Biopharma Money on the Move: December 16-22 – BioSpace

Posted: December 26, 2020 at 2:57 pm

Last call for raising funds beforeChristmas, andthese companies didnt hesitate to scoop up their bags of cash.

TG Therapeutics

TG has been on the Nasdaq for over sevenyears now, but 2020 has been theyear for the New Yorkbiopharmato soar.With shares trading atless than $11 apiece in January, the stock is now well over $50 since theannouncementof positive topline results from two global Phase III trials for relapsing forms of MS.With a high probability of FDA approval, TG cashed inwith an upsized common stock offering,raising$300 millionto further develop and commercializetheir therapies.


This San Diego company hopped on the bandwagon of biopharma IPOs last week, offering 10.5M million shares at $18 apiece, a 38% increase, scooping up$189 millionin proceeds.BioAtlais developing a novel class of specific and selective antibody-based therapeutics.The companys conditionally active biologics only activate when they detect proximity to a tumor, thereby reducingsystemictoxicity.Funds will propel the companys two lead programs through three Phase II trials.

Cullinan Oncology

Breaking down the silos of drug research, Cullinan applies open innovation and collaboration to developa portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-classcancer therapies. With an oversubscribed$131.2 millionSeries C, the Cambridge company can advanceitsseven-candidatepipelineinto the clinic.Each candidate isstructured as a separate company managed by Cullinan. Two are currently in Phase I with an inhibitor drug for NSCLC and amonoclonal antibody reinvigorating the MICA/NKG2D axis.


New York-basedNeurogeneis establishing itself as a leader in gene therapies for neurological diseases. Last weeks$115 millionSeries B round willhelp advance multiple of the companys candidates into the clinic. The first of which targetslate infantileBattens Disease,a rare nervous system disorder that worsens over time and is fatal, usually 8-10 years old.The funds will also be used to build outNeurogenesadeno-associated virus vector GMP manufacturing capabilities.


Having worked undercover for two years, Neuron23 uncloakedlast weekwith$113.5 millionin financing for its launch.$30 million of the funds came from Westlake Village BioPartners, who just announcedtwo funds totaling$500 millionwith the intent to invest in Series A startups in the most promising companies.Neuron23 has hit the ground running, aiming to take on Parkinsons diseaseagainst giant Biogen, who recentlyorchestratedin a $1 billion dealwith Denaliwith the same target in mind. The plan is to start trials with healthy volunteers next year.


Established earlier this year, San Diego-based Neomorph raked in$109 millionin a Series A. The companys focus is on targeted proteindegradation, which offers opportunities for treatment developments across the board, including oncology.The Neomorph team has deep expertise in pharmacological approaches to targeted protein degradation and we are excited to be developing new therapeutics for patients with diseases that are currently difficult to treat, said scientific founderScottArmstrongMD, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Gene therapy startupAtsenaclosed on an oversubscribed$55 millionSeries A.The funds will be used to advance itsgene therapy for one of the most common cause of blindness in children through clinical trials.Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) causes blindness in 2 to 3 out of 100,000 newborns.The company isalso planning for growth,looking to move into a larger space next yearto scale up gene therapy manufacturing. Ramping up across the board, theres a goal to hire 20 more positions with the move.

ONL Therapeutics

With support from Johnson & Johnson and more, Michigan-based ONL closed a$46.9 millionSeries B Preferred Stock financing round.The company is developing therapies for protecting the patients with retinal disease from vision loss.This funding supports the completion of a Phase 1 study in retinal detachment with ONLs lead compound ONL1204. In addition, the funding will advance ONL1204 in two chronic indications, glaucoma and dry age-related macular degeneration.


Peptilogicsis the most recent biotech receiving investments fromPaypalsco-founder Peter Thiel. This week, Thiel participated in a$35 millionfinancing round for the Pennsylvania-basedcompany.The funds will be used to advancePeptilogicsproprietarycomputational peptide drug design and discovery platform. The platform discovers connections in diverse biomedical data and maps peptide sequences.

Octave Bioscience

Looking totakeitsfully integratedcare management platform to the next level, Octave completed a$32 millionSeries B financing round. The funds will allow thecompany to complete development of management products and services, expand clinical data and begin commercialization to neurologists and patients. Octaves first target has been multiple sclerosis patients, but will expand to other chronic, debilitating neurodegenerative diseases. Theplatformtracksblood-basedbiomarkers, enhanced MRI insights and mobile patient monitoring tools to feed intocare pathwaymodels to generatebetter patient outcomes and lower costs.

Vivace Therapeutics

Small molecule player Vivace closed a$30 millionSeries C for further development of its first-in-class therapies targeting the Hippo pathway. Funds will be usedto take its lead candidate into first-in-human studies in early 2021, targeting tumors dependent on activated YAP.Pre-clinical research has shown promise for the candidate both as a monotherapy and in combination with other anti-cancer therapies.

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Biopharma Money on the Move: December 16-22 - BioSpace

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