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Despite Buyout, Celgene Dealmaking Rolls On With Kyn, Obsidian Tie-Ups

[Updated 12:35pm ET with comments from Michael Gilman, Obsidian CEO, see below.] Bristol-Myers Squibb’s huge proposed buyout of Celgene earlier this month has left many in biotech circles concerned that the Summit, NJ, drugmaker’s days of creative, aggressive dealmaking with smaller companies might be over. So far, however, that isn’t the case.Two Boston-area biotechs, Kyn Therapeutics and Obsidian Therapeutics, announced deals this morning with Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG). Both partnerships bring C...
Tags: Deals, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Immunotherapy, Biotech, Life Sciences, Celgene, Bristol-myers Squibb, Obsidian, National blog main, New York blog main, New York top stories, Boston blog main, National top stories, Boston top stories


WI Watchlist: Fiserv, Promega, Arrowhead, Basic-code, EnSync & More

The biggest news of the week from Wisconsin’s high-tech sectors was by far Brookfield-based Fiserv’s (NASDAQ: FISV) massive $22 billion deal to acquire First Data (NYSE: FDC). Meanwhile, here are some headlines and happenings you might’ve missed:—Basic-code raised nearly $250,000 in equity funding, according to an SEC filing. The Brookfield, WI-based startup, which offers sales analysis and forecasting software, pulled in more than $736,000 in equity financing last February. Founder and preside...
Tags: Deals, Energy, Startups, Trends, Tech, Vc, Software, Wisconsin, Brookfield, SEC, Cleantech, Life Sciences, Resmed, Fiserv, Exabyte, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp


After 33 Exits in 5 Years, WI Seeks “More and Bigger” Startup Deals

When Propeller Health’s founders initially tried to raise funding for their new healthcare technology venture, many of the investors they spoke with were hesitant to take the risk.It was the early part of this decade, and Propeller was navigating the FDA’s regulatory process for medical devices. The company believed it had a chance to become one of the first to earn market clearance from the agency for a software product, says Propeller co-founder and CEO David Van Sickle. Propeller’s idea for ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Internet Of Things, Education, Connected Devices, Trends, Tech, It, Cybersecurity, Walgreens, Vc, Software, Healthcare, M&a


WI Watchlist: Northwestern Mutual, Epic, Exact Sciences, Propeller

It’s time to catch up on notable headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:—Northwestern Mutual, the Milwaukee-based insurance and wealth management services giant, has hired Souheil Badran as chief innovation officer. Badran was previously president of the Americas region for Alipay, the online payments platform operated by Ant Financial, the Alibaba-owned fintech firm.Badran’s new role was previously held by Alexa von Tobel, the well-known fintech entrepreneur who left Northwestern Mutu...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Internet Of Things, New York, Connected Devices, Americas, Trends, Tech, It, Walgreens, Software, Healthcare, Alibaba, Wisconsin


Bio Roundup: #JPM19 Notes, Loxo Buyout, Black Diamond’s Cash & More

Diabetes drugs are Eli Lilly’s bread and butter, but the pharmaceutical giant hasn’t lost its appetite for cancer drugs. It grabbed hold of a few more this week by betting $8 billion on Loxo Oncology.Loxo (NASDAQ: LOXO) has made a name for itself by becoming one of just two companies ever to earn an FDA approval for a drug that targets a tumor’s DNA fingerprint, no matter where in the body that cancer is found. The drug, larotrectinib, targets rare tumor abnormalities known as NTRK fusions. The...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Ipo, Cancer, Trends, Medicare, SEC, Fda, National, GlaxoSmithKline, Allergan, Shire, Biotech, Medical Device, Postpartum Depression, Bernie Sanders


Black Diamond Gets $85M for Cancer Drugs R&D and New Cambridge HQ

When Black Diamond Therapeutics emerged from stealth mode last month with $20 million in backing and a handful of preclinical cancer drugs, the company signaled that another financing was in the works for 2019. That day is here.Black Diamond announced late Wednesday that it has closed $85 million in Series B financing, which the company says it will use to advance its top drug candidates into human testing within the next two years.Black Diamond was incubated within the Switzerland drug discove...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Venture Capital, Switzerland, Biotech, Drug, New Enterprise Associates, Life Sciences, Black Diamond, Clinical Trials, Allosteric, Versant Ventures, National blog main


