Although the public biopharmaceutical sector set a fast pace at the beginning of the year, it has been all downhill since February, with the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical index losing 16% of its value. However, a strong performance in June, with the group gaining 7.6%, helped the sector marginally push into positive territory year-to-date (YTD). At the halfway point of the year, the index is trailing the general market by a wide margin, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading up 14% and the Nasdaq Composite index up 20%.
Phagomed Biopharma GmbH, a Viennese company born of frustrations with the rise of multidrug-resistant infections and confidence in the potential for bacteriophage therapies to address them, has landed a €1.5 million (US$1.7 million) equity investment from new and existing investors. It's the second part of a €2.3 million seed financing, raised ahead of a series A round the company hopes to secure in 2020 to help it move toward the clinic in 2021.
Hemostemix Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, said it will not proceed with its nonbrokered private placement of up to $6 million in secured convertible debentures and will not have a second close of its nonbrokered private placement of up to $1 million in secured convertible debentures, which previously raised gross proceeds of $525,000. The company said it continues to pursue efforts to raise capital to fund operations and an ongoing phase II trial.
DUBLIN – Early stage vaccine developer Osivax SAS raised €8 million (U$9 million) in series A funding to continue development of a clinical-stage universal influenza vaccine, based on what it believes is a highly immunogenic method of presenting the viral nucleoprotein to the immune system.
DUBLIN – Biontech SE closed a mammoth $325 million series B round to fund expansion of its clinical pipeline and to continue its ongoing investments in several different areas of manufacturing. The scale of the deal is of historic proportions – it is the biggest private equity investment in any comparable European biotechnology firm. It just edges ahead of Oxford, U.K.-based Immunocore Ltd.'s $320 million investment in 2015.
Revolution Medicines Inc., a California-based company developing a small-molecule inhibitor of SHP2 in partnership with Sanofi SA and other programs targeting mutant forms of the key signaling protein RAS, has raised a $100 million series C equity financing led by Boxer Capital LLC, an investment firm funded by British businessman Joe Lewis' Tavistock Group, which has backed financings of companies including G1 Therapeutics Inc., Kura Oncology Inc. and, more recently, Encoded Therapeutics Inc.
GNS Healthcare Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., said it raised $23 million in a series D fundraising led by Cigna Ventures, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Cigna Corp., with participation from Amgen Ventures, Celgene Corp., Echo Health Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments and former Caesar's CEO and Aetna Division President Gary Loveman.
Oncosenx Inc., of Seattle, said it raised $3 million in pre-seed funding to advance its pipeline. The company is developing a selective tumor-killing platform with two main components: a proprietary lipid nanoparticle for cellular delivery and a selective DNA payload.
DUBLIN – European biotechnology firms engaged in drug discovery and development raised an aggregate $3.172 billion in equity investment during the first half of 2019, down 19% on the same period last year. Unless there is a substantial pickup in the third and fourth quarters, the sector's record-breaking 2018 total of $7.715 billion looks to be out of reach.