advancing a SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain VLP vaccine candidate, IVX-411, in initial clinical studies later this year.
The Series B round of funding was led by RA Capital Management and joined by Janus Henderson Investors, Perceptive Advisors, Viking Global Investors, Cormorant Asset Management, Omega Funds and Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company). Existing Icosavax investors also participated, including Qiming Venture Partners USA, Adams Street Partners, Sanofi Ventures and ND Capital.
Massachusetts-based Vizgen raised $ 37 million in his Series B funding round. Tour funds will be used to further the development of the Company’s Merscope platform. The company is using its platform to profile unicellular spatial genomics information, which will enable researchers to gain new knowledge about the biological systems that underpin human health and disease in a spatial context.
According to the company, the Merscope platform enables “genome-wide massively multiplexed nucleic acid imaging” with what the company says has “high precision and unmatched detection efficiency at subcellular resolution.”
The funding was co-led by Novalis LifeSciences and Northpond Ventures. Organizations that also participated in the round were new investors Tao Capital Partners, Pura Vida Investments, LLC, and a large, unnamed U.S. endowment fund. Current investors who joined the discussion included ARCH Venture Partners and David Walt, professor at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Vizgen.
As part of the tour de table, Marijn Dekkers, president and founder of Novalis LifeSciences, and former CEO of Bayer AG and Thermo Fisher Scientific will join the board of directors of Vizgen.
China-based Bioheng Biotech bred $ 80 million in Series B funding to finance its mission of developing new cellular immunotherapies against cancer. In a brief announcement, the company announced its intention to use the funds to advance R&D capabilities, process development and clinical trials. He did not provide any additional information.
The roundtable was co-led by GL Ventures, the venture capital unit of Hillhouse Capital, Decheng Capital and Octagon Capital. BlueRun Ventures China and Shenzhen Capital Group Company also participated in the discussion.
UK-based PhoreMost, a company dedicated to the ‘indigents’ drug, raised £ 33million (approx. $ 46million) in an oversubscribed Series B investment round. The funding will be used to advance PhoreMost’s Allosteric PLK1 preclinical collaboration with Sentinel Oncology in the clinic by 2022.
The initial focus of the program is glioma, but PhoreMost said it plans to advance other internal first-class drug discovery programs in therapeutic indications in oncology and aging.
PhoreMost uses its SiteSeeker platform to identify the best new therapeutic targets for any chosen disease setting, and quickly rank how to develop new drugs for these targets. The company recently deployed SiteSeeker to recognize the new E3 ligands, the progression of which has the potential to be very disruptive in the new therapeutic modality space for targeted protein degradation, the company said.
The Series B round was led by BGF, which is the UK’s most active investor in the growth economy. New investors XtalPi Inc., Astellas Venture Management, Trend Investment Group and o2h ventures also led the discussion. Existing investors Parkwalk Advisors, Morningside Ventures and renowned investor Jonathan Milner also contributed to Series B.