Big Deals, Life Sciences Push U.S. VC in 2018 to Dot-Com Boom Levels

Venture capital investments rose in 2018 to levels not seen since the heady days of 2000, the last year U.S. startups collectively took in more than $100 billion.That’s according to PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association’s Venture Monitor report, released this week, which tallied nearly 9,000 deals made last year, through which venture investors sunk $130.9 billion into companies. That was about 500 fewer deals than in the year prior, but the total amount invested increased by $...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Lyft, Uber, Entrepreneurship, Funding, Trends, Vc, Software, Pwc, Venture Capital, Angel, National, WeWork, Magic Leap, Biotech


Beta Bionics Secures $63M as AI-Driven “Pancreas” Heads to Key Tests

Beta Bionics, a startup developing a medical device that monitors and manages blood sugar levels in diabetes patients, has closed $63 million to back late-stage clinical tests of its AI-powered technology.The cash tops off a Series B round of funding announced last year. The Boston company, which counts diabetes drug giants Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Novo Nordisk (NYSE: NVO) among its investors and partners, says the capital will support Phase 3 studies of its device this year, and if all goes w...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Investing, Vc, Software, Diabetes, Venture Capital, Fda, Biotech, Novo Nordisk, Medical Device, Wearable Devices, Medtech, Life Sciences


Bio-JPM Roundup: Lilly Buys Loxo, Sage’s Stock Soars, ALS Cash & More

The flow of biotech news is particularly heavy today, and for good reason. The annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, one of the biggest gatherings for the biopharmaceutical industry, kicked off today in San Francisco, and many companies, whether they’re speaking at the event or not, use this time to get their news out.Xconomy is on the ground covering the conference this week. In the meantime, here’s a short roundup of biotech news announced today.DEALS AND DATA—Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) is pay...
Tags: Deals, Startups, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, Vc, Venture Capital, Fda, National, GlaxoSmithKline, Biotech, Postpartum Depression, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Celgene, Gilead Sciences


Eli Lilly Makes an $8B Cancer Genetics Bet with Loxo Acquisition

[Updated 1/7/19, 11 a.m. ET. See below.] Eli Lilly is set to acquire Loxo Oncology for approximately $8 billion—a deal that brings to the Indianapolis pharmaceutical giant a class of drugs that treat cancers with particular genetic signatures.Under the agreement announced Monday, Lilly (NYSE: LLY) will pay $235 cash per share of Loxo (NASDAQ: LOXO), which is a 68 percent premium to the Friday closing price of the Stamford, CT, cancer drug developer. Following the news of the deal, shares of Lox...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Cancer, Trends, Indiana, Indianapolis, Mergers and Acquisitions, Fda, GlaxoSmithKline, Biotech, Life Sciences, Bayer, Clinical Trials, Celgene, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Stamford


Frequency Nabs $42M for Hearing Loss Drugs, Clinical Data On The Way

Hearing loss drug development continues to attract investment, with Frequency Therapeutics announcing today that it has brought in $42 million in a Series B financing to help it move its treatment through clinical testing.Boston area-based Frequency is working on small molecule drugs that stimulate the growth of dormant stem cells in the body, and its lead drug, FX-322, targets key sensory cells in the inner ear. The drug, which is injected into the ear, is in an early-stage clinical trial, and...
Tags: Deals, Boston, Funding, Trends, Venture Capital, Biotech, Hearing Loss, Series B, Life Sciences, National blog main, Boston blog main, Boston top stories, Decibel Therapeutics, Frequency Therapeutics, Akouos


Genentech, Adaptive Bio Join Forces on Personalized Cancer Drugs R&D

Genentech is paying Adaptive Biotechnologies $300 million up front in a new partnership focused on developing cancer immunotherapies personalized to individual patients.Seattle-based Adaptive has technology that can analyze the immune system to find targets for cell therapies. Adaptive says that its screening technology enables it to discover T-cell receptors (TCRs) that can recognize and target neoantigens, which are proteins generated by tumor mutations.Under the agreement announced Friday, A...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Cancer, Trends, Biotech, Seattle, Life Sciences, Personalized Medicine, Clinical Trials, Genentech, Roche, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, National blog main, Seattle blog main, Seattle top stories


