Laguna Pharmaceuticals grabs $30 mln Series B, also appoints CEO

Laguna Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as ChanRx, has closed $30 million in Series B financing. Versant Ventures and Frazier Healthcare led the round with participation from BioMed Ventures and previous backer Sante Ventures. In addition to the financing, Dr. Jerel Davis of Versant Ventures and Dr. Jamie Topper of Frazier Healthcare have been added to Laguna’s board of directors. Also, Laguna Pharmaceuticals has hired Bob Baltera as CEO. Previously, Baltera was CEO of Amira Pharmaceuticals. Laguna Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on treating atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.


Deerfield leads $42.5 mln round for Audentes

San Francisco-based biotech firm Audentes Therapeutics has secured $42.5 million in Series B financing. Deerfield Management led the round with participation from Sofinnova Ventures, Venrock, OrbiMed, 5AM Ventures and Versant Ventures. As a result of the transaction, Jonathan Leff, a partner at Deerfield, will join Audentes’ board of directors.


Bayer to invest up to $25 mln in Versant Ventures’ newest fund

Versant Ventures‘ latest fund has added Bayer HealthCare as an LP. Bayer will invest up to $25 million in Versant Venture Capital V. The fund will back the development of new therapies “in areas of high unmet medical need.” In addition to investing in the fund, Bayer will join its advisory board.


Versant places Mazzo on administrative leave following indictment

Versant Ventures has placed operating partner Jim Mazzo on administrative leave following a federal grand jury indictment for alleged insider trading, a source at Versant confirmed. Both Mazzo and Versant have mutually agreed that Mazzo will suspend his work at the healthcare-focused venture firm until his legal matters are resolved.


Northleaf Capital holds second close on $233.5 mln for venture fund of funds

Northleaf Capital Partners has held a second closing on its Venture Catalyst Fund, bringing commitments to date to $233.5 million. The fund of funds, the first to be established under the Canadian government’s Venture Capital Action Plan, began investing in January and has made six investments, including three fund commitments to Versant Ventures, Georgian Partners and XPV Capital.

NVCF supports Versant Ventures’ Canadian expansion

Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund has committed $10 million to healthcare-focused Versant Ventures. The capital will be used to support the firm’s continued Canadian expansion. Currently, Versant Ventures has incubators in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.


Venrock hires former Versant Ventures exec Samuels as partner

Venrock has hired Camille Samuels and Doug Dooley in the firm’s Palo Alto office. Samuels, a former managing director at Versant Ventures, joins as a partner to focus on biotech and consumer health, while expanding her focus into healthcare companies. Dooley, formerly an entrepreneur, will focus on infrastructure technologies and cloud-centric software.

Ceterix Orthopaedics nets $18 mln

Ceterix Orthopaedics has secured $18 million in financing. Previous backers Novo A/S, Versant Ventures and 5AM Ventures participated in the round. Armentum Partners provided financial advice to Ceterix on the transaction. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Ceterix develops surgical tools for arthroscopic procedures.

H.I.G. BioVentures leads Series C round for ForSight VISION5

ForSight VISION5 has closed $15 million in Series C financing. H.I.G. BioVentures led the round with participation from previous backers Morgenthaler Ventures, Versant Ventures, Technology Partners and Delphi Ventures. Concurrent with the funding, Aaron Davidson of H.I.G. BioVentures has been added to ForSight VISION5’s board of directors. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., ForSight VISION5 focuses on developing products that replace eye drops.

Sequent Medical rakes in $20 mln

Sequent Medical said Tuesday that it has received $20 million in Series D financing. Previous backer Delphi Ventures led the round with participation from Domain Associates, US Venture Partners and Versant Ventures. Headquartered in Aliso Viejo, Calif., Sequent Medical is a medical-device company focused on catheter-based neurovascular technologies.

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.

VC-backed Achaogen debuts IPO

Achaogen has launched its IPO after pricing its 6 million shares at $12 per share. The stock began trading Wednesday on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “AKAO.” Credit Suisse Securities and Cowen and Company are the lead underwriters. Based in South San Francisco, Achaogen is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. Its backers include 5AM Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Venrock, Versant Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Ventures, Domain Associates and Alta Partners.

Versant to raise $250M fifth fund

Versant Ventures has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise a $250 million fifth fund. The fund’s first close has yet to occur. Versant Venture Capital V will be run by managing directors Robin Praeger, Bradley Bolzon, Samuel Colella, Ross Jaffe, William Link, Kirk Nielsen and Charles Warden, according to the filing dated Oct. 18.

Novira Therapeutics Completes Series A Financing

Novira Therapeutics has completed a Series A financing after securing $7.5 million from new investor Versant Ventures. This brings the total raised from all investors in the round to $25 million. Versant joins 5AM Ventures and Canaan Partners, which led the first closing of the Series A in August 2012.

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