Data for the this analysis was compiled using the DealForma database; specifically the companies and venture funding sections. We used company location data tagged with the three major U.S. biotech hubs along with primary therapeutic and technology focus areas. All data are based on publicly disclosed figures. We invite you to answer interesting questions using our data and carefully curated profiles on deals, pipelines, companies, funding, and business executives by visiting dealforma.com to schedule your personalized demo.
Location, Location, Location: Real estate costs a lot in the three largest biotech hubs, but it’s a charm for raising capital. Biotech companies raised $37.4 billion globally in 1027 rounds of venture financing over the past four years from 2015 through the third quarter of 2018 and companies located in the San Francisco Bay area, greater Boston area, and San Diego County accounted for 55 percent of the total raised and 46 percent of the financing activity. The data comes from DealForma’s extensive database and research capabilities.
Analysis of this data shows that the San Francisco Bay Area has maintained a slight edge over the burgeoning Boston/Cambridge scene in terms of dollars raised and rounds completed by private biotech companies. And venture investment into San Diego-based companies has boomed in 2018 to $938 million raised in 14 rounds, compared to just $100 million raised in five rounds in 2017.
Cancer continues to be the top therapeutic area of interest for VC investment especially for the SF Bay Area, garnering 38 percent of dollars invested. But in the Boston area, technology platform companies garnered slightly more money, $2.6 billion versus $2.2 billion, in three fewer investment rounds. And in San Diego, investment in technology platform companies outpaced investment in cancer therapeutics over the past four years.
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Specifically for Biotech, Pharma, Device, and Diagnostics
Technologies for the development of small molecule therapeutics garnered top dollars across all three regions with immunotherapies, cell and gene therapies, and diagnostics investment trailing close behind. Indeed advancement in these technologies is at an all-time high as the number of companies that raise $100 million or more per round continues to grow. Among the global $100 million plus group, biotech companies raised a total of $10.3 billion over the past four years in 61 investment rounds, averaging $169 million per round. Biotechs in the three big hubs accounted about half of that, or $5.8 billion of that in 33 rounds, averaging $176 per round.
Historically, investors usually waited until a company had surpassed an inflection point before placing a lot of dollars into it. Recently, however, an increasing number of Series A and Series B rounds are $100 million plus. During the first three quarters of 2018, $ 1 billion was invested in Series A and Series B rounds in biotechs based in the three major hubs in six rounds, out of $2.2 billion invested globally in early stage companies in 13 rounds.
This is the result of a number of factors, including robust fundraising by VCs who must now invest those funds, excitement about new technologies and advances in biological and technological understanding, a responsive regulatory environment, and strong capital markets with an open IPO window and healthcare savvy investors.
Next week, I’ll talk about some of the top VCs in biotech and companies they are investing in.
Marie Daghlian is a freelance writer and editor who reports on the business of biotechnology and healthcare technologies and on rare diseases for Global Gene’s Rare Daily. She also covers the industry for Big4Bio, a daily newsletter focused on the four major biotech centers in the United States.
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January 2022 Top Biopharma Deal: Beam – Pfizer In Vivo Base Editing and Delivery Programs for Rare Diseases
The top deal upfront for January 2022 was the Beam Therapeutics research partnership with Pfizer with an option to license in vivo base editing programs. Beam will receive $300M up front, up to up to $1.05B in development, regulatory, and sales milestones, plus royalties per licensed program. If Beam opts in to co-develop/co-promote a program, the companies will share cost and profits 65%/35% (Pfizer/Beam).
December 2021 Top Biopharma Deal: Foghorn – Loxo using Gene Traffic Control for New Oncology Treatments
The top deal upfront for December 2021 was the Foghorn – Loxo (Eli Lilly) partnership for Foghorn’s Gene Traffic Control platform. Foghorn will receive $300M up front, a $80M upfront equity investment, and up to $1.3B in potential milestones, plus a US cost/profit split and ex-US royalties.
November 2021 Top Biopharma Deal: Sanofi – Owkin artificial intelligence and federated learning platform to advance Sanofi’s oncology pipeline
The top deal upfront for November 2021 was the Owkin – Sanofi artificial intelligence and federated learning platform research partnership to advance Sanofi’s oncology pipeline. Owkin will receive a $180M upfront equity investment, $90M in R&D funding over 3 years, and is eligible for additional undisclosed R&D milestones.
The top deal upfront for October 2021 was the Xencor – Janssen deal for plamotamab and XmAb bispecific antibodies and new XmAb B-cell targeting bispecific antibodies for CD20-expressing hematologic malignancies. Xencor will receive $100M in upfront cash, $25M in an upfront equity investment, and is eligible for up to $1.18B in dev., reg., and sales milestones, plus tiered mid-teens to low-twenties royalties.
The top deal upfront for September 2021 was the REGENXBIO – AbbVie deal for RGX-314 for wet AMD, diabetic retinopathy, and other chronic retinal diseases. REGENXBIO will receive $370M up front and is eligible for up to $1.38B in milestones, plus tiered royalties on net sales of RGX-314 outside the US and 50% of profits in the US.
August 2021 Top Biopharma Deal: RemeGen – Seagen HER2-targeted ADC, Disitamab Vedotin for Solid Tumors
The top deal upfront for August 2021 was the RemeGen – Seagen deal for HER2-targeted ADC disitamab vedotin for solid tumors. RemeGen will receive $200M in cash up front and is eligible to receive up to $2.4 billion in milestones, plus tiered, high single-digit to mid-teen royalties.
Top Biopharma Deal July 2021: Arvinas – Pfizer ARV-471 PROTAC Protein Degrader for ER+/HER2- Breast Cancer
The top biopharma deal upfront for July 2021 was Arvinas and Pfizer’s partnership for PROTAC protein degrader ARV-471 ER+/HER2- breast cancer. Arvinas will receive $650M in cash up front, $350M in an equity investment, and is eligible to receive up to $1.4 billion in milestones, plus a 50% cost and profit split.
The top biopharma deal upfront for June 2021 was iTeos and GSK’s partnership for anti-TIGIT mAb EOS-448. iTeos will receive $625M up front, up to $1.45B in milestones, a U.S. profit split and ex-U.S. tiered royalties.
Top Biopharma Deal May 2021: Agenus – BMS for AGEN-1777 Bispecific Anti-TIGIT Antibody for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
The top biopharma deal upfront for May 2021 was Agenus and BMS’ partnership for anti-TIGIT mAb AGEN-1777. Agenus will receive $200M up front.
Top Biopharma Deal April 2021: CRISPR – Vertex for CTX001 for Sickle Cell Disease and Transfusion-Dependent Beta-Thalassemia
CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals amended their 2015 deal to develop and commercialize gene editing therapies. This expansion is for Phase I/II CTX001 for severe sickle cell diseases and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia. CRISPR will receive $900M up front, up to $200M in milestones upon the first regulatory approval, and a cost/profit split of 40%.
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