Life Science Start-Ups: Venture Funding, May 2014
This article was originally published in Start Up
Derived from Strategic Transactions, Informa’s premium source for tracking life sciences deal activity, the Recent Financings Of Private Companies column provides a comprehensive monthly review of emerging life science companies that have received venture funding, including companies within the In Vitro Diagnostics, Medical Devices, and Pharmaceuticals sectors. This month’s column covers deals announced March through April 2014.
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ARCH invests $150m in the Scangos-led Vir Biotechnology; Flagship recruits ex-Novartis executive Epstein; Versant closes a new $400m fund; and $601.1m in 11 other recent VC funding rounds.
The height of the summer saw eight $1bn plus deals penned, including those by Pfizer and Roche.
Three $1B+ alliances were penned in July. Topping the list was a potential $2M deal between Skyhawk Therapeutics and Sanofi for the development of novel small molecules that modulate RNA splicing for challenging oncology and immunology targets. Skyhawk will grant Sanofi exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights to candidates discovered and developed under the collaboration. Skyhawk receives $54M up front and is also eligible to receive over $2B in potential milestone payments, as well as potential royalties on future sales. In the top July M&A by deal value, SD Biosensor and a consortium formed with private equity firm SJL Partners agreed to acquire US-based in vitro diagnostics company Meridian Bioscience in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.53B. Founded in 1976, Meridian is a fully integrated life science company that manufactures, markets, and distributes a broad range of diagnostic test kits, purified reagents, and biopharmaceutical enabling technologies. The company has gained expertise through numerous acquisitions over the years including point-of-care testing firm Magellan Biosciences, GenePOC (develops POC molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases), and gastrointestinal diagnostics maker Exalenz Bioscience. Financing reached $3.97bn in biopharma, $851m in device, and $318m in diagnostics.