Wednesday, September 18, 2019

BioTech

We explore which cell therapy, genetic editing and other innovative technologies are democratizing access to and costs of healthcare, and enabling better quality of life. 

Bristol-Myers Partners with Accelerator BioMotiv to Develop New Drugs

test tube close up
Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb will become a limited partner in BioMotiv, a Cleveland-based biotech accelerator, to jointly fund new research into therapies in disease areas with unmet medical needs.  “Partnering with an innovative accelerator like BioMotiv strengthens our ability...

Johns Hopkins to Expand Psychedelics-As-Medicine Research With $17 Million Center

large magic mushroom
Magic mushrooms as treatment for depression, PTSD other issues is getting a major boost at Johns Hopkins University, as researchers continue efforts, sometimes backed by venture capital, to find therapies in alternative, overlooked places. Johns Hopkins, which has been...

Biotech Achilles Raises $120 Million For Trials of Immune System-Harnessing Cancer Drugs

Secondary lung cancer, light micrograph
Achilles Therapeutics’s raising of $120 million to conduct clinical trials of a cancer treatment underscores the promise of therapies that use immune systems to target and eradicate tumor cells. The Achilles therapy uses a unique T-cell, a type of...

Glycomine Lands $33 Million for Trials of Therapy for Rare Genetic Disorder

Genetic Research, A human sample being pipetted into a multi well plate for genetic analysis sitting on DNA sequence
With a goal to stamp out a rare disease that takes the lives of about one-fifth of the children it affects, biotechnology company Glycomine is finding deep-pocketed support from investors including Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk.  The San Carlos,...

Startups Using Agility, Experience, to Move the Needle on Opioid Crisis

From a social network for addicts to robots that test sewage water for traces of drugs, startups and private companies are applying innovative solutions to one of the nation’s most pressing problems -- its opioid epidemic. Over 11.4 million people have misused...

Biotech Startup Luca Mines Women’s Biome Data to Treat UT Infections, Other Health Issues

When Luca Biologics began operations this spring, it was a startup in name only, since its co-founders had been collecting laboratory data on women’s health for nearly two decades.  Armed with that research, Luca is ready to develop biotherapies...

Japan Set to Create Hybrid Mammal for Organ Donation, Unleash Ethical Storm

In a move certain to set medical ethicists’ heads spinning, stem-cell researchers in Japan are launching a study with an aim to create hybrid animals out of rats and mice that will produce human organs for medical transplant, according to media reports.

MEND Aims for Untapped Market: Better Nutrition for Surgery Patients

Life sciences start-up MEND believes better nutrition will help concussion patients before and after surgery, and is seeking to roll out another of its supplement powders to tap that market. The New York company is filing a patent for...

Musk’s Neuralink Promises Innovation But Requires Trust and Proof

While Elon Musk’s brain implant company, Neuralink, has announced plans to begin human patient tests before the end of next year, experts believe proving the technology’s competence may take longer. In an event yesterday, held primarily for recruiting more...

Vasopharm to Sell Drug for Traumatic Brain Injury, An Overlooked Killer

Germany’s Vasopharm raised $10.7 million as it plans to submit data for a clinical trial next year for its product that seeks to treat an issue with far-reaching social implications: traumatic brain injury.  Led by German PE firm HeidelbergCapital,...

BioNTech, Melding AI, Robotics and Biotech, Nets $325 Million for Vaccine Search

German start-up BioNTech raised $325 million in private funding, one of the largest hauls for a European biopharma company, which will help it develop its pipeline for cancer therapies designed to target unique characteristics of each patient’s tumor. The...

The Specter of Theranos Is Haunting Biotech Startups

The final chapter in Elizabeth Holmes’ story as an entrepreneur is set to begin next year with her fraud trial scheduled for summer of 2020. But medical device startups and investors may find the fallout from the crash and burn of her...

Biotech Startup Is Vying to Improve Memory Through Brain Implants

If Nia Therapeutics succeeds, brain chips will enter medical clinics in three years that will  provide memory generation for all patients suffering from brain injuries or disorders. Michael Kahana, a University of Pennsylvania researcher, and Dan Rizzuto, a neuroscientist,...

