Finance Watch: Lots Of Money, Big And Small, Flowing Into Drug Development
Big venture capital bets continue in biopharma, including Foresite's new $668m fund and Merck's $125m investment in Moderna, but small VC rounds could be making a comeback. In public company financings, Aslan and Evelo launched in the US, while Ascletis is testing Hong Kong’s IPO market.
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Private Company Edition: Venture capital mega-rounds continue a brisk pace with machine learning-based drug discovery firm insitro and gene therapy developer Graphite Bio among recent $100m-plus deals. Also, Argobio raised €50m to fund five start-ups in Europe.
Private Company Edition: Neogene, Escient, ESCAPE, Resolution and Attralus raised a combined $320m in venture capital rounds. Also, large Recursion round could double the size of its pipeline, Korro Bio raised $91.5m and Flagship launched Generate Biomedicines.
The deal worth up to $576m gives Merck what Calporta founding investor Avalon believes is the most advanced program targeting TRPML1, a lysosomal ion channel implicated in neurodegenerative diseases when the lysosome stops clearing debris from cells.