Health Care Deal News: Spotlight on Venture Capital- February 2012

Warp Drive Bio, a start-up biotech focused on drug development from studying microbes and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, got itself beamed up $125.0 million in financing. The investor syndicate includes Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) along with founding backer Third Rock Ventures and VC firm Greylock Partners. Warp Drive’s plan of attack is to scour the genome of microbes to discover molecules that can target disease pathways that have so far resisted other attempts. SNY has an option to acquire Warp Drive if it reaches certain goals in developing drugs from microbial genomes. Of the total $125.0 million, $75.0 million is equity investment. 

RaNA Therapeutics, a biotech based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has lined up a $20.7 million Series A financing. The round was co-led by Atlas Ventures, SR One and Monsanto, with the participation of Partners Innovation Fund. The proceeds will be used to finance the company’s exploration of “junk” DNA, in the search for gene-regulating therapeutics. It will probe the commercial potential of the epigenetic gene regulating activity of long non-coding RNA, in the hopes of correcting defective gene expression that can trigger disease. The company currently has a short list of 20 diseases. Some of the personnel involved at RaNA are refugees from Coley Pharmaceuticals, a biotech that Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) acquired for $230.0 million in 2007.

Cebix. Inc., a San Diego-based firm involved in the treatment of complications arising from type 1 diabetes, plans to raise over $20.0 million in a Series B round.  While the slate of investors is not fixed, when Cebix raised its first round of $28.5 million, Sofinnova Ventures, InterWest Partners and Thomas McNerny & Partners all took part. Proceeds from the fundraising would fund pivotal trials for its C-peptide replacement therapy used to treat microvascular damage from type 1 diabetes. 

NeuroLogica, an imaging company based in the Boston area, raised $12.0 million in funding. Although thin on details, the company will likely use the proceeds to further develop and market its portable CT scanner, which received FDA clearance last year.

Active Implant, a medical device company based in Memphis, Tennessee, recently raised $10.0 million in its third round of financing, bringing the amount it has raised so far to a total of $25.0 million. The money comes from unnamed current investors. Proceeds are intended to continue a clinical trial of Active’s NUsurface device, a meniscus implant designed to relieve knee pain and restore joint function. Active wants to generate sales of its products in Europe and generate cash flow before seeking regulatory approval from the U.S.

InterValve, a medical device company focused on treating aortic stenosis and based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, raised $7.5 million in its most recent round of financing. The investor was Twin Cities Angels, II. Proceeds will support the continued development of its devices....Want to read more? Click here for a free trial to The Health Care M&A Monthly and download the current issue today