Biotech investors had every reason to feel bullish heading into the new decade. The sector had turned around in 2019 and was riding a wave of a very strong fourth-quarter performance, with the BioWorld Biopharmaceutical Index closing up 14% for the year after being underwater from April through to September. Unfortunately, those great expectations were quickly erased during J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference week (Jan. 10 – Jan. 17), which turned out to be a very low-key affair absent of any blockbuster M&A revelations. As a result, confidence has now given way to concerns about the prospects for biopharmaceutical companies going forward, particularly as unfavorable political rhetoric on drug pricing will certainly be dialed up during this election year.
PERTH, Australia – With new funding in hand from Yamaha Motor Ventures & Laboratory Silicon Valley Inc., Loop+ founders and sisters Kath Hamilton and Clare Conroy and are on their way to commercializing a pressure and movement tracking device they developed for wheelchair-bound patients.
PARIS – White Fund SA, of Lièges, Belgium, secured $22 million for early stage financing of Belgian med-tech companies. “Our shareholders are investing in a specialized fund [that], beyond financial returns, [creates] expectations in terms of supporting the strong med-tech ecosystem in Belgium and advantages in terms of job creation,” explained Benoît Fellin, investment manager at Noshaq SA, manager of the White Fund.
Wall Street’s enthusiasm ran high for Cambridge, Mass.-based Black Diamond Therapeutics Inc. (BDT), shares of which (NASDAQ:BDTX) closed 108% higher at $39.48, after the company priced its upsized IPO of about 10.5 million shares at $19 each, for gross proceeds of about $201 million. As recently as December, the company pulled down $85 million in a series C financing. BDT’s lead product candidates target oncogenic driver mutations of the ErbB kinases in EGFR and HER2. At the time, the firm noted that it had raised $194 million thus far. With the IPO, which first set sights on 8.9 million shares in the range of $16 to $18 each, the picture grows even brighter.