Follow the Money: Clinical Effectiveness Studies in Urinary Incontinence, Sickle Cell Disease, Mental Health

March 31, 2022 | Funding of clinical effectiveness studies related to urinary incontinence, sickle cell disease, mental health, and hypertension management, a new gene therapy for atrial fibrillation, and funding for cloud-based clinical data analytics.

 

$987M: Venture Fund for Life Science Companies

Frazier Life Sciences announced the closing of Frazier Life Sciences XI, L.P., exceeding its target of $800 million and raising more than $987 million in capital commitments in an oversubscribed fundraise. FLS XI is Frazier Life Sciences’ fourth venture fund focused on biopharmaceuticals and represents a continuation of the team’s investment strategy of advancing innovative therapeutics through company creation, early-stage venture (Series A and Series B), and crossover and public investing. FLS XI will be led by Managing Partners Patrick Heron and James Topper and General Partner Dan Estes, who have been with Frazier for 24, 20, and 12 years, respectively. They lead an experienced team composed of over 40 professionals who have a collective 700 years of experience in founding, operating, and investing in companies developing biopharmaceuticals.

$200M: Financing Round for Cloud-Based Precision Medicine Analytics

DNAnexus closed a $200 million financing round to accelerate the global adoption of its technology, translating the world’s complex multi-omics and clinical data into tangible insights and personalized treatments. The round was led by funds managed by Blackstone Growth (BXG), with participation from existing investors Northpond Ventures, GV, Perceptive Advisors, Innovatus Capital Partners, and Foresite Capital. The funding will enable DNAnexus to accelerate their product roadmap and meet the global demand for technologies harnessing the power of biomedical data and driving precision medicine forward.

$173M: Fund for Next-Generation Therapeutics and Healthcare Services Companies

Foresite Capital, a multi-stage healthcare and life sciences investment firm, announced it has raised a $173 million fund to further invest in companies launched by Foresite Labs. Foresite Labs companies will also continue to be supported from Foresite Capital Fund V and its associated opportunities fund. The fund comes on the heels of several major milestones for Foresite Capital including the announcement of its $969 million Fund V and investments in Foresite Labs incubated companies Interline Therapeutics, Alumis, and TenSixteen Bio. Foresite Labs has announced the launch of five companies and is incubating several additional concepts. The $173 million fund was oversubscribed from its initial $150 million target.

$171M: Army Contact for Reviewing Biomedical Research Grants

General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), announced today that it was awarded the Biomedical Research Application Evaluation and Support (BRAES) contract by the U.S. Army. The contract, which has a total value of $171 million with a five-year period of performance, will support the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). Under the BRAES contract, GDIT will provide scientific, software development and program management services to support the receipt and peer review of biomedical research grant applications. The company will facilitate the evaluation of thousands of applications annually, engaging scientists, clinicians, and patient advocates to serve on hundreds of in-person and virtual peer review panels.

$150M: Series C for SaaS, Data Solutions for Life Sciences

ConcertAI has closed a $150 million Series C investment from Sixth Street, a leading global investment firm. From its startup just five years ago, ConcertAI has emerged as one of the fastest-growing companies providing high-value software-as-a-service (SaaS) and data solutions to life sciences and biopharma companies, leading healthcare providers, contract research organizations, medical societies, and regulators in the US, Europe, and Japan. Through a “system of evidence” approach, ConcertAI is advancing data and technologies that underpin new models of clinical development, driven by the pandemic’s acceleration to fully digital and AI-enabled solutions. This includes the industry’s largest, independent oncology research database and patient data composed of clinical, molecular, medical claims, and imaging data.

$100M: Series E for Medical Diagnostics

Visby Medical, a leading medical diagnostic company, announced that it has raised over $100 million in its Series E financing round, with investment led by Ping An Voyager Partners and joined by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). The round also included participation by existing investors including John Doerr, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, ND Capital, Artiman Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, Blue Water Life Science Advisors, and Nissim Capital. This financing will enable Visby Medical to scale production capacity from tens to hundreds of thousands of tests per month, further expand the product menu to include COVID + influenza A/B combination testing, antimicrobial resistance panels, and deliver the power of PCR diagnostics to consumers at home.

