Follow Me on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monthly recap of funds raised by cell therapy & regenerative medicine companies



We have been tracking funds raised by companies in the cell therapy and regenerative medicine space since the beginning of the year.  

While we try to include all investments, we don't purport to track all grants coming into the sector.  Where we can, we try to catch the more sizeable non-profit, defense, and regional government-type grants as well as the larger  NIH, SBIR or EU-type grants received by companies.

January and February saw a fair number of relative small deals and grants totaling a mere $22M brought in by Pluristem, Cardio3 Bioscience, Athersys, Cytomedix, Neuralstem and Intellicell Biosciences.

March and April saw companies in the sector bring in a little more than $100M each month. We summarized March in our post Cell Therapy Companies Post a Relatively Good Financing Month and April in our post Another > $100M month for companies in the cell therapy space.  With the addition of bluebird bio's Series C (of $30m) described in more detail below, April actually saw more than $200M pumped into the sector.

April also saw two asset-focused deals in the space for undisclosed amounts with Cook Group buying out General Biotechnology and Shire Pharmaceuticals buying the primary assets of cell therapy company Pervasis Biotechnology.  Additionally, Islet Sciences announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary DiaKine Therapeutics, Inc. received grant support totaling approximately $2.1M including $1,831,250 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $250,000 from the Iacocca Foundation.

May and June were again relatively quiet with companies in the sector (Northwest Bio, Living Cell Technologies, and Gamida Cell) bringing in around $16M.  Near the month's end Coronado Biosciences closed an IPO grossng $28.8M

July has seen the sector once again top the $100M threshold (provided we define the sector broadly).  This month has seen the following in-flow of money:

  • Juventas Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine (not cell-based) company, kicked off the month with a $22M series B co-led by Triathlon Medical Venture Partners and New Science Ventures.  All previous venture firms, including Fletcher Spaght Ventures, Reservoir Venture Partners and Early Stage Partners also participated in the round.  Also joining the syndicate were new investors Takeda Ventures, Venture Investors, Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center, Tri-State Growth Fund, Glengary and some angel investors. This round is targeted at moving Juventas through phase II trials of their lead product, JVS-100, in both chronic heart failure and critical limb ischemia.
  • Histogenics then completed a $49M round led by Sofinnova Ventures with participation from additional new investors Split Rock Partners, BioMed Ventures and FinTech GIMV Fund, L.P. Existing investors ProChon Holdings BV, Altima Partners, Foundation Medical Partners, Inflection Point Capital and Boston Millennia Partners also participated in the financing intended to allow the company to complete a phase III trial of its cell therapy, NeoCart, for the regeneration of cartilage in patients suffering from cartilage lesions in the knee. 
  • bluebird bio, a cell-based gene therapy company (using gene-modified cells as the therapeutic product) then did the month's biggest deal with a $60M over-subscribed Series D.  In this round, new investors Deerfield Partners, RA Capital, Ramius Capital Group, and two undisclosed blue chip public investment funds joined existing investors ARCH Venture Partners, Third Rock Ventures, TVM Capital, and Forbion Capital Partners. In addition, Shire plc joined the round as a strategic investor.  This comes hot on the heals of bluebird's receipt of a $4.2M grant in March and a $30M Series C in April.  (Note that we missed these two in our previous blog posts for March and April.)
  • Opexa Therapuetics then brought in a much-needed injection of $4M in a private offering of convertible secured promissory notes and warrants intended to get them started on their phase IIb of the newly-named cell therapy, Tcelna (formerly Toxavin), in multiple sclerosis.
  • Finally Stem Cells Inc finally backed up to the CIRM trough for a grant of up to $20M which it will spend in conjunction with University of California, Irvine in hopefully moving their HuCNS-SC(R) product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) into a clinical trial for cervical spinal cord injury.

All tolled, July saw $155M come into the sector through various means and into companies ranging in maturity from pre-clinical to an ongoing phase 3 trial.

This makes a running total for the year to-date of just over $570M.  

If you are aware of other monies brought into the sector let us know and we'll update our data accordingly. 

No comments: