The First Commercial-Scale IDMO Smart Factory, Company Advancements, RNA Editing Platforms, More

August 30, 2023

August 30, 2023 | Cellares will use funding to launch the world’s first commercial-scale IDMO Smart Factory; Genesis Therapeutics plans to use Series B financing to elevate into a clinical stage company and further invest in its AI platform; Amber Bio will use funds to advance first-of-its-kind RNA editing platform; more. 

$1.1B: Obesity Drug Developer Acquired 

Novo Nordisk will acquire Inversago Pharma in a $1.07 billion deal, including the development of an appetite regulator. The acquisition is expected to be completed in 2023, provided that unspecified development and commercial milestones are met.

$255M: Series C for the World’s First Commercial-Scale IDMO Smart Factory 

Cellares has secured $255 million in Series C funding led by new investor Koch Disruptive Technologies. Global biopharmaceutical company and cell therapy leader Bristol Myers Squibb also participated in the round, with DFJ Growth, Willett Advisors, and existing investors Eclipse, Decheng Capital, and 8VC. The new funding will be used to launch the world's first commercial-scale IDMO Smart Factory, which seamlessly integrates advanced robotics, purpose-built technology, and interconnected software.

$200M: Series C for Advancing Clinical Programs on Rare Genetic Disease 

ADARx Pharmaceuticals has closed an oversubscribed $200 million Series C financing. The financing was led jointly by Bain Capital Life Sciences and TCGX and included new investors Blackrock, Commodore Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Invus, Marshall Wace, Redmile Group, T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, and Vivo Capital. ADARx’s existing investors, Ascenta Capital, Lilly Asia Ventures, OrbiMed, and SR One Capital Management also participated. The proceeds will be used to further advance ADARx clinical programs, including an innovative treatment of hereditary angioedema and a treatment of multiple complement mediated diseases. The funding will also support advancement of a pipeline of innovative mRNA silencing or editing candidates for the treatment of a broad range of diseases.

$200M: Series B for Advancing Company and AI Platform 

Genesis Therapeutics has closed an oversubscribed $200 million round of Series B financing. This will enable Genesis to evolve into a clinical stage company, further invest in its state-of-the-art AI platform, and expand its discovery pipeline. The financing was co-led by a U.S.-based life-sciences-focused investor, along with returning investor Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) Bio + Health which led the company’s seed financing. In addition, several other new investors participated in the Series B, including Fidelity Management & Research Company, BlackRock, and NVIDIA’s venture capital arm NVentures, along with existing investors T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Rock Springs Capital, Radical Ventures, and Menlo Ventures. Genesis will also invest in continued development of generative and predictive AI methods, which form the foundation of the Genesis Exploration of Molecular Space (GEMS) platform. Additionally, the financing will be used to expand Genesis’ pipeline, initiating new programs for underserved patient populations and leveraging the GEMS platform to make progress against challenging and previously undruggable targets.

$150M: Series C Addition for Supporting Clinical Translation of Gene Therapies 

Kriya Therapeutics announced the addition of over $150 million in capital committed as part of its Series C Financing, bringing the total Series C round to over $430 million. Proceeds from the financing will support the clinical translation of Kriya’s pipeline of gene therapies and continued scaling of its engineering, computational, and manufacturing platforms.

$105M: Advancing Clinical Stage Cancer Pipeline 

CG Oncology announced the close of an oversubscribed $105 million crossover financing round, co-led by new investors Foresite Capital and TCGX, with participation from Avidity Partners, BVF Partners and Janus Henderson Investors, as well as existing investors including Acorn Bioventures, Ally Bridge Group, Decheng Capital, Longitude Capital, Malin Corporation and RA Capital Management. The proceeds will support the continued advancement of clinical programs in bladder cancer towards FDA approval including BOND-003, a fully enrolled, single-arm, Phase 3, monotherapy study for cretostimogene grenadenorepvec as a potential treatment for high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) unresponsive to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG).

