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Oct 7, 2013

Young Companies in the Money: 25 Firms to Watch

Find out which biopharma companies are raking in the dough.

Young Companies in the Money: 25 Firms to Watch

Check out which firms are up and coming in biotech and pharma. [© Carlo Toffolo - Fotolia.com]

  • #13. Otonomy

    Amount: $45.9 million

    Type: Series C venture financing

    Date announced: September 4

    Purpose: Fund late-stage clinical trials for OTO-201 and OTO-104, development work to advance a third program to clinical trials and general corporate purposes. OTO-201 is an antibiotic that has recently completed a Phase Ib clinical trial in pediatric patients with middle ear effusion at the time of tympanostomy tube placement surgery. OTO-104 is a steroid that has completed a Phase Ib clinical trial in Meniere's disease patients

    Financing leader: OrbiMed Advisors (existing investor)

    Additional financing participants: Aperture Venture Partners and Osage University Partners (both new investors); Avalon Ventures, Domain Associates, Novo Ventures, RiverVest Venture Partners, and TPG Biotech (existing investors)

  • #12. Jounce Therapeutics

    Amount: $47 million

    Type: Series A venture financing

    Date announced: February 14

    Purpose: Build roster of products and rapidly advance lead programs to the clinic

    Financing leader: Third Rock Ventures

    Additional financing participants: None disclosed

  • #11. Newbridge Pharmaceuticals

    Amount: $48 million

    Type: Series C venture financing

    Date announced: May 29

    Purpose: Expand its commercial and manufacturing operations in the Africa, Middle East, and Turkey territories

    Financing leader: Elan ($40 million investment)

    Additional financing participants: Not specified in announcement; company’s existing investors include Burrill & Co. and the Kuwait Investment Authority’s Kuwait Life Sciences Co.

  • #10. NGM Biopharmaceuticals

    Amount: $50 million6

    Type: Series C venture financing

    Date announced: July 18

    Purpose: Support advancing its portfolio of potential therapeutics for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and other cardiometabolic diseases

    Financing leader: No leader denoted

    Additional financing participants: New investors that included Topspin Fund, and an investment group comprised of James Simons, Leo A. Guthart, Andy Gyenes, and Steven Winick; existing investors that included the Column Group, Prospect Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, and Tichenor Ventures

  • #9. Auris Medical

    Amount: $52.2 million (CHF 47.1 million)4

    Type: Series C venture financing

    Date announced: April 16

    Purpose: Advance two clinical-stage drug candidates, AM-101 for the treatment of acute tinnitus and AM-111 for the treatment of acute inner ear hearing loss, through Phase III studies and ultimately to market launch.

    Financing leader: No leader denoted

    Financing participants: Sofinnova Ventures and Sofinnova Partners

  • #8. Natera

    Amount: $54.6 million

    Type: Series E venture financing

    Date announced: May 1

    Purposes: Support the expansion and continued global rollout of Natera's noninvasive prenatal test, Panorama™; support the expansion of the company’s lab and workforce to meet “rapidly” increasing demand

    Financing leaders: OrbiMed Advisors and Harmony Partners, both new lead investors

    Additional financing participants: All existing investors including Claremont Creek Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Founders Fund, and Sequoia Capital, “as well as other undisclosed new investors”

  • #7. Symphogen

    Amount: $55.7 million (€41 million)4

    Type: Series E private equity round expansion7

    Date announced: May 2

    Purpose: Advance and expand oncology product pipeline of antibody mixture products addressing multiple targets in a single drug product

    Financing leaders: Novo A/S and PKA (investments each of €20 million [$27.2 million])4

    Additional financing participants: None

  • #6. aTyr Pharma

    Amount: $59 million

    Types: Series D financing, consisting of venture funding ($49 million) and venture debt ($10 million)8

    Date announced: July 29

    Purpose: Support clinical development of aTyr's first therapeutic program to treat rare autoimmune diseases, and build a rare disease pipeline in immune disorders.

    Financing leader, venture financing: Undisclosed “premier, global public investment fund”

    Additional venture financing participants: Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners, Domain Associates, and Polaris Partners (all existing investors)

  • #4. (tie) Trevena

    Amount: $60 million

    Type: Series C venture financing

    Date announced: May 9

    Purpose: Support planned Phase IIb clinical trial of acute heart failure candidate TRV027, the subject of a related development collaboration with Forest Laboratories9

    Financing leader: Forest Laboratories ($30 million investment)10

    Additional financing participants: Alta Partners, HealthCare Ventures, NEA, Polaris, and Yasuda Enterprise Development Company, all existing investors

  • #4. (tie) Dicerna Pharmaceuticals

    Amount: $60 million

    Type: Series C venture financing

    Date announced: August 1

    Purpose: Advance two or more programs into the clinic and progress other preclinical programs. The company also plans to use the proceeds to continue to develop drug delivery systems, which combine Dicerna’s DsiRNA molecules with targeting moieties allowing for direct delivery into specific cells of interest

    Financing leader: RA Capital (new investor)

    Additional financing participants: Brookside Capital, Deerfield, and Omega Funds (all new investors); and all five of Dicerna’s existing institutional investors: Abingworth, Domain Associates, Oxford Bioscience Partners, Skyline Ventures, and SR One

  • #3. Coherus BioSciences

    Amount: $74.3 million

    Types: Round of equity and securities ($46.3 million)11; offering of debt, rights and securities ($28 million)12, according to separate Form D Notices of Exempt Offering of Securities, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

    Dates announced: January 14 (round of equity and securities); July 23 (offering of debt, rights, and securities)

    Purpose: Not disclosed

    Financing leader: Not disclosed

    Additional financing participants: Not disclosed

  • #2. Revance Therapeutics

    Amount: $104 million

    Type: Series E venture financing ($33 million) and conversion of convertible debt into Series E preferred stock ($71 million)

    Date announced: April 2

    Purpose: Support U.S. Phase III trials for RT001 Botulinum Toxin Type A Topical Gel, for the topical delivery of botulinum toxin type A to reduce the severity of crow’s feet wrinkles. RT001 is also currently in Phase II trials for the topical treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and chronic migraine headache. Funding will also support other neuromodulation clinical studies

    Financing leader: No leader denoted

    Financing participants: Essex Woodlands, NovaQuest Pharma Opportunities Fund, Delphi Ventures, Vivo Ventures, Technology Partners, Shepherd Ventures, Bio*One Capital and Pac-Link Ventures, Palo Alto Fund, “and other leading institutional investors.”

  • #1. Precision for Medicine

    Amount: $150 million

    Type: Private equity financing

    Date announced: April 2

    Purpose: Support acquisitions of expertise and infrastructure, and support development of capabilities designed to deliver lower development costs, speed time to market, and improve success rates of drug candidates. Company provides services and infrastructure to support life science companies as they develop new products

    Financing leader: None disclosed

    Financing participants: Oak Investment Partners, J.H. Whitney and Co., and Precision co-founders Ethan D. Leder and Mark P. Clein



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