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February 12, 2013

Top 10 VC & Biopharma Equity Deals of 2012

Which companies raised the most funds last year?

Top 10 VC & Biopharma Equity Deals of 2012

Last year, a lot of companies made equity investments for funds; these were the 10 biggest. [© Bobby4237 - Fotolia.com]

  • As we talked about in our list of the top 20 venture capital firms, VC firms can help provide funds for companies they think have high potential in exchange for equity in the companies in which they’re investing. Last year, a lot of companies made equity investments for funds—which ones were biggest?

    Below is a list of the top 10 equity investment deals in biopharma for all of 2012, as recorded by MoneyTree Report, produced by PwC and National Venture Capital Association based on data from Thomson Reuters, and released earlier this month. Listings include a description of the equity involved, participating investment firms, and purpose stated by the company for its raising of funds. Footnotes include names of participating firms and financing details not listed by MoneyTree Report.

  • #10. Celladon

    Equity invested: $52.19 million1

    Type of equity: Undisclosed

    Participating firms: Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, GBS Venture Partners, H & Q Healthcare Investors, Hambrecht & Quist Capital Management, Johnson & Johnson Development Corp., Life Sciences Partners, Lundbeckfond Ventures, MPM Capital, Novartis Venture Funds, Pfizer Venture Investments, Venrock Associates, and an undisclosed investor

    Purpose: Advance lead investigational product candidate Mydicar® for heart failure.

  • #9. SFJ Pharmaceuticals

    Equity invested: $56.5 million2

    Type of equity: Venture equity; rounds undisclosed

    Participating firms: Clarus Ventures, and an undisclosed investor

    Purpose: Deploy new business model for clinical development and registration of pharmaceutical products for Japan and other Asian markets.

  • #8. TESARO

    Equity invested: $58.3 million3

    Type of equity: Series B preferred stock

    Participating firms: InterWest Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, Pappas Ventures, T. Rowe Price Threshold Partnerships, and an undisclosed investor

    Purpose: Funding its operating plan through at least January 1, 2013, together with the Company's existing cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2011, which were listed as $39.825 million in Tesaro’s Form S-1 registration statement for its initial public offering of common stock, filed March 23, 2012, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • #7. bluebird bio (formerly Genetix Pharmaceuticals)

    Equity invested: $60 million

    Type of equity: Series D financing

    Participating firms: ARCH Venture Partners, Forbion Capital Partners, RA Capital Management, Third Rock Ventures, TVM Capital, and two undisclosed investors4

    Purpose: Advance clinical programs in severe genetic disorders including childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (CCALD), beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease. Using proceeds from this financing plus promising early clinical proof-of-concept results, bluebird bio plans to initiate a Phase II/III clinical study in CCALD in both the U.S. and Europe this year, as well as a second U.S.-based Phase I/II study in betathalassemia. The company also said it expects to launch a more extensive sickle cell disease development program and invest in manufacturing, clinical, and commercial infrastructure to support the upcoming clinical trials and precommercial launch activities.

  • #6. Relypsa

    Equity invested: $65 million5

    Type of equity: Series C preferred stock financing

    Participating firms: 5AM Ventures, Delphi Ventures, Mediphase Venture Partners, New Leaf Venture Partners, OrbiMed Advisors, Sibling Capital, Sprout Group

    Purpose: Fund late-stage development, submission of a new drug application, and commercial planning for patiromer (RLY5016), the company’s high capacity nonabsorbed oral potassium binder under development for hyperkalemia in patients with chronic kidney disease. Relypsa plans to initiate patient enrollment in a Phase III pivotal clinical trial of patiromer during the first quarter of this year, under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) agreement with FDA, announced January 2. Top-line results are expected to be reported in Q4 2013.

  • #5. Aragon Pharmaceuticals

    Equity invested: $87.8 million6

    Type of equity: Series C and Series D financings

    Participating firms: Aisling Capital, The Column Group, OrbiMed Advisors, Topspin Partners, venBio Partners, and an undisclosed investor

    Purpose: Both financings designed to advance the company's pipeline of therapies targeting hormone-driven cancers, including ARN-509 for castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), for which Phase II results have been announced.

  • #4. Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals

    Equity invested: $90.1 million7

    Type of equity: Series B round included

    Participating firms: BlackRock Private Equity Partners, Fidelity Biosciences, HealthCap Partners, Pappas Ventures, TPG Growth, and an undisclosed investor

    Purpose: Advance development of lead clinical-stage programs—UX001, a substrate replacement therapy for hereditary inclusion body myopathy now in a Phase II clinical study, with results anticipated later this year; and UX003, a recombinant enzyme replacement therapy for mucopolysaccharidosis type 7, set to enter a Phase I/II clinical study this year—and other undisclosed programs.

  • #3. Intrexon

    Equity invested: $100 million

    Type of equity: Series E preferred round

    Participating firms: Sandbox Industries, Third Security8

    Purpose: Provide working capital for commercial divisions and expansion of UltraVector® tech platform, the underying architecture and construction methodology for the company’s complex transgenes. UltraVector is the backbone of Intrexon’s activities in human healthcare, animal science, agricultural biotech, and industrial products.

  • #2. Elevance Renewable Sciences

    Equity invested: $104.36 million

    Type of equity: Series E round

    Participating firms: Total Energy Ventures International, and an undisclosed investor9

    Purpose: Support strategic growth plans including continued development of biorefineries in Asia and North and South America.

  • #1. Intarcia Therapeutics

    Equity invested: $155.9 million10

    Type of equity: Preferred stock private placement, and private debt placement

    Participating Firms: Alta Partners, Farallon Capital Management, New Enterprise Associates, New Leaf Venture Partners, Venrock, and two undisclosed investors

    Purpose: Launch global Phase III program with partner Quintiles in Q1 2013 for lead product candidate ITCA 650 (continuous subcutaneous delivery of exenatide), which if approved would be the first and only once-yearly, injection-free GLP-1 therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

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