Follow the Money: CRISPR, Data Science in Africa, Analytics Cloud – Bio-IT World

November 2, 2021 | CRISPR partnership with Vertex Pharmaceuticals, new public biotech fund, life sciences analytics cloud, immune target validation, single cell analysis, and more.


$830M: Life Science Fund for Public Biotech Companies

Frazier Healthcare Partners announced today the closing of Frazier Life Sciences Public Fund, L.P., exceeding its target and closing on nearly $830 million in capital commitments in an oversubscribed fundraise. Led by Managing Partner Albert Cha, General Partner and Portfolio Manager Jamie Brush, and Managing Partners Patrick Heron and James Topper, Frazier Life Sciences Public Fund is a long-only fund investing in small- and mid-cap public biotech companies. Recent exits of Frazier Life Sciences public investments include ARMO BioSciences (acquired by Eli Lilly), Ignyta (acquired by Roche), Rocket Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RCKT), Translate Bio (NASDAQ: TBIO, acquired by Sanofi), and Trillium Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TRIL, pending acquisition by Pfizer).


$650M: CRISPR Partnership

Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Mammoth Biosciences, the CRISPR biotech company co-founded by Jennifer Doudna, announced a new partnership to develop in vivo gene-editing therapies for two genetic diseases using Mammoth’s next-generation CRISPR systems. Under the terms of the agreement, Mammoth Biosciences will receive upfront payments of $41 million, including an investment in the form of a convertible note, and is eligible to receive up to $650 million in potential future payments based upon the successful achievement of prespecified research, development and commercial milestones across two potential programs. In addition, Vertex will pay tiered royalties on future net sales on any products that may result from this collaboration.


$430M: Investment in Life Science Analytics Cloud

Saama Technologies announced funds led by global investment firm Carlyle have made a strategic growth investment and will acquire a majority stake in the company. A broad co-investor group with several healthcare-focused venture funds, including Amgen Ventures, Intermountain Ventures, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (“Merck GHI”), McKesson Ventures, Northpond Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, and Population Health Partners will be investing alongside Carlyle. The partnership will allow Saama to accelerate its strategic initiatives, including expanding its go-to-market capabilities and further investing in AI research and development. Saama’s intelligent Life Science Analytics Cloud (LSAC) is used by over 50 pharma and biotech companies on more than 1,500 studies. As an end-to-end platform, LSAC provides a unified approach to clinical trial data management and analytics. LSAC’s pre-trained AI embedded smart applications can learn the complex patterns among clinical data and provide predictive insights to accelerate the clinical research process across a variety of domains and therapeutic areas.


$304M: Series D for Decentralized Clinical Trials

Medable announced a $304M Series D funding round—the company’s largest and fourth funding round in 18 months, bringing total capital raised to $521M—and valuation to more than $2B. Medable aims to make clinical research accessible for every body and every biology, bringing effective therapies to patients faster. The company has now deployed its SaaS platform in 60 countries via 150+ decentralized and hybrid trials (including several Operation Warp Speed projects), reaching 1M+ patients globally. By minimizing the need for in-person site visits, Medable’s customers have achieved unprecedented results—including 200% faster patient enrollment, 90% patient retention rates, and 50% cost reductions.


$215M: Series B for Immune Target Validation, Evaluation

Immunai, a New York-based biotech company, announced a $215M Series B, increasing the company’s total funding to date to $295M. The new capital will be used to expand Immunai’s “…….


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