Appia Bio Inc. raised $52 million in a series A funding round to bring forward a novel take on allogeneic cell therapy for cancer, based on a rare lymphocyte population, invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, which exhibit aspects of both NK cell and T-cell biology.
Flagship Pioneering, the company-creating venture fund that launched Moderna Inc. in 2012, is betting $50 million on a new twist in RNA-focused development at Laronde Inc. Leveraging its explorations of the therapeutic applicability of long non-coding RNA, Flagship CEO Noubar Afeyan said the company has created Endless RNA (eRNA), "a new class of medicines that can be programmed to persistently express therapeutic proteins in the body, at tunable levels."
China saw $28.5 billion invested in its life sciences sector in 2020, which was double the previous year’s amount and sets a five-year high. Partnering activities and IPOs also grew exponentially over the last five years to set records.
LONDON – Abingworth announced the final closing of its latest fund at $582 million, bringing the amount committed to the London-based venture capital firm in 2021 to more than $1 billion. The clinical co-development fund 2 will finance and manage late-stage development of phase III programs sourced from pharma and biotech companies, receiving a pre-negotiated fee when a drug is approved. The model obviously has appeal, with the new fund being significantly oversubscribed and exceeding its target of $350 million.
With 2021 biopharma financings already at 40% of last year’s total, there is a good likelihood that a new record will be made for the industry, assuming wide open public windows and robust venture capital activity continue.
DUBLIN – Michael Greve, one of Germany’s most successful internet entrepreneurs and investors, is personally committing €300 million (US$362 million) to building a portfolio of biotechnology firms focused on different aspects of aging. His investment vehicle, Kizoo Technology Capital GmbH, of Karlsruhe, has already provided seed funding to more than a dozen early stage firms. Greve is now ready to invest in follow-on rounds, particularly in four core companies he described as “category openers” in rejuvenation biotech. “We are really super focused, because there are so many things we could do,” he told BioWorld.
The allocation of capital to the build-out of next-generation gene therapies continues apace. Dyno Therapeutics Inc., a leader in applying artificial intelligence to advanced capsid engineering, raised $100 million in a series A round to fund its expansion and that of its Capsidmap platform.