Verge Genomics has raised $4 million to finance a computer-based drug discovery program targeting neurological disorders. The plan is to map all the genes implicated in a disease, using technology that Verge compares to Google's search engine, and find drugs that can hit each of the targets simultaneously.
Following a wave of recent activity in the cancer vaccines space, Gritstone Oncology burst onto the scene this week, bringing with it financial backing, scientific expertise and new energy to the field that has for years experienced mostly disappointment.
Having played a major role in making consumer genomics feasible, Illumina is now looking to shape how the nascent sector develops. The company has teamed up with big-name VCs to create Helix, a deep-pocketed startup that is one part massive next-generation sequencing operation, one part app store for genomics.
San Diego's Genalyte reeled in $44 million in a Series C round to spur development of its microchip blood testing platform. The company's Maverick Detection System uses a single drop of blood on a silicon microchip to provide results in 15 minutes, forgoing many of the steps required in traditional blood testing.
Chinese CRO giant WuXi PharmaTech is looking to expand its investment portfolio, planning to debut a $250 million new fund that will back startups in the U.S. and China.
Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore, Taipei and Seoul aim to be the biotech hubs in Asia, but San Diego-based CEO of industry group Biocom Joe Panetta said more investors and companies should look hard at Kobe, Japan.
Trialbee has raised $5 million to expand its clinical trial recruitment business in the U.S.
Collaboration between biotech companies from the U.S. and China is in a good state of flux as plays from "friends and family" and signs of growing venture capital and big pharma licensing deals are in motion at the same time, according to Andrew Chan, senior vice president of corporate business development for China only Nasdaq-listed biotech, Cellular Biomedicine Group.
Hong Kong-listed Hua Han Bio-Pharmaceutical Holdings said Wednesday it will raise HK$3.19 billion to HK$3.39 billion ($412 million to $437 million) from an open offer on the basis of one offer share for every two existing shares.
Chemistry and biology are joining hands in China in ways that will have a profound impact on biotechnology startups and more established companies, but it is still early days for many companies and more money from venture capitalists or other funding sources is welcome.