ElevateBio Takes Title of Largest 2023 Funding with $401M Series D

Pictured: Hundred dollar bills/courtesy of Nomad_Soul/Adobe Stock

Pictured: Hundred dollar bills/courtesy of Nomad_Soul/Adobe Stock

On Wednesday, ElevateBio closed a $401 million Series D financing round, making it biotech’s largest private fundraising haul this year.

The Massachusetts-based company will use the money to improve further the company’s gene editing, RNA, cell, vector engineering, protein and induced pluripotent stem cell technologies. ElevateBio will funnel these funds into BaseCamp, the company’s end-to-end genetic medicine cGMP manufacturing and process development business.

Beyond advancing its platforms, ElevateBio will also use its Series D raise to broaden its geographic reach and increase its manufacturing capacity to satisfy the needs of its industry and academic partners.

Wednesday’s funding round follows ElevateBio’s $525 million Series C in May 2021, one of biotech’s largest fundraises of that year. Since then, the company has further solidified its presence in the gene therapy space. In October 2021, ElevateBio bought biotech start-up Life Edit Therapeutics, whose primary focus is genome editing.

The buyout provided ElevateBio with a synergistic technology platform that it could combine with its cell and gene therapy capabilities.

The Life Edit buy paid off in February 2023, when Moderna inked an R&D agreement with the gene-editing specialist for an undisclosed amount. The partnership’s goal is to leverage Moderna’s mRNA’s potential to deliver Life Edit’s gene editors.

Wednesday’s Series D raise was led by AyurMaya Capital Management, the new fund managed by Matrix Capital Management. ElevateBio also picked up a host of new supporters, including Woodline and Novo Nordisk.

ElevateBio Partners with Novo

Concurrent with the Series D funding round, Life Edit and Novo Nordisk signed an R&D collaboration to develop gene editing medicines against a yet undisclosed set of therapeutic targets.

The companies have also kept the upfront payment under wraps. Still, per the agreement's terms, the ElevateBio subsidiary stands to earn up to $335 million in milestones for the first two development programs and up to $250 million for succeeding programs.

The partnership can run for up to seven therapeutic candidates, meaning that ElevateBio can earn nearly $2 billion.

Life Edit also has the option to claim global profit shares for one of the resulting programs from the collaboration.

The R&D alliance will combine Life Edit’s next-generation gene editing platform with Novo’s “deep disease biology and engineering expertise,” which could yield potentially curative medicines for some of the most difficult-to-treat diseases, Mitchell Finer, CEO, Life Edit and president of R&D, ElevateBio, said in a statement.

Along with the partnership and the Series D, Novo will also make an equity investment in ElevateBio.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in metro Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com.

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