In mid-October there were six Global Corporate Venturing stories on life sciences startups raising capital.
The companies in question ranged from cancer treatment and immunotherapy developers through therapeutics for rare and age-related diseases to orthodontic and endoscopy devices.
This year has seen a fairly stable number of corporate-backed rounds raised by promising life sciences companies and estimated total dollars in them. Over the past nine months, we have seen no less than 39 such rounds in any given month (with some months reporting well over 50 deals) and total estimated dollars that have not gone lower than $1.1bn. This comes to show that corporate interest in emerging health businesses appears constant and consistent.
US-based cancer therapy developer Arcellx secured $85m in a series B round that was backed by diversified conglomerate LG and pharmaceutical firms Novo, Takeda and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Founded in 2015, Arcellx is developing immune cell therapies based on antigen receptor complex T cells (ARC-T) that get activated and reprogrammed via an antigen protein known as a sparX to destroy tumours. The treatments being developed are meant to combat multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukaemia.
US-based discreet orthodontic braces manufacturer Swift Health Systems raised $45m in a series C round co-led by pharmaceutical firm Novo Holdings. Founded in 2014, Swift Health has devised orthodontic braces, branded Inbrace, to help realign and straighten out teeth. Inbrace uses invisible wires that can be programmed through Swift’s software platform to fit the patient based on digital scans.
Japan-based endoscopy technology developer AI Medical Service received approximately $42.9m in a series B round backed by consumer electronics producer Sony and education provider Globis. Founded in 2017, AI Medical Service is working on artificial intelligence-powered software that will assist in gastric cancer endoscopies.
US-based rare and age-related disease therapy developer Aeovian Pharmaceuticals completed a $37m series A financing round featuring drug discovery services provider Evotec. Founded to exploit research conducted at Buck Institute of Novato, California, Aeovian is devloping drugs for rare and age-related diseases using a selective inhibitor of the mTORC1 protein complex.
UK-based immunotherapy developer MiroBio formally launched with £27m ($33.1m) secured in a series A round featuring pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline’s SR One unit. Spun out of University of Oxford in 2018, MiroBio is working on antibodies for multiple diseases that are intended to stimulate specific signals in immune cells in order to modulate a patient’s immune system.
RapidSOS, a US-based emergency response technology developer backed by multiple corporates, closed a $55m series B round following a $25m extension led by corporate-backed investment firm Energy Impact Partners. RapidSOS has developed technology that securely transmits data from connected devices at the scene of emergencies and other sources to help first responders provide assistance.