54gene, a Lagos, Nigeria-based genomics research, services and development company that aims to build the world’s largest pan-African biobank, has raised $15 million in series A funding, led by Adjuvant Capital, Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis AG, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The round included participation from Raba Capital, V8 Capital, Ingressive Capital and follow-on investment from Y Combinator, Better Ventures, Fifty Years, Kdt Ventures, Aera VC and Pioneer Fund. The company, launched in January 2019 and led by founder and CEO Abasi Ene-Obong, said the new funds will allow it to scale operations and bolster its discovery capabilities. The company also formed a new scientific advisory board that includes experts from the Yale School of Medicine, Stanford University, Cambridge, Mass.-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. and venture creation firm Related Sciences.
Alkido Pharma Inc., of New York, said it entered definitive agreements with several institutional and accredited investors for the purchase and sale of 14 million shares of AIkido's common stock, at a purchase price of $1 per share, in a registered direct offering priced at-the-market under Nasdaq rules. The closing of the offering is expected to occur on or about April 16. Gross proceeds are expected to be $14 million, and the company intends to use the net proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes. H.C. Wainwright & Co. is acting as the exclusive placement agent.
Biocardia Inc., of San Carlos, Calif., said it entered an agreement with BSLF LLC, an entity controlled by board member Andrew Blank, that could finance litigation between Biocardia and Boston Scientific Corp. The litigation relates to the Biocardia's claims that a former employee had assigned to a company she founded, Nvision Medical Corp., a patent and patent applications she had filed while employed by Biocardia. Nvision subsequently was acquired by Boston Scientific for up to $275 million. Under terms of the litigation funding agreement, BSLF agreed to fund the legal fees and costs incurred by Biocardia in connection with the litigation on and after March 1 on a non-recourse basis in return for a share of any litigation proceeds.
Coherus Biosciences Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., announced plans to offer $200 million worth of convertible senior subordinated notes due 2026 in a private offering to institutional buyers, plus up to 30 million additional notes to initial purchasers. In connection with the offering, Coherus said it expects to enter privately negotiated capped call transactions with one or more of the initial purchasers. The remainder of the net proceeds from the offering will be used for pipeline acquisitions or licenses, working capital and other general corporate purposes. The interest rate, initial conversion rate and other terms of the notes will be determined at the pricing of the offering.
Keros Therapeutics Inc., of Lexington, Mass., closed its IPO of 6.9 million shares of common stock (NASDAQ:KROS), which includes the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase up to 900,000 additional shares, at a public offering price of $16 per share, for total gross proceeds of $110.4 million. Jefferies LLC, SVB Leerink LLC and Piper Sandler & Co. acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.