Financings Of The Fortnight: Cutting-Edge Biomedical Technology Drawing Big Investments
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
Juno Therapeutics and Moderna Therapeutics both leveraged promising technologies to bring home venture rounds of more than $100 million in recent weeks. Plus news on recent financings by Argos Therapeutics, Xencor, Sitari and 5am Ventures.
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The personalized immunotherapy developer partnered with two foreign pharmas but avoided giving away major-market rights to its late-stage program in metastatic renal cell carcinoma. If it completes its proposed $60 million Series E round, its Phase III trial will be funded to completion.
The RNA interference-focused biotech will bring the rest of its pipeline forward with subcutaneous technology now that it has been validated in human studies, but the company will continue to pursue approval of its lead candidate as an infusion product.
In mid-November, in a move that seemingly came from the top, Roche opted to cease all activity in RNA interference technology, preferring to invest in other areas like next-generation antibodies and peptide therapeutics. These days RNAi company Alnylam might have some difficult questions to answer about its business development strategy - only nobody's really asking. That's because even as Roche weighs its options around divestiture of its RNAi license, technology and research sites, the future of Alnylam - and the field of RNAi more generally - is now tied solely to establishing clinical proof-of-concept for siRNA drugs, and eventually getting those drugs to market.