$73M: Series B for AI-Powered Single Cell Analysis

Deepcell, a life science company pioneering AI-powered single cell classification and isolation for basic and translational research, has closed its $73 million Series B round of financing. The new funding will allow Deepcell to continue product development and enable early commercial introduction of a new standard for obtaining biological insights from single cell analysis. Deepcell’s platform combines advances in AI, proprietary microfluidics, high resolution optics, and a growing cell atlas with over 1 billion images to analyze and sort cells based on visual features. This allows researchers to characterize and gain new insights from single cells at levels of resolution previously unseen with other “omics” based tools. This round of funding was led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and joined by new investors including Bridger Healthcare, Horizons Ventures, Casdin Capital and lead investors from previous rounds, Andreessen Horowitz and Bow Capital as well as Jeff Dean, Head of Google Brain, and Matt Mcllwain, Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group. This Series B financing brings Deepcell’s overall funding to nearly $100 million since the company was founded in 2017.

$71.5M: Funding for New Clinical Effectiveness Research and Methods Studies

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors approved several slates of funding awards totaling about $71.5 million to support 12 new comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and methods studies. Two of the studies focus on priority topics for PCORI funding—reducing maternal morbidity and mortality and improving care for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, the PCORI Board approved nearly $9 million for three projects to facilitate uptake of PCORI-funded research findings in the treatment of urinary incontinence (UI), care of patients with sickle cell disease, and mental health care. The Board also approved PCORI issuing two new funding opportunities, one focused on health systems strategies to reduce disparities in hypertension management and control and the other on building an evidence base to inform effective strategies for stakeholder engagement in patient-centered CER. Details of these and all other studies and projects approved for funding are on PCORI’s website. With these latest awards, PCORI will have invested more than $3.2 billion to fund patient-centered CER and support other projects designed to enhance CER methods and the infrastructure necessary to conduct CER rigorously and efficiently. In addition to the approval of new award slates, the Board also approved PCORI’s development of two Targeted PCORI Funding Announcements to be released in May. One funding announcement will offer up to $50 million to fund studies comparing the effectiveness of strategies that health systems can take to reduce disparities in hypertension management and control. Another opportunity will offer up to $36 million to fund research that advances the science of engagement—the systematic study of methods for and outcomes of engagement of patients and diverse stakeholders as partners in the research process to improve the quality of patient-centered CER. Funded awards will address significant evidence gaps, such as which engagement techniques are most effective among historically underrepresented populations and how to best define or measure engagement.

$60M: Series B for Graphene-Based Electronics

Paragraf has closed its $60m Series B round, led by New Science Ventures, a US deep tech investor. The round included current investors Parkwalk, Amadeus Capital Partners, IQ Capital, and Molten Ventures, as well as new investors British Patient Capital through its Future Fund: Breakthrough and US based, In-Q-Tel. The funding will help the company scale the business as it continues its international growth by increasing its sales and technical prowess in the UK, US, EU, and Asia, boosting its R&D capabilities to advance its technology and product development capacity, and expanding its manufacturing infrastructure.

$33M: Series B for AI-Powered Spatial Biology

Nucleai, an AI-powered spatial biology company with a mission to transform drug development and clinical treatment decisions by unlocking the power of pathology data, closed a $33 million Series B financing round, jointly led by Section 32 and Sanofi Ventures. Andy Harrison, Managing Partner at Section 32, and Cris De Luca, Global Head, Digital Investments at Sanofi Ventures, will join Nucleai’s Board of Directors. Section 32 Managing Partner Michael Pellini, MD, will join Nucleai’s Board as an observer. Nucleai plans to use the new funding to further develop its platform and expand its commercial footprint across biopharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs), who are applying its technology throughout translational research, clinical trials, and novel applications for drug discovery. Existing investors, including Debiopharm, Fosun RZ Capital, Vertex Ventures, and Grove Ventures, participated in this round. This Series B financing brings Nucleai’s overall funding to close to $50 million since the company was founded four years ago.

$26M: Investment in Real-Time Supply Chain Operations

Cloudleaf, a real-time supply chain operations platform, announced a strategic company rebrand to ParkourSC. As the first order of business under its new name, ParkourSC is announcing the closing of a $26 million investment led by Cota Capital and including industry luminaries such as John Chambers, former Executive Chairman and CEO of Cisco and current founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures. The latest investment in the business was led by JC2 Ventures, Cota Capital, and Sigmas Group, with participation from previous investors BOLD Capital Partners, Celesta Capital (previously WRVI Capital), and Intel Capital. The funds will support ParkourSC’s continued revenue growth; leadership additions; engineering team expansion in the U.S., India, and other regions; and an extension of the GTM footprint into EMEA. 