$26M: Seed Financing for First-Of-Its-Kind RNA Editing Platform 

Amber Bio launched with an oversubscribed $26 million seed financing round co-led by Playground Global and Andreessen Horowitz Bio + Health. Eli Lilly, Retinal Degeneration Fund, Hummingbird Ventures, and Pillar VC also participated in the round. The funding will be used to advance a first-of-its-kind RNA editing platform which enables multi-kilobase edits, allowing a single drug to treat diseases with high allelic diversity. Amber Bio is also developing its own genetic medicine programs in-house.

$23M: Series A Financing as New President is Appointed 

EpiBiologics announced that the company brought the total series A round to $73 million with the addition of $23 million from new investors Digitalis Ventures, Taiho Ventures, and existing investor Codon Capital. In March, EpiBiologics launched with $50 million series A financing with participation from Mubadala Capital, Polaris Partners, Vivo Capital, and GV. EpiBiologics also announced that Ann Lee-Karlon, Ph.D., will join as Chief Executive Officer, President, and member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Lee-Karlon will focus on expanding EpiBiologics’ proprietary EpiTAC platform, establishing value-driven collaborations, and building the company’s pipeline of bispecific antibody protein degrader therapeutics.

$22.4M: Series A2 for Protein-Protein Interaction Data Platform 

A-Alpha Bio announced a $22.4 million Series A2, which was led by previous investor Perceptive Xontogeny Ventures, with support from Madrona and other existing investors. Breakout Ventures joined the round as a new investor, and Lindy Fishburne, Managing Partner at Breakout Ventures, will join the board as an observer. The funding will enable further development of the company's AlphaSeq and AlphaBind platforms and accelerate their oncology-focused internal pipeline. In pursuit of their mission to accelerate therapeutic discovery to improve human health, A-Alpha Bio has announced collaborations with Bristol Myers Squibb, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Gilead Sciences to discover molecular glue targets for protein degradation, accelerate antibody discovery and development for emerging biothreats, and advance next-generation HIV therapeutic options, respectively.

$20M: Accelerating Technological Growth revealed its partnership with the Bahamas-based digital asset investment firm GEM Digital Limited. The $20 million financial commitment from GEM Digital Limited will allow the team to accelerate its technological growth, allowing more of its individual and institutional clients to work with its vault and reporting products.

$20M: Advancing Ongoing Clinical Trials on Metastatic Melanoma 

Evaxion Biotech A/S announced that it has entered into a binding agreement for a financing of up to $20 million with Negma Group Investment Ltd, a Paris-based leading financial institution focused on supporting growth and capturing value through a multi-strategy approach. The financing commitments are intended to cover the company’s working capital needs, including the ongoing clinical phase 2 trial of EVX-01, and the advancement of EVX-03 towards the initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial. If Evaxion fully utilizes the convertible note program, the company will have sufficient financing to fund its planned activities into Q4 2024.

$5M: Testing Cell Analysis Platform and Team Expansion 

Cytomos announced that it had secured £4 million (approximately $5 million) to scale-up market testing of its technology platform Cytomos Dielectric Spectroscopy (CDS), which is designed to provide high-speed, scalable, and low-cost cell analysis relative to existing systems. The investment round was led by existing investors Archangels, as well as participation from Old College Capital, Scottish Enterprise, and new investor British Business Bank. According to the release, the new investment will allow Cytomos to significantly advance the development of CDS and expand its team. The company is targeting platform commercialization in 2024.

$1M: Investing in Academic Scholarships 

Recursion launched Valence Labs at the International Conference on Machine Learning. Valence Labs will serve as a machine learning research laboratory focused on developing the next generation of cutting-edge methods and models for drug discovery and consists of the emerging ML research teams at Recursion and the team at Valence Discovery, which Recursion recently acquired. At its launch event, Valence Labs committed to investing up to $1 million in academic-oriented initiatives to develop talent in machine learning research. This will include Valence Scholarships to support the pursuit of more academic research at the intersection of artificial intelligence and biology, and Valence Fellows for outstanding students with a track record of community engagement and/or publication in the field of machine learning for drug discovery, who will receive larger financial support and access to Valence Labs resources to enable their research.