Cancer treatment company Biontech raised $325m round backed by Fidelity. The company forms part of the hopeful oncology and cancer treatment subsector of life sciences which has seen much growth and in corporate backing in recent years.
Germany-based immuno-oncology therapy developer Biontech has completed a $325m series B round, which was led by financial services group Fidelity Management & Research. Other participants in the transaction included Redmile Group, Invus, MiraeAsset Financial Group, Platinum Asset Management, Jebsen Capital, Steam Athena Capital, BVCF Management and the Struengmann Family Office. Fidelity is not the first and only corporate backer of the company. Biontech has previously raised rounds backed by pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Pfizer, singing along collaboration agreements with both. It was not clear whether these two investors have participated in this series B round. The fresh funding received will go for advancing the company´s pipeline and investing in its manufacturing infrastructure.
Spun out of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in 2008, Biontech is developing immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases. Its candidates are based on research by co-founder and chief executive Uğur Şahin, professor of medicine.
The broader oncology space has received much attention from corporate venturing investors, as the GCV Analytics chart here suggests. Both the deal count and the estimated total value have increased progressively since 2014 – from 35 rounds worth an estimated $728m then – to 83 deals by the end of 2018, worth an estimated $4.4bn. In the first half of 2019, we have registered 42 deals in this space, worth an estimated $2.09bn. This suggests that the upward trend is still sustained.