Magnolia Neurosciences Corporation
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As a freshman interested in neurobiology at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, Virginie Buggia-Prevot knocked on the lab door of an esteemed neurosurgeon and professor conducting research on deep brain stimulation. She was hooked; following a PhD in neurobiology and a post doc at the University of Chicago, Buggia-Prevot joined MD Anderson’s Neurodegeneration Consortium, managing strategic alliances and working on drug discovery. In November, she joined Valo as director of neurology discovery, an opportunity to bring new research in neurodegeneration to bear on patients’ lives.
While Forbion's new €360m venture capital fund and other investors have emerged to fund private and public companies, BARDA and other US agencies have been active supporters of biopharma firms in recent weeks. Also, KSQ grabs $80m in VC cash and VelosBios brings in $50m.
New $150m Series C round brings Orchard's tally to nearly $300m, just four months after the start-up acquired a portfolio of gene therapy candidates from GSK and eight months after a $110m round. Gritstone closed a Series C then announced an IPO filing, plus more late-summer VC rounds.
The summer slowdown finally seems to have hit the US biopharma IPO market; after a hot July with nine offerings, there were just two during the first half of August. Also, Zogenix leads recent follow-ons with a $312m offering; venture capital planted in UK biotechs – Orchard and Blueberry.