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Bio Roundup: Nationwide’s Rise, a Surgeon’s Quest, CRISPR USA & More

Persistence and perseverance were the themes of two of our top stories this week.First there’s the story of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The Columbus, Ohio, hospital chose to invest in gene therapy when the field was in its darkest days. After some ups and downs, the team it put in place helped advance some of the most promising gene therapies currently in human testing—and put Nationwide in the national spotlight as one of those treatments nears FDA approval.Then there’s Suzanne Ildstad. A ...
Tags: Boston blog main, Boston top stories, Boulder/Denver blog main, Boulder/Denver top stories, Detroit blog main, Detroit top stories, Indiana blog main, Indiana top stories, National, National blog main, National top stories, New York blog main, New York top stories, Raleigh-Durham blog main, Raleigh-Durham top stories, San Diego blog main


Hookipa’s IPO Raises $84M for Drugs to Reprogram the Immune System

Hookipa Pharma has raised $84 million in an initial public offering that will fund development of experimental treatments developed to reprogram the immune system to treat infectious diseases and cancer.But Hookipa (NASDAQ: HOOK) had to downsize its IPO, offering only 6 million shares at $14 apiece. That was the low end of its targeted $14 to $16 range. Hookipa had initially planned to sell 6.7 million shares. In the first day of trading Thursday, Hookipa shares hovered around the IPO price.Hoo...
Tags: Deals, New York, Ipo, Hiv, Trends, Investing, Prostate Cancer, Immunotherapy, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Gilead Sciences, National blog main, San Francisco blog main, Hookipa, Cancer Immunotherapy


Bardy Diagnostics to Ramp Up Cardiac Monitor Sales With $35M Raise

Bardy Diagnostics, a Seattle-based business developing a cardiac monitor and arrhythmia detection device, announced this week it has raised $35.5 million from investors to hire additional salespeople and fund continued product development.Bardy’s flagship device is an hourglass-shaped patch that Bardy says is designed to be placed on the center of the patient’s chest, over the heart, to diagnose arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat condition. Patients can wear the patch, which Bardy calls the Car...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Trends, Vc, Healthcare, Heart Health, Heart, Biotech, Seattle, Life Sciences, Medical Devices, Cam, Boston Scientific, Ascension Ventures, Welch Allyn, Bardy


It’s Tough to Find Drugs to Bind to RNA: Arrakis Nabs $75M to Help

Arrakis Therapeutics has been scouting elusive pharmaceutical quarry: small molecules able to “drug” RNA, the molecular messengers that carry the genetic instructions for proteins. Most drugs in use today act on proteins. But CEO Michael Gilman says targeting the genetic blueprints could prevent RNA from translating those instructions into disease-causing proteins in the first place.Waltham, MA-based Arrakis is now ramping up to turn its discoveries into potential drugs and it has $75 million t...
Tags: Deals, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Investing, Vc, Venture Capital, Novartis, Biotech, Life Sciences, Celgene, Roche, Gilman, Alexandria Venture Investments, Osage University Partners, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


$100M For Talaris Gives Surgeon a Shot to Reinvent Organ Transplants

When Novartis dissolved its gene and cell therapy unit a few years ago, a bunch of projects the Swiss pharma giant had incubated were tossed aside. One of them was the work of surgeon Suzanne Ildstad, who has spent decades trying to develop a new way to improve the health outcomes of patients who need organ transplants.That work has just been salvaged. If it plays out as Ildstad hopes, her company might not only help transform treatment for kidney failure patients—but possibly, for people suffe...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Vc, National Institutes of Health, Novartis, Stem Cell, Stanford University, Life Sciences, Blackstone Group, Louisville Ky, National blog main, New York blog main, New York top stories, Seattle blog main


Another Week, Another Gene Therapy Buyout: Catalent Pays $1.2B for Paragon

The gene therapy boom continued this morning with yet another acquisition.Contract drug manufacturer Catalent (NYSE: CTLT), of Somerset, NJ, has agreed to buy Paragon Bioservices for $1.2 billion, grabbing hold of a privately held developer of the viral “vectors” that gene therapy companies use to deliver their treatments.In a gene therapy procedure, these vectors—engineered viruses—are filled with genetic blueprints and infused into a patient’s body. Those viruses then deliver their instructio...
Tags: Deals, New York, Trends, Fda, Novartis, Life Sciences, Roche, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Biogen, Gene Therapy, National blog main, New York blog main, New York top stories, Spark Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson, AveXis


