Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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EcoR1 and Casdin/Corvex took their second and third special purpose acquisition corporations public. Also, Ionis sold notes to buy back older notes and fund operations as it cut 70% of Akcea’s staff. In venture capital, ValenzaBio raised $70m and RA boosted Metagenomi’s series A to $75m.
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.
Five funds raised more than $1bn to back biotech firms; Arcus leads recent VC rounds with $107m GV-backed Series C; Celgene, Valeant sell notes to retire debt; and Alnylam cashes in on investor goodwill.
The speed with which TG Therapeutics burst on the scene, along with the impressive potency and safety of its novel combinations of cancer drugs, has perhaps blinded observers to the unique business model that has carried it this far.