Finance Watch: Former GSK CEO Witty, R&D Head Slaoui Join VC Firms
Medicxi's new $300m venture fund will benefit from the expertise of former GSK R&D leader Moncef Slaoui, while ex-CEO Witty will inform portfolio strategy at Hatteras. Also, Kaleido hires past Cubist CEO and brings VC funding to $65m, while Gilead sells $3bn in debt to fund Kite deal.
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Private Company Edition: The pre-J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference financing news deluge during the first week of 2021 included several significant venture capital deals, including a $226m series B round for Affinivax, Ikena’s $120m series B round and an $88m series A round for Aro.
President Trump's Operation Warp Speed initiative aims to have a COVID-19 vaccine available by the end of the year; Slaoui, who helped get the first cervical cancer vaccine to market and win European approval of the first malaria vaccine while at GlaxoSmithKline, is tasked with coordinating the government's contributions to coronavirus vaccine effort and achieving what would be twin scientific and manufacturing miracles.
Public Company Edition: Nine more biopharma companies launched IPOs in the US in July, bringing the 2018 total to 45 first-time offerings – three more than in all of 2017. Bluebird's $632.5m offering leads recent follow-on public offerings.