The $300 million series A raised by ReNAgade Therapeutics has been surpassed by ElevateBio after only one day as the highest private biotech financing of 2023. The company has also signed an arrangement with Novo Nordisk that may bring in as much as $2 billion in biodollars.
Although the current public and private markets present difficulties for biotechs, Hallal argued that high-quality, creative businesses may still acquire money. He said that keeping the firm private rather than going public at the moment gives the corporation more “degrees of freedom” since it may take risks without fear of repercussions from the market at large.
This round of funding comes on the heels of a $525 million series C in 2021, which was the year’s second largest private biotech fundraise. ElevateBio has since improved its technological platforms to support the research and development of therapies in both in vivo and ex vivo conditions.
The fresh capital will be used to expand the firm’s technological foundations and production capacities. In addition to induced pluripotent stem cells, the biotech also boasts an RNA, protein, cell and vector engineering program called Life Edit.
The staggering $401 million will also be used to increase the global reach of ElevateBio and its 500 employees by funding BaseCamp, the company’s end-to-end genetic drug manufacturing and process innovation business.
By partnering with Novo Nordisk in the series D investment, ElevateBio’s subsidiary Life Edit Therapeutics is advancing the field of base editing treatments.
For the multi-target contract covering many unannounced indications, Novo has paid an up-front cash price. The pharmaceutical company is also providing Life Edit with the opportunity to earn $250 million to $335 million in milestone payments for each of the 7 collaboratively developed programs. In addition, Life Edit has the option to participate in a worldwide profit share for a single program.
Karina Thorn, Ph.D., corporate vice president of RNA and gene therapies at Novo Nordisk, said that the company sees a need to extend its technologies as a result of its commitment to creating more medicines for more patients.
The gene editing program has a comprehensive collection of base editors and RNA-guided nucleases (RGNs). RGNs have the potential to increase delivery flexibility since they are smaller in size than other traditional nucleases like CRISPR-Cas9.
According to Thorn, Novo was attracted to the library because of its variety and adaptability. She added that the Big Pharma’s years of research and development in gene therapy, gene editing, and RNA technologies will be furthered through the relationship.
During the past 12 months, ElevateBio has expanded its network by signing agreements with more than 15 biopharma partners. These agreements include a gene editing partnership with Moderna, which was finalized in February. The company is integrating Life Edit’s gene editing capabilities into its mRNA platform to pursue unidentified therapeutic opportunities.