$22M: Sale of Equity for Human Immune Protein Research

BioAegis Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage, private company developing therapies for inflammatory, infectious, and degenerative diseases based on a portfolio built around gelsolin technology, announces the completion of a $22 million sale of equity in a non-brokered transaction. Gelsolin is a highly conserved abundant human protein in healthy individuals. As a master regulator of immune function, its role is to keep inflammation localized to the site of injury and to boost the body’s ability to clear pathogens. This latest round of funding will accelerate the expansion of BioAegis’ pipeline with new indications as the Company pursues its US Phase 2 program in severe pneumonia. The funds will also be used to further scale up manufacturing to support the development of secondary indications.

$20M: Seed Financing for ML-Based Discovery of New Treatments for Drug-Resistant Infections

ArrePath, an anti-infective drug discovery company addressing the global health challenge of drug resistant infections, announced that it has raised $20 million in seed financing to advance its proprietary, machine learning (ML)-based platform for the discovery of new classes of anti-infectives to overcome antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Insight Partners, and Innospark Ventures co-led the financing, which also included Viva BioInnovator, Arimed Capital, PTX Capital, and Nor’easter Ventures. ArrePath also announced that Dr. Lloyd Payne has been named President and CEO. Dr. Payne, who serves on the Novo REPAIR Impact Fund Scientific Selection Board and the AMR Action Fund Scientific Advisory Board, brings more than 25 years of scientific and business leadership in the discovery and development of anti-infectives.

$15M: Series A for 3D Printing Technology

OPT Industries, the manufacturing technology startup behind the InstaSwab high-efficacy medical applicator, announced it has raised $15 million in Series A financing led by global science- and technology-driven venture capital firm Northpond Ventures with participation from existing investors Crosslink Capital and the MIT-affiliated E14 Fund. OPT's proprietary additive manufacturing system—built upon over seven years of R&D in 3D printing and computational fabrication at MIT—enables the 3D printing of continuous materials and products at unlimited lengths with micron-level precision. At the heart of the system is RAMP, OPT's flagship technology and the world's first roll-to-roll 3D printing platform.

$14M: Series A Completion for Brain Health

Altoida, the precision neurology company pioneering non-invasive brain health measurement and neurological disease diagnostics with AI and augmented reality (AR), has raised an additional $14 million for its Series A round with new and existing investors. The investment was co-led by M Ventures (the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany) and Whitecap Venture Partners. New investors HonorHealth and BTOV participated in the round with existing investors Alpana Ventures, Hikma Ventures, Fyrfly, and VI Partners, bringing the total Series A funds raised to $20.3 million. Altoida’s mission is to set a new gold standard in brain health. The company’s precision neurology platform is designed to accelerate and improve drug development, research, and care for people with neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s, using data captured with a standard smartphone or tablet. Globally, Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) affect 47 million people, with cases staggeringly expected to double in the next 20 years. The funds will be used to further build Altoida’s medical, scientific, engineering, and commercial teams to pursue novel research, accelerate product development, and drive commercialization of its platform across US and global markets. The funds will also be used to validate its platform’s applications across additional neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Schizophrenia, and to expand the company’s US and global IP and regulatory portfolios.

$9.64M: Funding for Nano-Scale Synthetic Antibodies

MIP Diagnostics, a UK nanotechnology business has secured increased investment of its previous round of funding, totalling £7.3M. The joint investment comes from Mercia Asset Management, Calculus Capital, Downing Ventures and BGF, along with an original angel investor. The business has developed and patented a novel design and development process to make nanoMIPs—nano-scale molecularly imprinted polymers that act as synthetic antibodies that are ideally positioned for use in diagnostic devices such as biosensors and other next generation IVD tests.

$7M: Series B for 3D Genomics

Arima Genomics, Inc., a leader in 3D genomics, announced the close of its $7 million Series B Preferred Stock financing round. New investors Genetron Health, Tech Coast Angels, Ladder Ventures, and Hiaqua Investments were joined by existing investors Agilent Technologies, Co-win Ventures, Vectr Ventures, and Berkeley Catalyst Fund in partnering with the company to support its long-term growth and commercial expansion. Arima Genomics’ technologies provide three-dimensional information about the genome. The funds will support an acceleration of innovation to expand the company’s product portfolio and bioinformatics capabilities to serve a broader spectrum of scientific and translational medicine applications. The funds will also be used to scale the organization to enhance operational and commercial capacity worldwide.

