RuiYi nets $15 mln Series B funds

Sino-American biotech company RuiYi said Thursday that it has raised $15 million in Series B financing. The investors were 5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, Apposite Capital, SR One, the independent corporate healthcare venture capital fund of GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Serono Ventures, the strategic corporate venture fund of Merck Serono, and Aravis SA.

GSK logo shot by Luke MacGregor of Reuters

Reuters: GlaxoSmithKline Launches $50M VC Fund

GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday announced a $50 million venture fund and said the fund’s first investment was made in SetPoint Medical, which is working on implantable devices to treat inflammatory diseases, Reuters reported.

Epizyme Files for an IPO

Epizyme, a six-year-old, Cambridge, Mass.-based biopharmaceutical company that’s focused on researching treatments for tumors and blood cancer, has filed an S-1 with the SEC.

OncoMed Promotes

OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage company developing therapeutics that target cancer stem cells, has promoted Jakob Dupont, formerly vice president, clinical research to senior vice president and chief medical officer. Privately-held, OncoMed’s investors include US Venture Partners, Latterell Venture Partners, The Vertical Group, Morgenthaler Ventures, Phase4 Ventures, Delphi Ventures, Adams Street Partners, De Novo Ventures, Bay […]

Amplimmune Signs Big Deal with GSK

Amplimmune has signed a drug development deal with GlaxoSmithKline that includes a $23 million up-front payment and up to $485 million in milestone payments. The agreement relates to PD-1 targeting therapies that may help treat cancer and other diseases. Rockville, Md.-based Amplimmune has raised $20 million from InterWest Partners and Wellcome Trust.

Aptuit Buys GSK’s Medicines Research Center in Italy

Aptuit has bought GlaxoSmithKline’s Medicines Research Center in Verona, Italy. The arrangement is effective July 1. Financial terms were not disclosed. Aptuit, a pharmaceutical services company, is a portfolio company of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. GSK is a research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare company.

GSK Completes Stiefel Labs Purchase

GlaxoSmithKline has completed its acquisition on Stiefel Laboratories Inc., a Coral Gables, Fla.-based skincare pharmaceutical company that had been partially owned by The Blackstone Group. The $3.6 billion acquisition included $2.9 billion in cash, up to $300 million in cash earn-out payments and the assumption of $400 million in net debt. Blackstone had acquired an 18% stake for $484 million in August 2007.

VC-Backed Chroma Signs $1 Billion Deal with Glaxo

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) has signed a deal with Chroma Therapeutics, giving it access to the unlisted British biotech company’s experimental compounds for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The move boosts Glaxo’s early-stage pipeline but will not deliver products to the market for many years as Chroma’s inflammation programmes have yet to enter […]

Glaxo Gets U.S. Antitrust Approval for Stiefel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) received U.S. antitrust approval to buy privately-held skincare company Stiefel Laboratories Inc, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. Antitrust authorities completed their review of the deal worth as much as $3.6 billion without taking any action to block it, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said in a notice. In April, Glaxo […]

GSK Signs $1B Deal with VC-Backed Concert Pharma

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) has boosted its early-stage drug pipeline by signing a potential $1 billion deal with privately-held U.S. biotech company Concert Pharmaceuticals to access deuterium-containing medicines. The world’s biggest drugmaker gets rights to three Concert research programmes — a protease inhibitor for HIV due to start Phase I clinical trials this year, […]

Glaxo Buying Stiefel Labs for $3.6 Billion

LONDON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the world’s second-largest drugmaker, has agreed to buy privately owned U.S. skincare specialist Stiefel Laboratories Inc for up to $3.6 billion, the two companies said on Monday. The acquisition is the latest in a string of deals in the drugs sector, but is significantly smaller than recent mega-mergers, reflecting the […]

Waiting for IPO, ChemoCentryx Raises $50 Million from Glaxo

ChemoCentryx is supposed to be public by now, having filed for a modest $57.5 million IPO last November. But that obviously hasn’t happened, since the IPO window has since been nailed shut, painted over and covered in crazy glue. So what’s a VC-backed biotech company to do? In the case of ChemoCentryx, the answer has been to […]

Who’ll Stop the Pain?

News that GlaxoSmithKline signed a $1.5 billion anti-inflammatory drug development deal with Germany-based Cellzome AG should be music to venture capital ears. Cellzome raised around $113 million in VC funding since 2000, from firms like Atlas Venture, SV Life Sciences, Advent International and Index Ventures — and is one of a burgeoning number of pain-oriented pharmaceutical startups.

Investment peaked last year, with VCs investing more than $720 million in 49 companies addressing pain, the largest amount they’ve invested in at least 10 years, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of VCJ). Startups developing pain-relieving drugs make up the bulk of the fundings (21 such companies attracted more than $400 million last year), with device makers and others rounding out the total.

The payoff could be huge

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