Follow the Money: Next-Gen Data-Driven Precision Medicine Development, DNA Synthesis Technology, More
April 29, 2022 | Funding for programmable biology and chemistry in medicine development, DNA synthesis, immune-oncology cancer therapeutics, and more.
$300M: Series D for Virtual Care and Digital Medicine
Biofourmis has surpassed unicorn status with a $300 million Series D investment led by leading global growth equity firm General Atlantic. CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) and existing investors also participated in the round, which will help fuel the company’s next phase of growth. Biofourmis also announced that former Medtronic CEO and Chairperson at Intel, Dr. Omar Ishrak, will join the company’s Board of Directors as Chairman. With this investment, Biofourmis plans to scale up its virtual care offerings. This includes delivering personalized and predictive in-home care to a growing number of acutely ill patients and expanding its recently announced virtual specialty care services, Biofourmis Care, to those patients with complex chronic conditions. In parallel, Biofourmis plans to fund clinical trials to advance the development of digital therapies that work in conjunction with high-value drugs to improve efficacy, while forming strategic partnerships with companies in the digital health and virtual-first care ecosystems. Through these relationships, Biofourmis plans to accelerate the growth of its virtual care platform, Care@Home, which enables providers and payors to remotely manage patients across the entire care continuum.
$110M: Seed and Series A Investments for Tissue Therapeutics
Satellite Bio emerged from stealth to reveal first-in-kind Tissue Therapeutics, bioengineered tissues that repair, restore, or replace critical organ or tissue function. Satellite Bio has raised $110 million in previously undisclosed Seed and Series A investments. The Series A round was led by aMoon Growth, and included prior seed stage co-lead Lightspeed, aMoon Velocity, Polaris Partners, and Polaris Innovation Fund. New Series A investors included Section 32, Catalio Capital Management and Waterman Ventures.
$100M: Series D for AI-Powered Disease Detection
Viz.ai, an AI-powered disease detection and care coordination platform, has raised a $100 million funding round at a $1.2 billion valuation. The Series D round was led by Tiger Global and Insight Partners. Also joining the round were several of the company's early backers, including Scale Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Threshold, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Sozo Ventures, CRV, and Susa. The new funds will be used to support Viz.ai’s significant growth trajectory, expand the Viz Platform to detect and triage additional diseases, and grow its customer base globally.
$80M: Series B for Precision Medicine Discovery
Octant, Inc., a next-generation, data-driven therapeutics company developing programmable biology and chemistry to build precision medicines for complex diseases, announced an $80 million Series B financing round led by Catalio Capital Management (“Catalio”), established a Deep Mutational Scanning (“DMS”) biopharma partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb, and appointed biotech industry veteran Dean “Rick” Artis as its first Chief Scientific Officer and renowned scientist Feng Zhang to its Scientific Advisory Board. In addition to Catalio, the Series B financing included participation from Bristol Myers Squibb and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz Bio Fund, Allen & Co., and 50 Years VC. To date, Octant has raised $115 million in funding. Catalio’s co-Founder and Managing Partner, George Petrocheilos, and Head of Research, Dr. Diamantis Xylas, are joining the Board as Director and Board Observer, respectively. Proceeds from the Series B round will be used to further expand Octant’s platform capabilities and pipeline, advance its proprietary drug discovery technology, and generate extensive datasets that map the relationships between drug candidates, genetics, and the biochemical mechanisms of human cells. Octant also plans to develop multiple additional therapeutic programs in small molecule chaperone therapies for rare genetic diseases.
$76M: Series A for Tumor-Specific Immune-Oncology Therapeutics
CDR-Life Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new and differentiated class of highly tumor-specific immuno-oncology therapeutics based on its proprietary antibody-based MHC-targeting T cell engager technology, announced the closing of a $76 million Series A financing led by Jeito Capital and RA Capital Management, with participation from Omega Funds. In connection with the financing, Rafaèle Tordjman, Founder & CEO of Jeito Capital, Daniel Marks, Principal of RA Capital, and Claudio Nessi, Managing Director of Omega Funds, will join the Company’s Board of Directors. CDR-Life is currently advancing its lead program, CDR404, a first of its kind dual MAGE-A4 T cell engager which targets solid tumors across multiple indications, based on the Company’s unique M-gager technology. Proceeds from the Series A financing will advance CDR404 through potential clinical proof-of-concept readout as well as expansion of the pipeline leveraging the Company’s M-gager technology for targeting intracellular antigens positioned to deliver unparalleled specificity and affinity in solid tumors.
$68M: Series A for DNA Synthesis Technology
Ansa Biotechnologies closed an oversubscribed Series A financing round of $68 million led by Northpond Ventures, with participation from new investors RA Capital, Blue Water Life Science Advisors, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Fiscus Ventures, PEAK6 Strategic Capital, Carbon Silicon Ventures, Codon Capital, and existing investors Mubadala Capital, Humboldt Fund, Fifty Years, and Horizons Ventures. The company has raised a total of $82 million from private financings to date. The funding will be used to accelerate the development of Ansa’s next-generation enzymatic DNA synthesis technology based on polymerase-nucleotide conjugates, build high-throughput synthesizers, and launch its DNA synthesis service. To support this development, Ansa will expand its state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facilities and will grow its multidisciplinary team across biochemistry, chemistry, engineering, bioinformatics, and operations.
$50M: Series B for Digital Twins for Clinical Trials
Unlearn, developer of the first machine-learning technology that creates digital twins of patients in clinical trials to enable smaller, faster studies, announced the closing of a $50 million Series B funding round. The financing was led by New York-based global venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners with participation from new investor Radical Ventures, as well as all of the company’s existing investors including 8VC, DCVC, DCVC Bio and Mubadala Capital Ventures. Through its investment, Dylan Morris, Managing Director, Insight Partners, has joined the Unlearn Board of Directors.
$14M: Series A for Non-Invasive Brain Health Diagnostics
Altoida, Inc., the precision neurology company pioneering non-invasive brain health measurement and neurological disease diagnostics with AI and augmented reality (AR), announced that it successfully raised an additional $14 million for its Series A round with new and existing investors. The investment was co-led by M Ventures (the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany) and Whitecap Venture Partners. New investors HonorHealth and BTOV participated in the round with existing investors Alpana Ventures, Hikma Ventures, Fyrfly, and VI Partners, bringing the total Series A funds raised to $20.3 million. The funds will be used to further build Altoida’s medical, scientific, engineering, and commercial teams to pursue novel research, accelerate product development, and drive commercialization of its platform across US and global markets. The funds will also be used to validate its platform’s applications across additional neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Schizophrenia, and to expand the company’s US and global IP and regulatory portfolios.
$10.6M: Contract for Blood Plasma Technology
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, a medical technology company, received a $10.6 million contract to continue its work on freeze-dried plasma (FDP). The contract is with MTEC, the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, a 501(c)(3) biomedical technology consortium collaborating under an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, and is sponsored by the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and managed by the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) to drive healthcare advances for the battlefield.
$9.25M: Seed Funding for CMOS-Powered Drug Discovery
CytoTronics has raised $9.25M in initial seed funding, led by Anzu Partners with participation from Milad Alucozai (BoxOne Ventures) and institutional investors. CytoTronics is leveraging complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology to measure and manipulate live cells. The advanced CMOS electronics developed by CytoTronics achieves single-cell spatial resolution that greatly enhances the accuracy of the measured cell-biology information and enables optics-free images of growing cells. Additionally, the circuit integration facilitates the packaging of these techniques into small, plug-and-play devices for affordable and at-scale research for drug discovery applications. CytoTronics will use this seed funding to advance its platform.