Big Money for Gene Editing, Engineering, Structure-Based Drug Design, and Data Management

April 29, 2021

April 29, 2021 | Illumina joins the Gates Foundation in a global pathogen genomics initiative, new money for immune profiling, and Benchling nets $200M for their cloud platform.


$375M: Fund for Growth-Stage Medtech, Digital Health 

Endeavour Vision has closed Endeavour Medtech Growth II (EMG II) LP at USD 375 million in capital commitments. The fund will pursue the same strategy as its predecessor: to support growth-stage medtech and digital health innovations that advance the standard of care and bring efficiencies to healthcare systems. Both new and returning investors supported EMG II LP, including public pension funds, multi-manager funds, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals. EMG II LP builds on Endeavour Vision’s two decades of healthcare investing, which to date has included over USD 500 million invested in 42 companies—21 of which have exited via an acquisition or IPO. The fund has already supported seven companies with investments totaling more than USD 100 million: IntelyCare, CeQur, Rapid Micro Biosystems, SOPHiA GENETICS, Nalu Medical, Lumeon and Relievant Medsystems.


$200M: Series E for Cloud Platform to Manage R&D 

Benchling, the leading life sciences R&D cloud, has raised $200 million in Series E funding led by Sequoia Capital Global Equities and joined by Altimeter Capital, Byers Capital and Elad Gil. Existing investors participated, including Thrive Capital, Benchmark, Menlo Ventures, Alkeon Capital, ICONIQ, Lux Capital, Spark Capital and Lead Edge Capital. The company will use the funding to aggressively invest in product development and global expansion to support enterprise customers. Since launching in 2012, more than 300,000 scientists and 1,000 R&D organizations around the globe have adopted Benchling’s cloud platform to manage massively complex experimental datasets and optimize R&D processes including collaboration on experiments, automation of data capture, management of research workflows and more.


$168M: Series D for Integrated Healthcare 

Crossover Health, a relationship-based, tech-enabled, national healthcare organization that integrates both virtual and in-person care for employers and health plans, today announced that it has raised $168 million in an oversubscribed Series D financing led by Deerfield Management Company. Additional new investors include Perceptive Advisors, OrbiMed Advisors, Foresite Capital, Avidity Partners, SharesPost100 Fund, Irving Investors, and PFM Health Sciences. The capital will be applied to continuing the national expansion of Crossover's Connected System of Health for employers and payers. Founded in 2010, Crossover Health currently services over 400,000 eligible employees and dependents throughout the country. Crossover's Connected System of Health creates a national network that delivers online care in all 50 states, as well as in-person care in 48 health centers in 11 states. These health centers are located either on employer campuses, near employer campuses, or in the neighborhoods where eligible members and their families live.


$150M: Series E for Digital Genome Engineering

Inscripta has announced the closing of a $150 million Series E financing round led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. The company has also delivered its first commercial shipment of its Onyx platform. The Onyx platform is the world’s first benchtop system for scalable digital genome engineering and consists of a benchtop instrument, consumables, software and assays. With a fully automated CRISPR-based workflow, the Onyx platform enables massively parallel, trackable editing of single cells at an unprecedented scale.


$100M: Series B for Custom Gene Editing 

Scribe Therapeutics Inc., a molecular engineering company co-founded by Jennifer Doudna, creating the most advanced technologies for CRISPR-based genetic medicine, today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $100M Series B financing. Avoro Ventures and Avoro Capital Advisors led the financing joined by OrbiMed Advisors and Andreessen Horowitz. Perceptive Advisors, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., funds managed by Wellington Management, RA Capital Management, Menlo Ventures, and an undisclosed global investment firm also joined the syndicate. As part of the financing, Behzad Aghazadeh, managing partner at Avoro Ventures and Avoro Capital Advisors, and Carl L. Gordon, managing partner at OrbiMed Advisors, will join Scribe’s Board of Directors. The capital will be used to further develop Scribe’s suite of custom gene editing and delivery technologies, as well as to advance a pipeline of therapeutics for neurodegeneration and additional diseases with high unmet need.


$100M: Series B for Structure-Based Drug Design 

Ventus Therapeutics has announced a $100 million Series B financing led by RA Capital Management with participation from a select syndicate including BVF Partners L.P., Casdin Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and Alexandria Venture Investments. Founding investor Versant Ventures also participated in the round, as did existing investor GV (formerly Google Ventures). Ventus’ drug discovery platforms combine computational technologies with leading-edge structural biology, protein engineering, biophysics and chemistry. Using two proprietary platforms, Ventus expands the set of drug targets accessible to small-molecule medicines by discovering and validating novel binding sites invisible to other approaches. Proceeds from the Series B will be used to advance Ventus’ pipeline of novel medicines to treat diseases in multiple therapeutic areas and expand platform capabilities. The company’s most advanced programs are focused on critical targets of the innate immune system. Additional programs in autoimmune, inflammation, oncology and neurology indications create a diversified pipeline with opportunities for both partnerships and internal growth.


