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.
Although it has been a strong year for med-tech financings, they appear to be losing ground. While the first three months of 2021 showed a 67% increase in money raised over the same time frame in 2020, it is now showing that financing values are up by only 15% in comparison to last year.
LONDON – Cumulus Neuroscience Ltd. has raised £6 million (US$8.3 million) to advance development of its home use wearable headset for tracking response to treatment in clinical trials in psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
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.