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  • Writer's pictureBryan Kennedy

August Funding Update

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Funds:

  • European Health Union: HERA Invest offers €100 M for innovative solutions to health threats (PR)

  • Foundery, a San Francisco, CA-based biotechnology venture studio focused on translating immunology discoveries into drug candidates, announced an initial closing of its inaugural fund, Foundery I, LP, with total capital commitments and contributed assets as of the closing equal to $29.6m. Limited Partners in Foundery Fund I include an established family office, a public research university endowment, and growth and impact-oriented high-net worth individuals (finsmes)

Private Funding:

  • Philadelphia-based precision oncology company, Fore Biotherapeutics, has successfully raised $75 M in a Series D financing round led by SR One and Medicxi, with participation from existing investors including Wellington, OrbiMed, Novartis Venture Fund, Samsung Securities, HBM Healthcare Investments, and Cormorant Asset Management. This funding will be channeled towards advancing the development of their lead drug candidate, plixorafenib, an experimental therapy targeting cancer patients with BRAF alterations—a gene associated with abnormal activation in various cancers. Concurrently, the company announced the forthcoming departure of its CEO. With this funding, Fore Biotherapeutics has now accumulated a total of $166 M, further bolstering their innovative oncology research.

  • Abcuro raises $155M in Series B funding round. Notable investors, including Bain, RA Capital Management, BlackRock, the venture arm of Sanofi ADR, and Mass General Brigham Ventures, participated in the funding. Despite being eight years old, Abcuro has already advanced one drug into human trials: ABC008, currently in Phase 2/3 study for inclusion body myositis (IBM) and Phase 1 study for T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia. Abcuro plans to explore ABC008 for T- and NK-cell lymphomas, followed by another cancer drug, ABC015 (bizjournal)

  • Singapore-based DotBio, a biopharma company specialized in next-generation antibody therapeutics with a particular focus on multi-specific antibodies for immuno-oncology, announced on August 7 that it had closed a USD 5.6 M pre-Series A financing round. This oversubscribed round was led by specialist life sciences investors Proxima Ventures, Gaorong Capital, and AIM-HI Accelerator Fund (geneonline)

  • Nexo Therapeutics emerged from stealth mode, the company initiated by Versant Ventures is making a grand entrance with $60 M in funding. This is accompanied by a research partnership with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, forming the bedrock of a platform crafted to unravel novel oncology treatments for previously untouchable targets. The series A funding will empower this young biotech to expand its platform that seamlessly integrates covalent ligand discovery and chemical biology capabilities (PR)

  • Solu Therapeutics, founded by the Longwood Fund debuts with $31M , this precision-medicine firm will utilize the funds raised in an oversubscribed seed round to advance its platform, known as CyTaC (cytotoxicity-targeting chimera), and its drug candidates. Both the platform and pipeline candidates were acquired from GSK, resulting in Solu granting equity to the pharmaceutical giant and potential milestone payments for products stemming from CyTaC. The CyTaC platform, merging antibody and small molecule sciences, holds broad potential across therapeutic domains including oncology, immunology, and autoimmunity. Solu's lead program, an oncology asset, is targeted for clinical initiation within two years (PR)

  • Crescendo, supported by investors such as Sofinnova Partners, Andera Partners, IP Group BioNTech, Takeda, Quan Capital, and Kreos Capital, has secured an additional $32 M to reshape its clinical development strategy. The biotech is refining its ongoing phase 1b trial for CB307, a T cell-enhancing therapy, by incorporating a Keytruda combination arm. This newfound funding will enable the launch of the study arm by September's conclusion. Simultaneously, a monotherapy expansion arm targeting patients with PSMA+ metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer is already underway. Notably, the primary endpoint timeline for the trial has been extended from July 2023 to July 2024, as reflected in the updated clinical trial record. (PR)

  • Novo Holdings, a leading international life science investor, today announced it has participated in a $290 M (USD) strategic financing round of Sangon Biotech. Sangon is a leading provider of life science tools and services, enabling scientists across China to perform state-of-the-art research in hospitals, universities and commercial settings (PR)

  • Georgiamune Inc., a clinical stage biotech in oncology and autoimmune diseases, wrapped up a $75M Series A round. Leading the round were General Catalyst and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), joined by Mubadala Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Catalio Capital Management, CJNV BioVenture, and Verition Fund Management. Headed by CEO Dr. Samir Khleif, the company focuses on immune system reprogramming to combat diseases and recently gained FDA clearance for its dual-function monoclonal antibody, GIM-122 (finsmes)

  • CG Oncology has secured $105 M in a rare pre-IPO crossover funding round. Investors include Foresite Capital, TCGX, Avidity Partners, BVF Partners, Janus Henderson Investors, Acorn Bioventures, Ally Bridge Group, Decheng Capital, Longitude Capital, Malin Corporation, and RA Capital Management. This funding injection stems from CG's fully enrolled phase 3 bladder cancer trial, which has attracted support due to its potential to infect and destroy tumor cells while activating an immune response. The phase 3 trial, evaluating cretostimogene grenadenorepvec in high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, will conclude in January 2024 (PR)

  • Astrocyte Pharmaceuticals, situated in Cambridge, MA and Groton, CT, a clinical-stage drug discovery and development firm, secured $6M in Pre-Series B funding. Leading the round is Dreavent Capital, with participation from Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Navis VB Fund I, DeepWork Capital, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels, Boston Harbor Angels, Life Science Angels, Mass Medical Angels, SideCar Angels, and more (finsmes)

Grants:

  • Exavir Therapeutics has been granted a $3M award by NIH / NIAID to propel the development of its ultra-long-acting integrase inhibitor, XVIR-110. This inhibitor exhibits an exceptional preclinical profile, indicating its potential as a leading contender for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and as a pivotal component in an advanced multi-drug regimen for HIV treatment (PR)

  • HHS announced it’s pumping $1.4 B in government funds into next-gen Covid-19 medical products in the pipeline, including $326 M to Regeneron to help develop a Covid-19 monoclonal antibody. The announcement is the first public step forward for Project NextGen, which aims to spend $5 B on developing new Covid-19 therapies and vaccines, the Biden administration announced in May (endpts)

  • Researchers at City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States and a leading research center for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses, were awarded $32.3 M from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to support three novel Phase 1 clinical trials evaluating innovative cell and gene therapy treatments for patients with HIV, acute myeloid leukemia and severe aplastic anemia (PR)

  • Washington state backs AI-driven cancer diagnostics and other startup projects (geekwire)

  • The Biden administration has allocated $24 M to support the development of mRNA technology aimed at tackling cancer and other diseases. This initiative seeks to harness the potential of mRNA-based approaches in healthcare, similar to the groundbreaking technology used in COVID-19 vaccines, to advance treatments for a wider range of medical conditions. (endpts)

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