Thwarting Opposition, Bristol Gets Shareholder OK for $74B Celgene Buyout

The early opposition has turned out to be just noise. Shareholders of Bristol-Myers Squibb today approved the pharma giant’s planned buyout of Celgene, paving the way for a deal that will create one of the largest biopharma organizations in the world, and send ripples throughout the sector. (NYSE: BMY) said Friday that more than 75 percent of its shareholders voted to approve the deal at a meeting on Friday. Some 98 percent (NASDAQ: CELG) of Celgene’s stockholders supported the deal, the compa...
Tags: Deals, New York, Trends, Merck, M&a, Life Sciences, Nyse, Celgene, Bristol-myers Squibb, National blog main, New York blog main, New York top stories, Seattle blog main, Seattle top stories, Boston blog main, National top stories


WI Watchlist: DotCom Therapy, Nordic, UWM, Epic

It’s time to catch up on recent happenings in Wisconsin’s innovation community:—Madison-based telemedicine startup DotCom Therapy named Sanaz Cordes as its chief executive and said it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from HealthX Ventures, a local venture firm that backs healthtech companies. Cordes is a physician and former chief operations officer of another Madison-based healthtech startup, Healthfinch.DotCom Therapy develops software to connect patients with remotely located therapis...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Education, Trends, Tech, Web, Development, It, Vc, Software, Healthcare, Coding, Wisconsin, Ey


AskBio Reels In $235M to Advance Gene Therapy Clinical Trials

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio) has raised $235 million in financing to support its research and development of gene therapies for rare, genetic disorders.The funding came from TPG Capital and Vida Ventures, which together invested $225 million and gained a minority stake in the Research Triangle Park, NC, company. Concurrent with that investment, AskBio’s founders and board members invested $10 million. The AskBio funding is the latest in a flurry of gene therapy investments that have swe...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Trends, Investing, Venture Capital, Fda, Pfizer, Parkinson's Disease, Biotech, Tpg Capital, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Roche, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Biogen, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


VC Trends in 2019: More Money, Fewer Deals But Women Still Get Less

If you’ve been following venture capital trends, what you expected to happen in the first quarter of 2019 did: More money is being invested in fewer deals, and women founders still are getting less of it than men.Venture firms sent $32.6 billion into startups nationally during the first three months of 2019, the second largest amount for any quarter since at least 2006, according to data released overnight by PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. But that large sum came from o...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Lyft, Uber, Hardware, Entrepreneurship, Softbank, Funding, Women, Trends, Tech, Vc, Software, Physics, Pwc, Venture Capital


Alnylam Gets $800M From Regeneron to Bring RNAi to Eye, Brain Diseases

Alnylam and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals are announcing a wide-ranging alliance this morning to co-develop treatments for eye and neurological diseases using RNA interference, a method of drugmaking that has recently come of age after years of ups and downs.Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN), of Tarrytown, NY, will pay Alnylam (NASDAQ: ALNY) $400 million in cash up front and buy $400 million in Alnylam stock—4.44 million shares at $90.01 apiece—to kickstart the deal. Cambridge, MA-based Alnylam could get an...
Tags: Deals, Boston, Trends, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron, Cambridge MA, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Alnylam, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, National blog main, New York blog main, New York top stories, Boston blog main, National top stories


Bio Roundup: Gottlieb’s Goodbye, AACR Recap, Migraine Drug Fight & More

Scott Gottlieb’s last day as FDA commissioner is today. His resignation announcement last month surprised some, given the earlier denials about leaving. But after two years of commuting between Connecticut, where his family remained, and the FDA’s Maryland headquarters, he decided to step down from the agency.What will Gottlieb’s legacy be? His efforts to curb teen vaping comes to mind. Or maybe it’s regulation. While Gottlieb remained mindful of the FDA’s oversight role, he also tried to strea...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Maryland, Breast Cancer, Trends, Investing, Lung Cancer, Connecticut, Cigna, Venture Capital, Fda, National, Novartis, Pfizer, Biotech, Insulin