WI Watchlist: Baird, Exact Sciences, Somna Therapeutics, & More

Happy New Year, readers. To kick off 2019, here are some recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:—The venture capital arm of Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. is trying to raise $185 million for its fifth venture fund, according to a new SEC filing. The firm has yet to collect any of the money, the document shows.Baird’s venture group said it pulled in $185 million for its fourth fund in 2014, surpassing its $150 million target.—Germantown-based medical device company Somna T...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Milwaukee, Trends, Tech, Vc, Wisconsin, SEC, Fda, Life Sciences, Baird, Germantown, Robert W. Baird & Co, Exabyte, National blog main, Wisconsin blog main


Ribon Raises $65M to Pursue PARP-Blocking Pills for Cancer

A new class of ovarian and breast cancer drugs that thwart a DNA repair mechanism ushered in a novel approach to treating cancer. The first PARP inhibitor was approved in 2014. That drug, and others that followed, block a PARP enzyme that plays a key role in this repair process. But it turns out there’s more than one type of PARP—17, to be exact. Ribon Therapeutics aims to target other PARPs with small molecule drugs, and the Boston-area startup has raised $65 million in financing to bring its ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Cancer, Funding, Trends, Venture Capital, Astrazeneca, Biotech, Series B, Life Sciences, Oncology, Celgene, Olaparib, Osage University Partners, National blog main


Alphabet’s Biotech R&D Arm Verily Raises $1B to Fuel Growth

Verily, the biotech research and development company owned by Google parent Alphabet, has raised $1 billion in an investment round led by Menlo Park, CA-based private equity titan Silver Lake.The South San Francisco, CA-based company was formerly known as Google Life Sciences before Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) spun it off from the search engine giant and rebranded it in 2017. Other new investors in the round include Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and other global investment management firms, Verily...
Tags: Google, Deals, Startups, Singapore, San Francisco, Trends, Tech, Investment, Vc, Healthcare, Private Equity, Biotech, Silver Lake, Alphabet, Ruth Porat, Google Life Sciences


Tizona Lands $105M from AbbVie in Cancer Drug R&D Alliance

A cancer immunotherapy teed up for clinical trials by Tizona Therapeutics is now the centerpiece of a new partnership with AbbVie, which is paying the startup $105 million up front.In addition to the cash paid to South San Francisco, CA-based Tizona, AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) said Thursday that it has made an equity investment in its partner. The amount of the investment wasn’t disclosed.Tizona develops drugs intended to inhibit the activity of enzymes on the surface of tumor cells that suppress the ...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Drugs, Cancer, San Francisco, Trends, Investing, Fda, Abbvie, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Roche, South San Francisco CA, National blog main, San Francisco blog main


In a Huge Biopharma Shakeup, Bristol-Myers to Buy Celgene For $74B

Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to acquire Celgene in a deal that would create one of the largest biopharma organizations in the world and send ripples throughout the life sciences sector.Bristol (NYSE: BMY) on Thursday morning inked a deal to buy Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) in a deal that values the Summit, NJ, drugmaker at $74 billion, or $102.43 per share. Celgene shareholders will get $50 in cash and one Bristol share for each Celgene share they own. They’ll also get one tradeable contingent val...
Tags: Deals, Trends, Merck, M&a, Fda, National, Bristol, Biotech, Life Sciences, Celgene, Bristol-myers Squibb, KEYTRUDA, CVR, Opdivo, Orencia, Revlimid


Tiburio Launches from Cydan with $31M to Tackle Pituitary Tumors

Biotech startup creator Cydan is unveiling a new company, Tiburio Therapeutics, which is backed by $31 million to support its work on treatments for rare endocrine diseases.Cambridge, MA-based Cydan was started by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) six years ago to scour the world for compounds that can be turned into rare disease treatments, and to form companies around the most promising drug candidates.Tiburio’s lead drug, TBR-760, was licensed from Ipsen, which had developed the drug for a typ...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Boston, Trends, Startup, Investing, Venture Capital, Cambridge, Fda, Biotech, New Enterprise Associates, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, New Enterprise Associates NEA, Alexandria Venture Investments, Ipsen


