VCs Invest $406M in 61 SD Startups; TP Therapeutics Leads Q2 Deals

TP Therapeutics, which raised $45 million in May to advance its work on drug-resistant cancers, raised the most venture capital in San Diego County during the three months that ended June 30, according to regional data released today.

Altogether, venture firms invested a total of $406.4 million in San Diego companies during the second quarter, according to data from the Venture Monitor report from Seattle-based PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association. That was down slightly from the $411.2 million that venture firms invested in San Diego startups during the first quarter, although the number of deals in the second quarter, 61, marked a 45 percent jump from the 42 investments that VCs made in San Diego during the first quarter.

San Diego’s sharply higher deal count was at odds with the nationwide trend in second-quarter venture funding. As Xconomy’s Jeff Engel reports, the nationwide count of 1,958 investments was on par with the previous quarter, but the $21.78 billion invested was 36 percent higher.

“There’s a ton of capital out there,” said PitchBook analyst Nizar Tarhuni, and a number of mega-financings drove the U.S. investment totals higher. He said 34 deals were at least $100 million each, and the top 10 deals alone accounted for $4.3 billion in deal value, accounting for almost 20 percent of all dollars invested during the quarter.

San Diego’s top 10 deals accounted for slightly more than $239.5 million, or almost 59 percent of the $406.4 million invested in the region. Put another way, almost $167 million went into 51 companies in San Diego.

The $45 million that TP Therapeutics raised in a Series C round on May 17th brings total funding for the biotech to more than $64 million. The company was co-founded almost four years ago by J. Jean Cui, who led development of Pfizer’s $560 million anti-cancer drug crizotinib (Xalkori). The clinical-stage biopharma says it is using its expertise in structure-based drug design to develop precision medicines for cancer and other diseases.

The round was co-led by Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV), OrbiMed Advisors, and SR One, and joined by existing investors Cormorant Asset Management and SV Tech Ventures.

San Diego’s Epic Sciences landed the second-biggest funding deal of the quarter, raising $40 million to advance its portfolio of diagnostic tests that assess how well a cancer patient is responding to specific anti-cancer drug regimens.

AltheaDx raised $27 million in April to expand its sales force and scale up marketing efforts

for its molecular diagnostics technology, which is intended to help doctors, managed care organizations, and other healthcare entities provide precision medical treatments for patients.

The top 10 venture deals for the quarter, based on PitchBook data, are:

TP Therapeutics$45MOncology, Life SciencesSan Diego
Epic Sciences$40MLife Sciences, OncologySan Diego
AltheaDx$27MOncology, Life SciencesSan Diego$25MInternet, Life SciencesSolana Beach
Edico Genome$22MMedical DevicesSan Diego
Eton Pharmaceuticals$21MDrug DiscoverySan Diego
Viracta Therapeutics$18MLife Sciences, OncologySan Diego
Forge Therapeutics$15MLife SciencesSan Diego
Alastin Skincare$15MHealth and WellnessCarlsbad
TruMed Systems$13MHealth and WellnessSan Diego



Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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