$78M: Digital and Decentralized Clinical Trials 

Medable Inc. announced $78 million in new funding to fuel advances in the delivery of digital and decentralized clinical trials, accelerating the industry’s shift to patient-centered drug development. The funding was led by Sapphire Ventures, along with new investor Obvious Ventures and follow-on investment from existing investors GSR Ventures, PPD (Nasdaq:PPD) and Streamlined Ventures. This is Medable’s third round of funding in less than a year, bringing total capital raised to more than $217 million. Medable will use the funding to continue enabling broad adoption of digital trials and patient-centric strategies at global scale. Key focus areas include internal initiatives related to ubiquitous research access, patient data fluidity, and intelligent monitoring of patients and clinical trial data, all designed to further Medable’s mission of enabling effective therapies to reach patients faster.


$75M: Series C for Virtual Physical Therapy

Kaia Health is announcing a $75 million Series C round (total raised to date: $125 million) to expand clinical capabilities and transform the treatment path for musculoskeletal (MSK) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care in the U.S. and Europe. Fundraising was led by an unnamed leading growth equity fund with support from existing investors, including Optum Ventures, Eurazeo, 3VC, Balderton Capital, Heartcore Capital, Symphony Ventures (investment vehicle of four times Major winner Rory McIlroy) and A Round Capital. Kaia Health recently unveiled Kaia Gateway and Premium Partners, the industry’s most complete and cost-effective MSK care model, based on the largest randomized controlled trial in the digital therapeutics industry, which showed how a combined MSK care pathway of digital therapy, personalized health coaching, and collaboration with medical providers achieved better outcomes than conventional care. Findings validate Kaia Health’s technology-forward, high-clinical-oversight approach.


$60M: Sequencing Commitment for Global Pathogen Genomics 

Illumina has committed $60 million in sequencing capabilities to a global pathogen genomics initiative, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other public and private entities. The initiative expands on the Africa Pathogen Genomics Initiative (Africa PGI) announced in October 2020, and will help create a comprehensive pathogen genomic network around the world, building critical public health capabilities in areas of need. Illumina will donate next-generation sequencing (NGS) platforms, reagents, and training support worth approximately US $60 million over five years. The expanded scope will begin with a focus on South Asia, equipping national public health institutions with better public health tools, bringing us closer to the vision of an early warning system for global pathogens.


$50M: Series B for Covid and Other Molecular Diagnostics 

Sense Biodetection (Sense) has raised a $50m Series B investment to advance commercialization of its Veros COVID-19 product and continue development of a portfolio of instrument-free, rapid molecular tests that enable improved access, outcomes, and value through patient-focused decentralized healthcare. The Veros platform introduces novel and proprietary rapid molecular amplification technology to detect a variety of deadly and costly diseases. The Series B round was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), a subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc. Sense’s Veros product platform brings the performance of central laboratory PCR testing into a rapid, easy-to-use, disposable format. Unconstrained by an instrument or reader, Veros products can be utilized beyond traditional healthcare settings, enabling better access, outcomes, and value for patients and providers.


$14M: Characterizing Patients’ Immunome

ImmunoScape has completed a $14 million fundraising round led by existing investors Anzu Partners, University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) and new investor EDBI, an investment arm of the Economic Development Board of Singapore. The new round brings ImmunoScape’s total funding in the past year to $25 million. ImmunoScape will use the funding to enlarge its Singapore-based team, further its expansion into the U.S., and scale up its newly announced San Diego laboratory. The company will also be able to continue advancing the capabilities of its Deep Immunomics platform that enables the characterization of a patient’s immunome at ultra-high resolution. ImmunoScape will be working to increase its capacity for in-house R&D activities and to expand its partnerships with biopharma and leading academics in drug development efforts within immuno-oncology, infectious disease, and autoimmune disease. ImmunoScape’s Deep Immunomics platform integrates single-cell analysis technologies and cutting-edge bioinformatics for both drug discovery and high-dimensional immune profiling.


$12M: Series A for Healthcare Data Platform 

Seqster PDM has raised $12M in a Series A round of venture capital financing. The funding round was led by OmniHealth Holdings LLC, with additional investment from Takeda Digital Ventures and 23andMe's CEO and Founder, Anne Wojcicki. This investment fuels Seqster's ability to grow and evolve its technology to meet the demand for its multi-dimensional healthcare data platform. Seqster provides patient engagement with proprietary technology to access secure, longitudinal, and comprehensive healthcare data in real time, both at the patient level and at scale. This includes electronic health records (EHRs), pharmacy data, lab data, genomic data (DNA), fitness wearables data, and social determinants of health (SDOH).