MyoKardia Goes Solo as Sanofi Ends Precision Heart Drug Deal

MyoKardia rode a partnership with Sanofi to the public markets a few years ago. But the two companies are cutting ties today, with MyoKardia regaining full rights to its drug programs and assuming all the upside—and risk—of their success or failure.MyoKardia (NASDAQ: MYOK) said the deal, which started in September 2014, will wrap up in April. At that point, the South San Francisco, CA-based firm will fully control all of its experimental drugs, including the heart disease drugs mavacamten and M...
Tags: Deals, San Francisco, Trends, Vc, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Sanofi, South San Francisco CA, National blog main, Boston blog main, San Francisco blog main, San Francisco top stories, Third Rock Ventures, Boston top stories, MYOK


Atlas Venture Bags $250M For New Growth Capital Fund

Atlas Venture says it has raised a $250 million fund meant to continue backing its startups as they grow.The Cambridge, MA, life sciences venture firm, known for seeding and incubating biotech startups, will use the new “Atlas Venture Opportunity Fund I” to invest in portfolio companies that have progressed to a Series B round and beyond. The fund complements Atlas’s existing funds—most recently a $350 million haul in June 2017—which it uses to seed new biotechs. The new fund will be run by the...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Boston, Trends, Atlas, Vc, Fund, Life Sciences, Atlas Venture, National blog main, Boston blog main, Boston top stories, Atlas Venture Opportunity Fund


NY’s Research Institutions Must Keep Working Together in ‘19

[Editor’s Note: Euan Robertson, the Director of Strategic Planning & Special Projects at Columbia Technology Ventures, co-wrote this article.] It is a commonly held belief that academic research institutions, including those in New York City, are fierce competitors. In some ways, that may be true: Universities battle with each other to matriculate the best students, attract and retain the world’s leading faculty, and win the most research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Nati...
Tags: Deals, Startups, New York, New York City, Trends, Tech, Vc, National Institutes of Health, Columbia University, Biotech, Cornell University, Life Sciences, Nyu, New Yorkers, National Science Foundation, Rockefeller University


From Alnylam to Zayner: Xconomy’s Top Innovation Stories of 2018

2018 was a year of ups and downs for the business and technology community. It was a year of big exits—both IPOs and acquisitions—for tech and life sciences companies. Venture funding remained strong, but more money went to fewer (and later-stage) companies overall. As the year winds down, we’re reflecting on the big innovation trends and developments that will carry over to next year.Storylines in various sectors helped shape the overall narrative in 2018. Cell and gene therapies, cancer immun...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Technology, Cloud Computing, Trends, Tech, IPOs, It, People, Cybersecurity, Analysis, Vc, Software, Bitcoin, Bill Gates, Innovation


Gates Foundation, Bristol-Myers Join $27M Funding for Vedanta Bio

Microbiome drug developer Vedanta Biosciences has raised $27 million in funding to press forward with clinical trials for four therapeutic candidates.Vedanta’s experimental treatments are compositions of live bacteria that the Cambridge, MA, company says trigger a targeted immune response. By shifting the ecosystem of gut bacteria, Vedanta says its therapies can potentially treat autoimmune and allergic diseases, as well as cancer.The company’s most advanced drug candidate, VE303, has started a...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Drugs, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Investing, Venture Capital, Cambridge, Biotech, Microbiome, Ubiome, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Nivolumab, Vedanta


Ligand Inks Deal, Ionis Details Succession Plan, & More SD Biotech

San Diego’s life sciences companies didn’t tap their brakes much as December chugged along. This week—for many, the last full work week before a holiday break—has been peppered with financings and deals news. So while it might be nearly time to board your plane (or hop in the car, or simply spend a little time away from your screens), first catch up on recent local biotech happenings. Then, enjoy what remains of 2018.—Ionis Pharmaceuticals said Thursday that the company’s founder and CEO Stan C...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Trends, San Diego, Biotech, John Higgins, Life Sciences, Polaris Partners, Genentech, Ligand, Roche, ARCH Venture Partners, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, National blog main, San Francisco blog main, San Diego blog main


