5 Life Sciences Companies Raise New Funds for Therapeutic Platforms
With the beginning of a new year, many companies across the biopharmaceutical industry are reporting significant financial raises that will support the advancement of their pipelines and technologies. BioSpace takes a quick look at some of the announced funding rounds.
Korro Bio – Cambridge, Mass.-based Korro Bio raised $116 million in a Series B financing round. The company will use the finances to advance its lead program for patients with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency. The company’s RNA-editing technology is expected to benefit patients with an inherited genetic disorder leading to liver and lung disease.
In addition to the advancement of its lead program, the funds will also enable the company to expand its pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas.
Eventide Asset Management led the Series B. Other participants include new investors Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Invus, Point72, Verition Fund Management, Monashee Investment Management, Sixty Degree Capital and an additional healthcare specialist fund. Existing investors, including Atlas Venture, NEA, Wu Capital, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Cormorant Asset Management, MP Healthcare Venture Management and Alexandria Venture Investments, also participated.
Life Biosciences – Boston-based Life Biosciences secured $82 million in a Series C investment round. The latest funding brings the company’s war chest up to $158 million.
Proceeds from the round will be used to bolster the company’s three platforms that “target fundamental biological mechanisms contributing to aging,” according to Life Biosciences.
Its first platform the mitochondrial uncoupling platform, is used to develop small molecules that are able to increase metabolic rate and decrease fat accumulation in models of obesity and NASH. The second platform, the chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) platform, is being used to develop small molecules designed to activate CMA, removing unwanted proteins that accumulate during aging. These CMA deposits can contribute to multiple aging-related diseases including neurodegenerative disease.
The third platform, the epigenetic reprogramming platform, is to develop therapies that are “designed to induce the expression of three Yamanaka factors to reprogram the epigenome of cells to a younger state,” which can assist glaucoma patients, among others.
The Series C was led by Alpha Wave Ventures. Members of the company’s management team and founders also invested in the Series C round alongside longevity-oriented funds and unnamed entrepreneurs.
Accro Bioscience – China’s Accro Bio raised more than $50 million in an oversubscribed Series B. Funds will be used to “advance clinical development, pre-clinical research and international partnerships,” Xiaohu Zhang, co-founder and chief executive officer of Accro Bioscience said.
Hongtai Aplus led the financing. South China Venture Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group, Suzhou Oriza Holdings, and other unnamed investors also participated.
Avenge Bio – Massachusetts-based Avenge Bio closed a $45 million Series A financing round. Profits will be used to advance the company’s lead program, AVB-001, into the clinic. The asset will be assessed for the treatment of metastatic peritoneal cancers, with a primary focus on recurrent and refractory ovarian cancer. Additionally, the company will also use the proceeds to continue the rapid development of its pipeline programs.
The Series A financing round was co-led by Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund and CAM Capital. Other participants included seed investor Longitude Capital and new investors Rock Springs Capital and Pappas Capital.
SalioGen Therapeutics – Privately-held SalioGen raised $115 million in a Series B financing round. Proceeds from the allocation will be used to build out the company’s Gene Coding platform, which is used to develop new genetic medicine. SalioGen’s Gene Coding platform is designed to turn on, turn off or modify the function of any gene in the genome.
Additionally, the funds are expected to be used to expand the company’s headcount, establish manufacturing and automation capabilities critical for Gene Coding and accelerate the advancement of its preclinical programs.
The financing round was co-led by GordonMD Global Investments and EPIQ Capital Group. Additional new investors included Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, T. Rowe Price, D1 Capital Partners, SymBiosis, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the RD Fund and other unnamed participants. The round also included continued support from PBM Capital, which led the company’s Series A round.