NGM Bio’s IPO Raises $107M as NASH Drug Continues Clinical Testing

So far this year, NGM Biopharmaceuticals has licensed a drug to Merck, extended a research agreement with that partner, and laid the groundwork to continue mid-stage testing of its wholly-owned lead compound. Now it can add a $107 million IPO to the list.Late Wednesday, NGM sold appoximately 6.7 million shares for $16 apiece, the high end of the price range the South San Francisco company had planned. Those shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange Thursday under the stock sym...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Ipo, Cancer, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, Merck, Diabetes, Venture Capital, Fda, Type 2 Diabetes, Biotech, Nasdaq, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials


Dyne Therapeutics Emerges With $50M to Take On Rare Muscle Disease

One problem with drugs for muscular disorders is that not enough medicine reaches the muscle, says Romesh Subramanian, CEO of Dyne Therapeutics. Subramanian’s startup has developed a way to deliver drugs to all muscle types, and it is emerging from stealth with $50 million in funding to advance its compounds toward human testing.Dyne was founded last year by Atlas Venture, which seeded and incubated the Cambridge, MA-based biotech. Atlas also invested in Dyne’s Series A funding announced Wednes...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Drugs, Boston, Trends, Investing, Atlas, Netherlands, Venture Capital, Cambridge, Fda, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Biogen, Alexion Pharmaceuticals


SpringWorks, Armed with Ex-Pfizer Cancer Drugs, Reloads with $125M

SpringWorks Therapeutics, a startup spun out of Pfizer to develop drugs gathering dust on the New York pharma giant’s shelves, has closed its second nine-figure financing round in less than two years.The $125 million Series B funding gives the New York City startup the backing to bring two cancer drugs into what could be their final trials before regulatory approval, if all goes well. Perceptive Advisors led the round, but Springworks also has the backing of two pharma companies—Pfizer (NYSE: P...
Tags: Deals, Startups, New York, New York City, Trends, Vc, Fda, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Bain Capital, Life Sciences, GSK, OrbiMed Advisors, BeiGene, National blog main, New York blog main


Novartis Adds Inflammation Drugs to Pipeline with Deal for IFM Tre

Less than a year after launching and only days after advancing its lead program into clinical trials, drug developer IFM Tre is in line to be acquired by Novartis.According to an agreement announced Monday, Novartis (NYSE: NVS) will acquire all of the outstanding stock of privately held IFM. The Basel, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical giant will also pay IFM an upfront fee, plus milestone payments pegged to the progress of its experimental drugs. No other financial details of the agreement were...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Gout, Novartis, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Basel Switzerland, Inflammation, National blog main, Boston blog main, Boston top stories, IFM, Novartis NYSE


Bio Roundup: Amyloid Angst, NASH News, Brammer Bagged & More

A week after , the ripple effects are still being felt—and not just by Biogen, which lost billions of dollars in market value in a flash.We’ll kick off this week’s roundup with the aducanumab reaction, which includes plenty of thoughts about the future of the so-called “amyloid hypothesis” and what’s next for another Biogen Alzheimer’s drug that has had mixed results.We’ll also check in on the gene therapy deal spree, the big week in national healthcare policy, and the preparations several com...
Tags: Deals, Obamacare, Trends, Alzheimer's Disease, Affordable Care Act, National, Pfizer, Medicaid, Xarelto, Federal Trade Commission, Life Sciences, Bayer, Clinical Trials, Celgene, Gilead Sciences, Eisai


Thermo Bags Brammer For $1.7B as Gene Therapy Deal Spree Continues

Thermo Fisher Scientific late Sunday evening agreed to buy Brammer Bio for $1.7 billion, yet another bet by a large biopharmaceutical organization on the future of gene therapy.Thermo (NYSE: TMO), a Waltham, MA, developer of lab equipment, made an all-cash offer for Cambridge, MA-based Brammer, a contract manufacturer of gene therapy delivery tools known as viral “vectors.”In a gene therapy procedure, these vectors—engineered viruses—are filled with genetic blueprints and infused into a patient...
Tags: Deals, Boston, Trends, Fda, Pfizer, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, TMO, Roche, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Biogen, Brammer, Cambridge MA, Gene Therapy, National blog main


