LONDON – The Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust have joined forces with financial services specialist Mastercard in establishing a $125 million seed fund to accelerate development of drugs to treat COVID -19. The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator aims to play a catalytic role by speeding up evaluation of new and repurposed drugs and biologics to treat the novel coronavirus in the near term, and other viral pathogens in the longer term
Tirat Carmel, Israel-based Insightec Ltd. has inked a deal for a series F financing of up to $150 million led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), a subsidiary of Koch Industries. The round, which has a post-money valuation of $1.3 billion, is earmarked for continued study of the company’s low-intensity, focused ultrasound technology in treating certain movement disorders.
The financial markets were delivered a one-two punch March 9 – a plunge in oil prices along with fears that the coronavirus is continuing to spread unabated. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average cratered 1,500 points in early trading after a brief halt with market circuit breakers kicking in. Biopharma equities did not escape the carnage, with the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical index trading down about 4% by market close, with the Dow closing down 7.8%.
Campbell, Calif.-based startup Supira Medical Inc. scooped up $35 million in a series B financing led by Cormorant Asset Management. Also participating in the round were The Capital Partnership, 415 Capital, Amed Ventures and Shifamed Angels. The new capital is earmarked to advance the development and clinical evaluation of the company’s next-generation percutaneous ventricular assist device.
Keros Therapeutics Inc. CEO Jasbir Seehra told BioWorld that he plans to use at his new company lessons learned as co-founder of Acceleron Pharma Inc., where work with receptors in the TGF-beta superfamily “taught me the potential of the biology and those molecules, but also the limitations” with regard to safety that need to be surmounted.