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Insight & Intelligence™ : Oct 7, 2013

Young Companies in the Money: 25 Firms to Watch

Find out which biopharma companies are raking in the dough.

Below is a list of 25 privately held biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, ranked by the amount of nonpublic financing they have raised so far in 2013.

Each company is listed by total raised (with a breakdown of the amount for companies reporting two events this year), the type of financing, the date announced, the purpose of the financing as stated by companies, the financing leader, other firms involved in the financing with their status as new or existing investors noted where available, and footnotes offering details of the events.

The list does not include four companies that completed private financing events earlier this year and subsequently filed for initial public offerings during 2013: Opthotech, Intrexon, PTC Therapeutics, and Agios Pharmaceuticals. Nor does the list include BioMotiv, a drug development accelerator that raised a combined $66 million from investors in two fundraising events in August, since BioMotiv differs from the other listed biopharma companies, which work to generate their own discoveries for development, instead licensing early-stage technologies for development with oversight from its team of professionals and network of partners.

The combination private-IPO financings reflected the recovery in earnest of the initial public offering (IPO) market after nearly a decade of inactivity, especially during the 2007–09 recession and the glacially slow recovery that has followed. Nearly all financing events recorded by the companies were venture financing rounds raised through investment by new and/or existing investors. In some cases, those equity financings were combined with either debt financing that the companies said was related, or the conversion of debt to equity.

#25. Celator Pharmaceuticals

Amount: $32.5 million

Type: Private placement of common stock and warrants to purchase common stock 1,2

Date announced: April 30

Purpose: Support the late-stage clinical development of the company's lead investigational product, CPX-351 (cytarabine:daunorubicin) liposome injection. This financing is expected to fully fund the company's currently enrolling Phase III clinical study as first-line therapy in patients, 60–75 years of age, with secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Financing leader: Valence Life Sciences

Additional financing participants: Roth Capital Partners and National Securities acted as co-lead placement agents in connection with the institutional investors and certain accredited investors

#24. Cardeas Pharma

Amount: $34 million

Type: Series B venture financing

Date announced: May 22

Purpose: Support Phase II development of Cardeas’ lead compound, investigational amikacin/fosfomycin inhalation solution delivered via an eFlow® InLine Nebulizer system, as a potential treatment for healthcare-associated pneumonia (HCAP) in patients on mechanical ventilation. Cardeas completed its Phase Ib study in patients in March. Positive safety and tolerability findings at all doses tested in the study were presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Philadelphia in May

Financing leader: H.I.G. BioVentures (new investor)

Additional financing participants: Delphi Ventures (new investor); Novo A/S, Avalon Ventures, Devon Park Bioventures, and WRF Capital (Washington Research Foundation (existing investors)

#22. (tie) Kite Pharma

Amount: $35 million

Type: Private placement of shares of its Series A preferred stock ($20 million); conversion of outstanding promissory notes into shares of Series A preferred stock ($15 million)

Date announced: May 15

Purpose: Support development of novel cancer immunotherapeutic products with a focus on engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT), designed to restore a patient's immune system by recognizing and eradicating tumors. Advance clinical and manufacturing activities of eACT products directed to hematological and solid tumor indications

Financing leaders: N/A

Additional financing participants: Alta Partners (new investor); and all existing major investors including Kite's Founder and Executive Chairman, Arie Belldegrun, M.D., David Bonderman, Pontifax, Commercial Street Capital, and Michael Milken

#22. (tie) Accera

Amount: $35 million3

Type: Debt and venture equity, according to Form D Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Additional details not disclosed

Date announced: May 7

Purpose: Not disclosed

Financing leader: Not disclosed

Additional financing participants: Not disclosed

#21. ObsEva

Amount: $35.5 million (CHF 32 million)4

Type: Series A venture round

Date announced: August 29

Purpose: Development of certain Merck Serono compounds in the field of preterm labor, for which ObsEva has been granted worldwide development and commercialization rights under a licensing agreement with Merck Serono

Additional financing participants: Soffinova Ventures, Novo A/S. Also, MS Ventures, the corporate venture capital fund of Merck Serono has taken a minority equity stake in the company

#20. Civitas Therapeutics

Amount: $38 million

Type: Series B venture financing

Date announced: September 11

Purpose: Fund late-stage clinical development of the company's lead program, CVT-301, an inhaled formulation of levodopa (L-dopa) being developed for the rapid and reliable relief from debilitating motor fluctuations (OFF episodes) associated with Parkinson's disease. Civitas recently initiated a Phase IIb clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of CVT-301, self-administered by patients, in treating emergent OFF episodes during one month of continued use

Financing leader: Bay City Capital

Additional financing participants: RA Capital and undisclosed “blue chip public investment fund” (both new investors); Alkermes, Canaan Partners, Fountain Healthcare Partners, and Longitude Capital (all existing investors)

#19. uniQure

Amount: $38.2 million (€28.1 million)4

Type: Equity financing (€14 million [$19 million]) and conversion of notes to equity (€14.1 million [$19.2 million])4,5

Date announced: July 9

Purpose: Commercialization of Glybera, the first gene therapy to receive regulatory approval in Europe, as well as the co-development of a gene therapy for hemophilia B.

