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In Vivo's Top Financing Of 2018: Cast Your Vote!

Executive Summary

It is time for In Vivo's 11th annual Deals of the Year contest. We've selected 18 nominees in three categories – Top Alliance, Top Financing and Top M&A – and you get to pick the winners. (It's free.)

In Vivo's editors have selected our top six picks for the most significant financing deals of 2018. Vote for your favorite.

1. Moderna Launches Largest Biotech IPO

Details: Moderna Inc.launched the largest-ever drug developer initial public offering on Dec. 6, 2018, raising $604.3 million. The IPO was highly anticipated after Moderna raised billions of dollars as a private firm. The Cambridge, MA-based developer of messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines sold 26.3 million shares at $23 each, but saw its stock fall 19.1% on its first day of trading to close at $18.60 on Dec. 7. Close to the end of 2018, Moderna’s market cap was $5.59 billion. Moderna believes it can use mRNA to spur the body to produce its own therapeutic proteins. The biotech has 21 mRNA-based drugs in its pipeline, with 10 in clinical trials.

2. BioNTech Raises $270m in Series A

Details: Back in January 2018, BioNTech AG raised $270 million via a series A financing round, which significantly broadened its investor base to global institutional and other international investors. It was reported as the seventh largest series A worldwide for a biotech company, and the second largest ever in Europe. BioNTech is using the capital to advance its clinical pipeline of individualized immunotherapies covering a number of new approaches including mRNA and CAR-T/T-Cell receptors for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Its corporate partnerships include collaborations with Genentech, Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Genmab.

3. Allogene’s $300m-Plus IPO

Details: Before it was eclipsed by Moderna’s performance, Allogene Therapeutics Inc. managed to close the biggest public offering in at least a decade. The firm raised $324 million when it floated on Nasdaq. Allogene is developing an “off-the-shelf” version of CAR-T therapy. The company is led by Arie Belldegrun and David Chang; the pair were previously at Kite Pharma, which was sold to Gilead Sciences Inc.for $12 billion ahead of its landmark approval for the CAR-T treatment, Yescarta.

4. China’s Alphamab Closes Series A

Details: In November 2018, Suzhou-based Alphamab Oncology raised $100 million through a series A financing round. The proceeds will fund global clinical development of Alphamab’s cancer drug pipeline, as well as expansion of its clinical and commercial teams, and construction of a biologics manufacturing facility. The financing continued a trend of big investments in China-based biopharmaceutical companies. New York-based OrbiMed participated in the round, along with California-based managed care organization Heritage Provider Network. Others included PAG, Advantech Capital, China Venture Capital Fund and Janchor Partners. Alphamab has four drugs in clinical development, including KN035 (envafolimab), a subcutaneous monoclonal antibody that targets PD-L1 and is in registration-directed studies in China.

5. Gossamer Raises $230m

Details: San Diego-based Gossamer Bio Inc. closed a $230 million series B preferred stock financing in July 2018. The company has four compounds in clinical development and is focused on developing novel treatments for autoimmune, allergy/inflammation, and immuno-oncology diseases. The company was founded in 2015, and in January 2018 it raised $100 million through seed financing and a series A round. Gossamer's big bank balance will fund early- to late-stage clinical trials and further business development opportunities.

6. Auris Health’s $220m Growth Financing

Details: Auris Health Inc. announced the close of a $220 million equity financing in November 2018, led by Partner Fund Management. New investors included Wellington Management, D1 Capital Partners and Senator Investment Group; existing investors Mithril Capital, Lux Capital and Viking Global Investors also participated in the round. The company has now raised more than $700 million to date. Its latest funding will be used to advance the commercialization of its Monarch platform and the development of next-generation robotic interventional technology. Auris Health is developing platforms that can enhance physician capabilities, evolve minimally invasive techniques, and create new categories of care that redefine optimal patient outcomes.

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