$5.2M: Cash Purchase for Expanded COVID-19 Testing

G Medical Tests and Services, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of G Medical Innovations Holdings Ltd., announced that it has expanded its COVID-19 testing services to more than 150+ additional locations across California. The new testing sites include theme parks, schools, commercial properties, office complexes, public buildings, and mobile facilities. G Medical acquired the business conducting testing at the locations for a total of $5.2 million in cash, to be paid out in milestones. The new sites will enable processing of more than 200,000 COVID-19 PCR and rapid antigen/flu tests, with anticipated revenues of $20 million over the next several months and longer-term growth expected via direct-to-consumer health solutions. The company also reports it has repaid $2.5 million in cash on a $5 million convertible loan issued by Lind Partners.

$2.82M: Seed Funding for Cell Assay Platform

Semarion Ltd has closed a £2.14 million GBP seed funding round. The investment round was led by Parkwalk Advisors, with the University of Cambridge Seed Funds, Martlet Capital, and angel investors also contributing to the fundraise. The funding will support the commercial development of Semarion’s SemaCyte cell assaying platform. SemaCytes are a novel class of cell carrier materials created using microchip fabrication technologies, nanomagnetism, and smart materials. These assaying microcarriers are flat and function as ultra-miniaturized, magnetically steerable wells that carry small colonies of adherent cells into suspension to improve cell-based experiments. The funding will also enable further expansion of the team, as Semarion recruits scientists and engineers and establishes additional research partnerships with biopharma partners for bespoke solutions to cell screening challenges.

$2.5M: Phase 2 SBIR for Higher Order Protein Structural Analysis

GenNext Technologies, Inc., a growth-stage company providing biopharmaceutical drug discovery systems and services, announced the receipt of a two-year Phase II SBIR grant for a project titled “In-Cell Automated Flash Oxidation (IC-AutoFox) Protein Footprinting System.” The grant was awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Systems (NIGMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The purpose of the grant is to extend GenNext’s breakthrough hydroxyl radical protein footprinting (HRPF) technology and methods to studies involving living cells. This award of $2.5 million brings total funding from NIGMS for the GenNext platform to $9.5 million. The flash oxidation (Fox) protein footprinting system is currently being used by the biopharmaceutical industry to perform higher order structure (HOS) analysis of proteins with an emphasis on biologic therapeutics, the most rapidly growing segment in this area. The Fox system helps researchers develop safer and more effective biotherapeutics by revealing important information about protein interactions and structural changes. With the support of this NIGMS grant, GenNext can now leverage its proprietary technology to develop a fully automated platform that will study drug-induced HOS structure changes within living cells, with its first system designed for in vivo protein footprinting studies.

$1.6M: SBIR Phase 2 for Atrial Fibrillation Gene Therapy

Inomagen Therapeutics (formerly Rhythm Therapeutics) announced approval of the company’s Phase 2 Pre-Clinical segment—NIH SBIR Fast Track Award totaling $1,636,504. Proceeds from the award will be utilized to continue advancement of the company’s novel gene therapy for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF), the world’s most common arrythmia. Future milestones to be achieved under the Phase 2 award include determining the optimal doses of gene attenuating electrical and structural remodeling in large animal models of AF. Inomagen’s gene therapy targets the molecular mechanisms causing AF and has generated compelling proof-of-concept in large animal models. As a result, Inomagen’s gene therapy has the potential to supplant ablation, a $7 billion industry growing at 11.8% per year as the standard of care.

$1M: SBIR Phase 2 for AI-Enhanced Mail Screening

RaySecur, a security imaging company with the world’s first DHS Safety Act-designated T-ray desktop scanner for mail and package threat detection, has been awarded a Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) for $1 million to conduct research and development (R&D) on its 4D-AI threat detection software platform for MailSecur scanners. RaySecur will use these funds to further develop and expand its AI threat detection software for T-ray image processing in the MailSecur mail scanner. The AI platform ingests full-motion concealed T-ray mail imaging data combined with contextual information, like barcode tracking and optical character recognition, to help users better understand an item’s potential risk and enhance threat detection.

Undisclosed Funding for Drug Discovery Services

Reaction Biology, a provider of drug discovery services, announced the closing of a significant investment from Cobepa, an international private equity firm, to fuel the Company's continued growth and service line expansion. The Company also announced the appointment of John H. Johnson to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Board Director of Reaction Biology, effective immediately. Golub Capital provided financing for the transaction. 

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