Genome editing startup Edigene Inc. has raised RMB450 million ($67 million) in a series B financing round to move two of its programs for blood diseases into clinical trials. The financing round was led by 3H Health Investment, and supported by Sequoia Capital China, Alwin Capital and Kunlun Capital. Previous investors such as IDG Capital, Lilly Asia Venture, Huagai Capital and Green Pine Capital Partners also joined the round.
Money raised through biopharma financings so far in 2020 is double the amount raised within the same timeframe of 2019, partly due to two large financings completed in May by Sanofi SA, which is working on candidates to treat or prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
BEIJING – China, Yantai-based biologics maker Remegen Ltd. has raised about $100 million in a private round led by Lilly Asia Ventures and Lake Bleu Capital to advance its autoimmune, oncology and ophthalmology drug candidates, especially its NDA-stage RC-18 (telitacicept) for system lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Although public offerings slowed considerably in March as a result of the steepest stock market declines in history during that period, global biopharmaceutical companies managed to collectively generate just over $16 billion in the first quarter from a record number public and private transactions. Only the first quarter of 2018 saw more cash raised in the past decade, according to BioWorld data.
DUBLIN – Versant Ventures was one of a handful of investors to profit from Passage Bio Inc.’s recent upsized IPO. The Philadelphia-based gene therapy firm planned to raise $125 million initially but eventually hauled in $216 million by issuing 12 million shares, which it priced at $18 per share on Feb. 27. The IPO price valued Versant’s holding at $89 million. As well as participating in the IPO – the actual amount involved has not been disclosed – it invested $35 million across three private rounds, between September 2018 and August 2019, according to SEC filings.
DUBLIN – Bergenbio ASA raised NOK219.9 million (US$23.9 million) in a private placement priced at NOK18 per share. The fresh injection of cash will enable the Bergen, Norway-based firm to expand its broad development program for lead drug candidate bemcentinib (BGB-324), a first-in-class Axl inhibitor, which is currently in phase II development in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), triple-negative breast cancer and melanoma.
BOSTON – Panelists at Biopharm America debated strategies for early stage financing as they weighed the importance of a prestigious board, the wisdom of small deals by startups with pharma firms, and the likelihood (or not) that angel investors will help make the case with other backers yet to come.