Russian Scientist Plans Gene-Edited Baby Following Chinese Experiment

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry Russian scientist Denis Rebrikov told Nature he’s planning the same experiment a Chinese scientist did last year that the rest of the world is more...

Whole Biome’s Latest Round Shows Investor Appetite for Probiotics

A handful of biotech companies are pursuing the development of microbiome drugs, and many prominent investors are placing their bets. With $35 million series B funding led by Sequoia Capital, Whole Biome is on track to start selling a capsule...

From Fertility to Fintech, Chiratae Ventures Tackles India’s Big Problems

Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. Chiratae Ventures has made a name for itself in India’s fast-growing venture capital scene with investments focused on innovative consumer tech, health and online retail. But the fund, part of the global IDG Ventures family, has...

Poseida CEO Eric Ostertag on Standing Out in Crowded Biotech Field

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. It’s been an interesting year for Poseida Therapeutics, the human therapeutics company that spun out of Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals in 2015. Poseida in January filed for an IPO, only to have it...

Ancestry’s IPO Talk Shows How Consumer DNA Testing Has Matured

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. Surging popularity of home DNA kits that enable consumers to uncover secrets of their ancestry and health risks has fueled speculation that the industry is set for further disruption this year. Ancestry.com,...

Hefty Funding Rounds for Three Companies Highlight the Potential of AI in Healthcare

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. It was a good day for artificial intelligence companies in the healthcare space. A very good day. Within hours on Wednesday, three firms developing AI-based platforms, PathAI, Bardy Diagnostics and Aidoc, announced separate...

TA Associates Acquires Stake in Indian Fertility Hospital Chain

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Private equity firm TA Associates acquired a minority stake in Indira IVF, a leading fertility hospital chain in India. The Boston-based TA Associates said its investment will go into growing the infertility treatment provider...

Hatteras Venture Plans to Fund Life Science Startups With New Fund

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Venture capital firm Hatteras Venture Partners raised $94 million for its sixth fund, HVP VI, with plans to hit $200 million for investments in life science startups. Hatteras should reach its $200...

CMS Medical Buys 25% of Midatech’s Outstanding Stock

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. CMS Medical Venture Investment has bought a quarter of Midatech Pharma Plc’s stock outstanding, reported Bloomberg on April 8. Both are specialty pharmaceutical companies, with CMS owned by a holding company. The venture...

Christian Bailey: “I realized there wasn’t someone connecting the solutions that were literally sitting on the shelf.”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in America, with melanoma, the deadliest type, seeing a breakneck increase in diagnoses in the last 30 years, according to the American Cancer Society. But...

Elvie Raises $42 Million, Shows Femtech Is Thriving

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Get with it, bro culture. Femtech is thriving and able to generate cash big time. The women’s health company Elvie announced on April 2, that it has raised its third financing round, a $42...

SpringWorks Therapeutics Scores $125M in Series B Financing Through Perceptive Advisors

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company SpringWorks Therapeutics, Inc. moved closer on April 1 to advancing medicines for patients with severe rare diseases and cancer when it closed a $125 million Series B preferred stock financing...

Thermo Fisher Scientific Gets Serious About Gene Therapy with Brammer Bio Bid

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world’s biggest manufacturer of scientific instruments, bid for Brammer Bio LLC on March 24 in a $1.7 billion cash deal. The move would give the diagnostic and testing equipment giant...

Group K Diagnostics: “The most usable diagnostic will likely win out.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. Just two drops of blood is all it takes — that is Sight Diagnostics’ promise to analyze, in a matter of seconds, any anomalies present. This point-of-care blood...

Juliana Garaizar: “There’s going to be a real return on investment [in fertility]…”

Strategic Investors: Profiles of investors with strategies to consider. Juliana Garaizar manages the $25 million Texas Medical Center (TMC) Venture Fund, which provides early stage funding for promising innovators in healthcare and life sciences. She also leads the Consumer Fund for the innovative Portfolia FemTech Fund, a female-led...
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