Financing leaders: Chiesi Farmaceutici (equity financing)5, Coller Capital (debt conversion)

Additional financing participants, convertible debt: Existing investors, including Forbion Capital Partners, Gilde Healthcare Partners, Lupus Alpha, Grupo Netco

#18. Akebia Therapeutics

Amount: $41 million

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: June 4

Purpose: Fund ongoing development of the company’s lead clinical compound AKB-6548 over the next 18 months, specifically clinical studies and other activities necessary to make AKB-6548 ready to enter Phase III studies—including a Phase IIb study in patients with anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). AKB-6548 is an orally available, hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase (HIF-PH) inhibitor that stabilizes HIF2α

Financing leader: Satter Investment Management

Additional financing participants: Novo A/S (co-lead), and existing investors Novartis Venture Funds, Kearny Venture Partners, Venture Investors, Athenian Venture Partners, Triathlon Medical Ventures, AgeChem Venture and Sigvion Capital Fund

#17. Argos Therapeutics

Amount: $42.5 million

Type: Series E venture financing

Date announced: August 26

Purpose: Fund the company's ongoing, fully resourced ADAPT pivotal Phase III clinical study of AGS-003 for metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC)

Financing leader: Pharmstandard International, a holding company, fully committed by Russian-based OJSC Pharmstandard ($30 million investment, holder of Russian commercialization rights)

Additional financing participants: Green Cross (new investor); and existing investors that included Forbion Capital, TVM Capital, Lumira Capital, Intersouth Partners, Caisse de depot et placement de Quebec, Morningside Group, and Aurora Funds

#16. Radius Health

Amount: $43 million

Type: Series B venture financing

Date announced: April 25

Purpose: Support the continued advancement of the company's clinical development programs for its lead asset, BA058, a novel anabolic, bone-building compound for the treatment of patients with osteoporosis at high risk of fracture. BA058-SC, an injectable form of BA058, is currently in a Phase III trial. BA058-TD, is in a Phase II trial studying the efficacy of delivering BA058 via a transdermal patch

Financing leader: F2 Biosciences III

Additional financing participants: Existing investors Biotech Growth N.V., MPM Capital, Brookside Capital, MPM Bio IV NVS Strategic Fund, and BB Biotech Ventures

#15. Opsona Therapeutics

Amount: $44.9 million (€33 million)4

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: April 29

Purpose: Conduct a two-part multicentered, double-blinded, and placebo-controlled clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of its lead product OPN-305 in renal transplant patients at high risk of Delayed Graft Function (DGF). OPN-305 is a fully human monoclonal IgG4 antibody targeting Toll-like-receptor-2 (TLR2)

Financing leaders: BB Biotech Ventures (new investor) and Novartis Venture Fund (existing investor)

Additional financing participants: Existing investors Fountain Healthcare Partners, Roche Venture Fund, and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences; and new investors Sunstone Capital, Baxter Ventures, Amgen Ventures, and EMBL Ventures

#14. Effector Therapeutics

Amount: $45 million

Type: Series A venture financing

Date announced: May 20

Purpose: Support multiple discovery programs and enable acquisition of tumor response data in patients for a lead drug candidate

Financing leader: No leader denoted

Financing participants: U.S. Venture Partners, Abingworth, Novartis Venture Funds, SR One, Astellas Venture Management, Osage University Partners, and Mission Bay Capital

#13. Otonomy

Amount: $45.9 million

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: September 4

Purpose: Fund late-stage clinical trials for OTO-201 and OTO-104, development work to advance a third program to clinical trials and general corporate purposes. OTO-201 is an antibiotic that has recently completed a Phase Ib clinical trial in pediatric patients with middle ear effusion at the time of tympanostomy tube placement surgery. OTO-104 is a steroid that has completed a Phase Ib clinical trial in Meniere's disease patients

Financing leader: OrbiMed Advisors (existing investor)

Additional financing participants: Aperture Venture Partners and Osage University Partners (both new investors); Avalon Ventures, Domain Associates, Novo Ventures, RiverVest Venture Partners, and TPG Biotech (existing investors)

#12. Jounce Therapeutics

Amount: $47 million

Type: Series A venture financing

Date announced: February 14

Purpose: Build roster of products and rapidly advance lead programs to the clinic

Financing leader: Third Rock Ventures

Additional financing participants: None disclosed

#11. Newbridge Pharmaceuticals

Amount: $48 million

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: May 29

Purpose: Expand its commercial and manufacturing operations in the Africa, Middle East, and Turkey territories

Financing leader: Elan ($40 million investment)

Additional financing participants: Not specified in announcement; company’s existing investors include Burrill & Co. and the Kuwait Investment Authority’s Kuwait Life Sciences Co.