WI Watchlist: Lame-Duck Bills, Johnson Controls, EmOpti & More

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to catch up on some recent headlines from Wisconsin’s innovation community:—Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed controversial lame-duck legislation that, among other things, limits the power of his Democratic successor, Tony Evers, who will take office in January. The legislation includes a measure that initially gives the state legislature more control over the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC)—the quasi-public economic developmen...
Tags: Deals, Startups, Mobile, Apps, Trends, Tech, It, Vc, Software, Healthcare, Wisconsin, Scott Walker, Blockchain, Life Sciences, Healthtech, Democratic


Gilead Sciences Commits $150M to Agenus in Cancer Drug R&D Pact

For the second time this week, Gilead Sciences has partnered with a Boston-area biotech, this time with a deal that covers up to five experimental cancer immunotherapies being developed by Agenus.Under the deal terms, Foster City, CA-based Gilead (NASDAQ: GILD) will pay Agenus (NASDAQ: AGEN) $120 million cash up front and make a $30 million equity investment in the company. Depending on the progress of the drugs, Gilead could pay its Lexington, MA, partner up to $1.7 billion more in fees and mi...
Tags: Deals, Boston, Cancer, Hiv, San Francisco, Trends, Fda, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Agen, Gilead Sciences, Gilead, Hepatitis C, Kite Pharma, Lexington MA


Relay Raises $400M to Kick Protein Motion Drug R&D into High Gear

The line dividing biotechnology and high tech is blurring as drug companies find new ways to apply computer advances in the hunt for new drugs. Relay Therapeutics uses these techniques to better understand a protein’s role in disease and develop a drug to address it. Cancer is Relay’s first target.The Cambridge, MA, biotech is moving forward with its plans to advance its lead cancer programs into clinical trials with an additional $400 million it raised in a Series C round of funding led by the...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Boston, Cancer, Trends, Tech, Investing, It, Software, Venture Capital, Cambridge, Machine Learning, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Alexandria Venture Investments


RiverVest Venture Closes $184M Fund for Backing Healthcare Ventures

RiverVest Venture Partners, a St. Louis, MO-based venture capital firm with additional offices in San Diego, CA, and Cleveland, OH, has raised $184.4 million for its fourth fund dedicated to investing in healthcare companies.Since its launch, RiverVest has invested in 47 companies working to develop new drugs and medical devices. Nearly half of the businesses in its portfolio have either been acquired or gone public, according to RiverVest.Among the notable exits was San Diego’s Lumena Pharmace...
Tags: Deals, Money, Trends, Vc, Venture Capital, San Diego, Astrazeneca, Biotech, Medical Device, Life Sciences, Abbott Laboratories, San Diego CA, St Louis MO, Cleveland OH, Cambridge Associates, ZS Pharma


Gilead, Scholar Rock Sign $80M Up Front Deal for Fibrosis Drugs

Drugmakers are increasingly turning their attention toward fibrosis, the excessive growth of connective tissue that can lead to scarring and dysfunction of multiple organs including the lungs, liver and kidneys. In the latest deal centered on this disorder, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) will pay Scholar Rock of Cambridge, MA (NASDAQ: SRRK) $80 million up front for exclusive  options to license antibody drugs that inhibit TGF-beta, a protein that  boosts cell growth and is thought to drive fibr...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Boston, Trends, Abbvie, Biotech, Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Gilead Sciences, Gilead, TGF, National blog main, Boston blog main, San Francisco blog main, San Francisco top stories, Boston top stories


Pfizer, GSK to Merge Consumer Health Units, Focus on Prescription Drugs

Two of the world’s top drugmakers want to focus on making prescription drugs. Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to merge their consumer health businesses and spin them off into a joint venture, a move that will both create a new consumer healthcare giant and increase the pressure on each company to churn out innovative medicines.GSK (NYSE: GSK) will hold 68 percent of the new company, with Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) getting the remaining 32 percent. The combined company will have some $12.7 billio...
Tags: Deals, Drugs, Trends, National, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer, Vaccines, Pharma, Life Sciences, GSK, National blog main, New York blog main, Seattle blog main, Boston blog main, National top stories



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