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October 07, 2013

Young Companies in the Money: 25 Firms to Watch

Find out which biopharma companies are raking in the dough.

Young Companies in the Money: 25 Firms to Watch

Check out which firms are up and coming in biotech and pharma. [© Carlo Toffolo - Fotolia.com]

  • 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

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