#10. NGM Biopharmaceuticals

Amount: $50 million6

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: July 18

Purpose: Support advancing its portfolio of potential therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and other cardiometabolic diseases

Financing leader: No leader denoted

Additional financing participants: New investors that included Topspin Fund, and an investment group comprised of James Simons, Leo A. Guthart, Andy Gyenes, and Steven Winick; existing investors that included the Column Group, Prospect Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, and Tichenor Ventures

#9. Auris Medical

Amount: $52.2 million (CHF 47.1 million)4

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: April 16

Purpose: Advance two clinical-stage drug candidates, AM-101 for the treatment of acute tinnitus and AM-111 for the treatment of acute inner ear hearing loss, through Phase III studies and ultimately to market launch.

Financing leader: No leader denoted

Financing participants: Sofinnova Ventures and Sofinnova Partners

#8. Natera

Amount: $54.6 million

Type: Series E venture financing

Date announced: May 1

Purposes: Support the expansion and continued global rollout of Natera's noninvasive prenatal test, Panorama™; support the expansion of the company’s lab and workforce to meet “rapidly” increasing demand

Financing leaders: OrbiMed Advisors and Harmony Partners, both new lead investors

Additional financing participants: All existing investors including Claremont Creek Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Founders Fund, and Sequoia Capital, “as well as other undisclosed new investors”

#7. Symphogen

Amount: $55.7 million (€41 million)4

Type: Series E private equity round expansion7

Date announced: May 2

Purpose: Advance and expand oncology product pipeline of antibody mixture products addressing multiple targets in a single drug product

Financing leaders: Novo A/S and PKA (investments each of €20 million [$27.2 million])4

Additional financing participants: None

#6. aTyr Pharma

Amount: $59 million

Types: Series D financing, consisting of venture funding ($49 million) and venture debt ($10 million)8

Date announced: July 29

Purpose: Support clinical development of aTyr's first therapeutic program to treat rare autoimmune diseases, and build a rare disease pipeline in immune disorders.

Financing leader, venture financing: Undisclosed “premier, global public investment fund”

Additional venture financing participants: Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners, Domain Associates, and Polaris Partners (all existing investors)

#4. (tie) Trevena

Amount: $60 million

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: May 9

Purpose: Support planned Phase IIb clinical trial of acute heart failure candidate TRV027, the subject of a related development collaboration with Forest Laboratories9

Financing leader: Forest Laboratories ($30 million investment)10

Additional financing participants: Alta Partners, HealthCare Ventures, NEA, Polaris, and Yasuda Enterprise Development Company, all existing investors

#4. (tie) Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

Amount: $60 million

Type: Series C venture financing

Date announced: August 1

Purpose: Advance two or more programs into the clinic and progress other preclinical programs. The company also plans to use the proceeds to continue to develop drug delivery systems, which combine Dicerna’s DsiRNA molecules with targeting moieties allowing for direct delivery into specific cells of interest

Financing leader: RA Capital (new investor)

Additional financing participants: Brookside Capital, Deerfield, and Omega Funds (all new investors); and all five of Dicerna’s existing institutional investors: Abingworth, Domain Associates, Oxford Bioscience Partners, Skyline Ventures, and SR One

#3. Coherus BioSciences

Amount: $74.3 million

Types: Round of equity and securities ($46.3 million)11; offering of debt, rights and securities ($28 million)12, according to separate Form D Notices of Exempt Offering of Securities, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Dates announced: January 14 (round of equity and securities); July 23 (offering of debt, rights, and securities)

Purpose: Not disclosed

Financing leader: Not disclosed

Additional financing participants: Not disclosed

#2. Revance Therapeutics

Amount: $104 million

Type: Series E venture financing ($33 million) and conversion of convertible debt into Series E preferred stock ($71 million)

Date announced: April 2

Purpose: Support U.S. Phase III trials for RT001 Botulinum Toxin Type A Topical Gel, for the topical delivery of botulinum toxin type A to reduce the severity of crow’s feet wrinkles. RT001 is also currently in Phase II trials for the topical treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and chronic migraine headache. Funding will also support other neuromodulation clinical studies

Financing leader: No leader denoted

Financing participants: Essex Woodlands, NovaQuest Pharma Opportunities Fund, Delphi Ventures, Vivo Ventures, Technology Partners, Shepherd Ventures, Bio*One Capital and Pac-Link Ventures, Palo Alto Fund, “and other leading institutional investors.”

#1. Precision for Medicine

Amount: $150 million

Type: Private equity financing

Date announced: April 2

Purpose: Support acquisitions of expertise and infrastructure, and support development of capabilities designed to deliver lower development costs, speed time to market, and improve success rates of drug candidates. Company provides services and infrastructure to support life science companies as they develop new products

Financing leader: None disclosed

Financing participants: Oak Investment Partners, J.H. Whitney and Co., and Precision co-founders Ethan D. Leder and Mark P. Clein