CRISPR Diagnostic Race Heats Up as Sherlock Bio Launches With $35M

The high-stakes race to use CRISPR gene editing technology to create medicines has been underway for years now, and human trials are just starting. But the idea of using CRISPR as a tool to detect and diagnose a disease has been gaining traction, too, and the launch of a new startup today called Sherlock Biosciences marks the latest step.Sherlock has been formed around technologies licensed from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, dubbed “SHERLOCK” and “INSPECTR,” respectively, t...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Vc, Harvard University, Sherlock, Crispr, Illumina, Life Sciences, Jim Collins, Broad Institute of MIT, Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, Feng Zhang, David Walt


Flagship Reloads With $824M For Latest Growth Capital Fund

Flagship Pioneering, one of the Boston area’s top biotech company creators, has closed a new $824 million fund to help fuel the growth of its startups.The new fund—Special Opportunities Fund II—will complement the cash the firm uses to start its companies, much like the $285 million “Special Opportunities” fund the firm announced in 2016. In a statement, Flagship CEO Noubar Afeyan said the fund will provide “new capital to grow platform companies”—that is, startups based not on a single asset, ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Vc, Life Sciences, Cambridge MA, Atlas Venture, National blog main, Boston blog main, Boston top stories, Denali Therapeutics, Noubar Afeyan, Moderna, Evelo Biosciences, Flagship Pioneering


Pfizer Bolsters Gene Therapy Position with $51M Vivet Deal

Pfizer this morning added to its methodical push into the gene therapy field, paying $51 million for a small stake in Vivet Therapeutics and the option to buy the Parisian biotech in the future.The deal is the latest in a recent string of investments by large biopharma companies in gene therapy, which offers the potential for a long-lasting, if not permanent effect through a one-time treatment. The field has gone through decades of ups and downs, but has now proven that it can develop approved ...
Tags: Deals, New York, Trends, Pfizer, Biotech, Life Sciences, Roche, Biogen, Gene Therapy, National blog main, New York blog main, New York top stories, Boston blog main, Spark Therapeutics, Rare diseases, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy


Bio Roundup: Golumbeski’s Legacy, CRISPR Moratorium, Rebate Week & More

While all eyes in the biopharmaceutical world are currently trained on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s proposal to buy Celgene for $74 billion, it wasn’t that long ago that another company’s gaze was fixed on the Summit, NJ, drug maker.In the early 2000s, before the FDA approved Celgene’s flagship multiple myeloma drug lenalidomide (Revlimid), Novartis (NYSE: NVS considered buying the company. It passed, unwilling to risk billions on an unapproved drug. Those details came from biopharma dealmaker George...
Tags: Deals, Startups, China, Ipo, Cancer, Trends, Investing, Merck, Colorectal Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Harvard University, Health Insurance, Astrazeneca, Center For Medicare And Medicaid Services, Fda, National


WI Watchlist: Foxconn Fund, UW Accelerator, MSOE A.I. Hall & More

It’s time to catch up on Wisconsin innovation news:—Jason Franklin will manage the Wisconn Valley Venture Fund, a $100 million fund formed last August by Foxconn Technology Group and three leading Wisconsin businesses and organizations: Advocate Aurora Health, Northwestern Mutual, and Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI). Foxconn, a Taiwanese manufacturing giant, has said it’s building a massive (and controversial) electronics factory in southeastern Wisconsin.Franklin is a University of Wisconsin-Madi...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Education, Trends, Tech, It, Vc, Software, Healthcare, Nvidia, Wisconsin, Silicon Valley, Andreessen Horowitz, Cleantech, Foxconn, Life Sciences


X4 Completes Reverse Merger with Arsanis, Looks Ahead to Phase 3 Test

X4 Pharmaceuticals is the latest biotech to join the public markets, but it didn’t follow the IPO path to get there.Cambridge, MA-based X4 said Wednesday that it completed its “reverse merger” with Arsanis (NASDAQ: ASNS). Such business combinations enable a privately held company to go public by merging with a publicly traded business. Shares of the new X4 are set to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange Thursday under the stock symbol “XFOR.”X4 is developing drugs that target the CXCR4 pathway,...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Ipo, Boston, Trends, Cambridge, Biotech, Nasdaq, Life Sciences, Genzyme, National blog main, Boston blog main, Boston top stories, National Organization for Rare Disorders, X4 Pharmaceuticals, X4


