Success With an Angel Syndicate: How One Pharma Startup, Savara, Raised $16 Million Without VCs

Published: Jun 18, 2013

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Savara Pharmaceuticals needed several million dollars to take its inhalable drug for troublesome infections in cystic fibrosis patients through Phase 2 clinical trials. So CEO Rob Neville, naturally, began talking with venture capitalists. But in the end, he didn’t end up needing any of their money. Over the course of about a year, Savara raised a $16 million Series B round – in two tranches – led by a quartet of angel groups from central Texas to southern California. It’s a case study on the burgeoning influence of angel investing networks, which are moving across state lines and outside of their own networks to piece together bigger deals. They’re also enabling angel investors to move upstream and fill funding gaps opened by more risk-averse and tapped out life science venture funds.

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