Venture Funding Deals: BioNTech's Big Money Leads January Financings
BioNTech's $270m Series A round was the biggest start-up financing in January, but sizeable rounds also were raised by Centrexion ($67m), Eureka ($60m) and Pandion ($58m).
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Icelandic clinical stage biotech Oculis closes CHF20M ($20.3m) series B financing to advance development of its Phase IIb topical DME drug candidate, relocate to Switzerland and beef up its management team.
German biotech BioNTech has raised $270m in a Series A round as it seeks to broaden its investor base and finance its ambition to be a global, fully integrated pharmaceutical company (FIPCO). In the past nine years the company has secured $950m – including a $180m seed financing in 2008, various research grants ($50m), and upfront and near-term milestone payments from partners ($450m).
In the top August alliance by deal value, Precision BioSciences licensed Imugene global rights to azercabtagene zapreleucel (azer-cel), its lead allogeneic anti-CD19 CAR T candidate for cancer. Imugene will assume ongoing clinical execution for azer-cel in the large B-cell lymphoma population who have relapsed following autologous CAR T treatment. The license also includes an option to develop up to three other cancer research programs in the future. Precision will receive $21m up front and is eligible for $8m upon successful completion of the Phase Ib dosing in the CAR T relapsed LBCL patient population. For azer-cel, Precision is eligible to receive up to $198m in additional milestone payments plus royalties. For each additional research program selected by Imugene, Precision is eligible for up to $145m in milestone payments and tiered royalties on net sales.