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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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.
Emerging Company Profile: This is the first human study for lead product candidate THOR-707 and for the company's Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform, starting with a recombinant IL-2 that's being tested in solid tumors.
Not every drug developer can go public, but biopharma IPOs are launching in multiple markets, including Moderna's prospective $500m US offering and Innovent's $421m Hong Kong IPO. Also, Sarepta prices a $500m FOPO and Omeros sells $210m in notes.