Adaptive Biotech Bags $195 Million In Largest Washington Fundraise This Year

Published: May 07, 2015

Adaptive Biotechnologies Bags $195 Million In Largest Washington Fundraise This Year
May 6, 2015
By Riley McDermid, Breaking News Sr. Editor

Seattle-based Adaptive Biotechnologies said Wednesday that it has raked in $195 million in Series F financing round, the largest venture capital raise in Washington State so far this year, and a boost the startup says it will use to fund its work studying T-cell and B-cell receptors in the immune system.

The round was led by Matrix Capital Management and included new investors Senator Investment Group, Tiger Management, Rock Springs Capital and an additional large healthcare investor, as well as existing investors Viking Global, Casdin Capital and Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Adaptive is also backed by industry-leading strategic investors Illumina , Celgene Corporation , BD Biosciences and LabCorp.

The late-stage funding, unusual for a company of its size, which in a different market may have taken a run for the public markets or exited to a larger competitor, comes after a spate of infusions. Most recently, Adaptive banked $94 million as part of its buy-up of San Francisco-based Sequenta, Inc., and it scored $105 million in a Series E round last April.

All that money pouring in, from such a broad range of investors, is a testament to the market’s increasingly bullish interest in anything biotech, particularly in the CAR-T or immuno-oncology spheres.

“The disruptive potential of our ground-breaking immunosequencing technology is evidenced by the tremendous commitment of our world-class investors,” said Adaptive Biotechnologies CEO Chad Robins in a statement. “We are honored to work with a consortium of investors who share in our vision that understanding the adaptive immune system will change the course of medicine across many therapeutic areas including cancer and other immune-mediated diseases.”

The fundraising caught the eye of longstanding tech journalist and GeekWire founder John Cook, who said in a column Wednesday the very size of the round was astonishing.

“To put the $195 million figure in perspective, consider this,” wrote Cook. “Last quarter, there was $381 million invested throughout the entire Pacific Northwest, so that mean’s Adaptive’s latest funding round is more than half of all the money raised last quarter.”

Adaptive said it will also be expanding its immunosequencing platform to develop target identification technology for adoptive T-cell therapy. The company’s VC backers appeared to agree with that plan, saying they have high hopes for Adaptive as it moves into an increasingly competitive field.

"Adaptive has ingeniously combined the vast power of next generation sequencing, distributed computing, and data analytics with proprietary chemistries to create the industry leading immunosequencing platform that enables a portfolio of innovative applications addressing the research, clinical and therapeutic development markets," said David Goel, managing general partner of Matrix Capital Management.

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