Connect, Longtime Local Accelerator, Names Silvia Mah as President

Connect, a 34-year-old nonprofit which runs the well-known Springboard Accelerator Program for startups, announced Monday that it had tapped Silvia Mah, a San Diego investor and entrepreneur, as its new president.She succeeds Greg McKee, who served as president and CEO of the San Diego-based organization for five years before stepping down last month to start a venture capital fund.Mah is executive director of Hera Labs, an accelerator program for women-owned businesses. She’s also a partner in...
Tags: Deals, Trends, Tech, Venture Capital, San Diego, Biotech, Life Sciences, Tim Scott, Mah, National blog main, San Diego blog main, San Diego top stories, Connect, Ad Astra, Greg McKee, Silvia Mah


The Life, Troubles, and Celgene Legacy of Deal Guru George Golumbeski

George Golumbeski is one of the most prolific dealmakers in the biopharmaceutical world. But the deal that changed his life is a pact he made with himself when he was ten years old.Playing with friends in front of his house in Hampton, VA, he watched his mother drag his dead-drunk father, a U.S. Air Force veteran who did a short stint in Vietnam, out of his car. Pretending to sleep in his bedroom, he’d often hear his parents screaming at each other.“I can’t end up like this,” he remembers think...
Tags: Deals, Ipo, Events, Trends, People, Depression, National, Novartis, Vietnam, Biotech, Illumina, New Enterprise Associates, Life Sciences, University Of Wisconsin, Genentech, UCB


Beam Brings In $135M to Turn CRISPR Base Editing into Drugs

Beam Therapeutics made a splash last year when it launched with $87 million to develop medicines that use a more precise form of CRISPR editing. Beam’s promise of CRISPR-based therapeutics that swap out specific bases or “letters” in the genome—something the current generation of CRISPR-based drugs can’t do—has been so enticing to investors that they have put in $135 million in a Series B investment less than a year after the first funding round.CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, which just last month e...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Venture Capital, Biotech, Crispr, Series B, Life Sciences, Broad Institute, Beam, Gene Editing, John Evans, National blog main, Boston blog main, National top stories


Tasso Gets $6M For Device That Lets Users Self-Collect Blood Samples

Tasso, a Seattle-based startup that is developing an at-home blood sample collection device, announced Tuesday it has raised $6.1 million from investors. The new money will support its effort to launch sales of the device, Tasso OnDemand, in the coming months, and to add staff, Tasso says.Vertical Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based investment fund, led the funding round, Tasso says. Other participants included Techstars and Cedars-Sinai, a Los Angeles-based network of hospitals and clinic...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Los Angeles, Trends, Department Of Defense, Vc, Darpa, Food And Drug Administration, Silicon Valley, National Institutes of Health, Fda, Biotech, Seattle, Nih, TechStars, Life Sciences


Bio Roundup: Pharma in DC, Bristol-Cel in Trouble, Roche Gets A Spark

Could a shareholder revolt doom the planned marriage of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene? Analysts have hinted at the possibility since the two companies shook hands in January, but the threat became real this week.Bristol (NYSE: BMY) and Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) have campaignned heavily, starting with a joint presentation by their CEOs at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January. Celgene drugs that should come to market the next two years will unlock $15 billion in annual revenue. The co...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Ge, Trends, Merck, Vc, Astrazeneca, Fda, National, Bristol, Novartis, Pfizer, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Celgene, Amgen


7 Tips for Biotech Companies Seeking Capital in a Volatile Market

Last year was a remarkable year for biotech companies going public. Not only did an unusually large number of biotech companies go public, but a significant number of early-stage biotech companies went public at premium valuations relative to their later-clinical stage peers.There were approximately 58 biotech IPOs in 2018 (excluding offerings with under $25 million of proceeds) for total gross proceeds of $6.3 billion [1], of which a significant number were early-stage companies — either in pre...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Legal, Law, Trends, Strategy, IPOs, National, Biotech, Financing, Investors, Life Sciences, Boston Xcon, Boulder/Denver Xcon, Detroit Xcon, National Xcon



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