After Strong 2017, Biotechs & Medtechs Start ’18 with Venture, IPO News

Xconomy National — 

Life science companies are continuing to raise cash, keeping pace with the financing trends of recent years.

Fourth quarter figures are still being tallied but in the third quarter, 171 companies raised $3.2 billion, according to the Healthcare Moneytree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights. Those totals compare to 166 companies that raised $3.3 billion in the same period in 2016. Two years ago, the Moneytree report listed $3 billion raised from 210 deals in the third quarter.

On the first business day of 2018, several companies announced new rounds of financing to support new products coming to market or clinical testing of experimental drugs. We’ll round them up here, and we’ll include four clinical-stage biotech companies that filed plans for initial public stock offerings in the waning days of 2017.


—On the heels of FDA clearance last fall for its so-called digital therapeutic Reset, a mobile app to treat substance abuse disorders, Pear Therapeutics, which operates from Boston and San Francisco, today announced a $50M Series B round to bring Reset to the market and finance research in other diseases.

—Foresite Capital and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) teamed up to lead a $58 million Series C investment in DNANexus. The Mountain View, CA, company provides cloud-based software for the genomics industry.

—Centrexion Therapeutics of Boston raised $67 million in a Series D round that the company says will finance late-stage clinical testing of its lead non-opioid drug as a treatment for knee pain from osteoarthritis.

—NexImmune, of Gaithersburg, MD, raised $23 million in a Series A round to begin clinical testing of its immunotherapy in patients with blood cancers.


—Cue Biopharma (NASDAQ: CUE) last week completed an IPO that it filed in early December, raising $66.2 million. The Cambridge, MA-based company is developing what it calls “selective immunotherapies” that could have fewer side effects.

—Menlo Therapeutics filed for an IPO last Thursday with a preliminary $97 million target. The Redwood City, CA-based firm plans to apply the proceeds toward Phase 2 studies of serlopitant, an experimental treatment for the itching that comes with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Menlo is also evaluating the drug as a potential treatment for chronic cough.

—ResTORbio filed IPO documents last Friday. The Boston company set a preliminary target of $85 million, which it plans to use for mid-stage studies of RTB101, an experimental treatment for respiratory tract infections.

—Cambridge-based Solid Bio also filed for an IPO last Friday, proposing a $100 million stock offering that would pay for clinical testing of SGT-001, a potential treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

—Cancer immunotherapy developer ARMO Biosciences filed paperwork for an IPO that could raise $86 million. The Redwood City company’s lead drug AM0010 is in late-stage studies to treat cancers of the pancreas and the lung.

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