$12M: Series B for Bone Regeneration

GreenBone Ortho SpA has completed a EURO 10 million Round B of investment fully covered by current shareholders – 3B Future Health Fund, Innogest SGR, Meta Group, CDP Venture Capital Sgr, Italian Angels for Growth and other private investors. The company raised EURO 22 million equity investments since its inception in 2015 in Faenza, Italy. GreenBone uses a proprietary 3D scaffold made of natural wood-derived materials, to achieve an optimum microenvironment capable of driving inductive bone performance. This off-the-shelf highly porous graft has an optimal biomaterial surface area of resorbable nano-crystalline hydroxyapatite and beta-tricalcium phosphate plus magnesium and strontium ions to mimic natural bone chemistry, morphology and 3D architecture. GreenBone has shown the ability to actively drive a de novo bone mineralization response at ectopic site, a yardstick measure for the best grafts like orthobiologics.


$11.6M: Near-Patient, Rapid Dx of Sepsis in children 

Baebies, a growth-stage company developing innovative products to enable early disease detection and comprehensive diagnosis, announced today that CARB-X has awarded the company up to $11.6 million in non-dilutive funding. This funding will support the development of a near-patient and rapid diagnostic platform for sepsis—specially focused on addressing the unique needs of neonatal and pediatric populations. The CARB-X award consists of $3.9 million in initial funding with up to $7.7 million of milestone-based funding. CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership, provides funding and support for projects that target drug-resistant bacteria deemed Serious or Urgent on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antibiotic Resistant Threats list or Critical or High on the World Health Organization’s Priority Bacterial Pathogens list.


$10M: Pediatric Sleep Pattern Center

Bradley Hospital in Riverside, Rhode Island, has received a $10 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create the first research center focused on pediatric sleep patterns, circadian rhythms, and mental health. The new Center for Sleep and Circadian Rhythms in Child and Adolescent Mental Health will study the linkages between sleep, circadian rhythms, and mental illness in children and adolescents. Bradley Hospital received an NIH institutional development award through its Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) program, which supports innovative multi-year studies in themed areas that strengthen institutional biomedical research capacity.

$6.8M: Cell Therapy for ALS, Type 1 Diabetes

Kadimastem (TASE: KDST), a clinical stage cell therapy company, has raised NIS 22.3 million ($6.8 million) in a private placement led by institutional investors Alpha Capital Anstalt and Clover Wolf Capital. As part of the agreement for their investment, participants received shares as well as NIS 31.1 million ($9 million) collectively in options. This brings this financing to a potential total of NIS 53.4 million ($16 million) collective investment. The financing will enable Kadimastem to expedite its research and development programs for both lead indications, AstroRx for the treatment of ALS, and IsletRx, intended to cure Type 1 diabetes. The financing will also enable the company to advance its business development efforts in the US.


$4.5M: Seed Round for Preconception Genetic Modeling 

Orchid, the first preconception system to quantify how a couple's genetics impacts their future child's health, today announced a $4.5M seed round with backing from top institutional VCs including Refactor Capital, Village Global, Day One Ventures, Olive Capital, and Boom Capital. The round also includes participation from proven operators including the founders of 23andMe, Counsyl, Clover Health, Coinbase, Eventbrite, Flatiron, Oscar Health Insurance, and Stellar. Orchid detects if a couple's future child will be at elevated or normal genetic risk to top diseases. Couples can discover their future child's risk range through an at-home saliva test. If elevated risk is detected, couples have many options to protect their future child's health—monitor biomarkers, adapt diet, or elect for IVF. During IVF, embryos are created, and later this year, Orchid will offer an Embryo Report for couples interested in mitigating genetic risk to disease.


$3.5M: Pre-IPO Capital for AI Software, Cancer Diagnostics 

The Swedish AI software company Qlucore AB has secured SEK 30 million before transaction costs in a pre-IPO private placement. The raised capital will predominantly be used to accelerate sales activities and expand the technical team prior to an initial public offering (IPO), planned within the next twelve months. Qlucore develops and sells AI-based software that enables deeper insight into large and complex amounts of data (Big Data) up to 77 times faster than other solutions and has also opened a new business area in cancer diagnostics. The company has over 200 customers, including well known universities and large pharma companies. Whilst continuing to expand its core business, Qlucore anticipates that cancer diagnostics will see the biggest growth in the future.