Venture capital deals are expected to slow as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic slashes markets and leaves many businesses struggling for cash. In spite of that, some biotechnology and digital health companies have been able to close deals.
Notably, two large life sciences venture firms raised funds this week. Flagship Pioneering raised $1.1 billion in capital for its seventh fund, and ARCH Venture Partners closed two funds, totaling $1.46 billion.
That bodes good news for the future, though it may be slow-going for many startups over the coming months. Here are some highlights from those that closed funding rounds this week:
Funding: $80 million
Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Pandion Therapeutics closed an $80 million series B round. The funds will go to developing Pandion’s lead drug candidate, a modular protein therapeutic designed to treat autoimmune diseases. It will also be used to bring a second drug development program into the clinic, and to grow the company’s staff and infrastructure.
Access Biotechnology and Boxer Capital led the funding round, with new investors RA Capital and OrbiMed also joining the round. Dr. Dan Becker, principal for Access Biotechnology, and Christopher Fuglesang, co-founder and managing director of Boxer Capital, will join the company’s board as part of the funding round.
Funding: $170 million
Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Elevate Bio, which develops and operates cell- and gene-therapy companies, closed a $170 million series B funding round on Monday. For example, Elevate Bio launched a late-stage T-cell immunotherapy company called AlloVir last year. It also launched HighPassBio in conjunction with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, which is developing T-cell therapies intended to prevent the relapse of leukemia after a system cell transplant. New investors participating in the round include the Invus Group, Surveyor Capital, EDBI and Vertex Ventures.
Funding: $51 million
Headquarters: Columbus, Ohio
Olive AI raised $51 million in a series D round led by General Catalyst. The company’s AI solution is designed to automate repetitive administrative tasks, such as insurance eligibility checks and code matching. It is currently used at 500 hospitals across the U.S.
As part of the funding round, former Mission Health CEO Ron Paulus will join Olive AI’s board. He is currently and executive in residence for General Catalyst.
Funding: $18 million
Headquarters: San Diego
Arista MD raised $18 million to expand its eConsult platform. The company connects primary care providers to a variety of specialists, including dermatologists, psychiatrists and cardiologists. The company has been seeing increased demand for its services in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, CEO Brooke LeVasseur said.
Cigna Ventures and MemorialCare Health System’s investing arm, MemorialCare Innovation Fund, led the round. Other participating investors include Avalon Ventures, CU Healthcare Innovation Fund and Stanford Health Care.
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