50 of the best-funded biotechs of 2023

[Adobe Stock]

As the year draws to a close, it is clear that molecular science and diagnostics is the hottest funding area in the biotech industry. In an analysis of 50 of the best-funded biotechs of 2023 focused on human health, molecular and science and diagnostics startups collectively attracting roughly $945 million, dwarfing the figures in other segments. The next popular two niches, gene therapies and oncology, had average funding levels of approximately $245 million and $170 million, respectively. While AI has received a significant amount of attention this year, biotechs specializing in that field garnered an average funding of only about $66 million. Outside of the life sciences, startups with a broader focus on AI raised a cumulative average of $202.47 million, based on an analysis of close to 1000 companies.

Caris Life Sciences has raised nearly $1.7B to date

In terms of best-funded companies overall,…

Read more
  • 0

Astellas Pharma’s $1.7B Iveric Bio buy aims to bolster its ophthalmology market position

Astellas Pharma, the second largest Japanese pharma firm after Takeda, plans on scooping up the biopharma Iveric Bio for roughly $1.7 billion. Iveric focuses on discovering and developing novel therapies for retinal diseases, for approximately $1.7 billion.

Astellas believes the acquisition of Iveric Bio will strengthen its standing in the ophthalmology market, by adding the latter’s pipeline products to its portfolio. The companies expect the deal to close in the third quarter of 2023.

Zimura, a potential geographic atrophy breakthrough

The centerpiece of the Astellas-Iveric Bio deal is the drug candidate, Zimura (avacincaptad pegol), which is now in phase 3 clinical trials for geographic atrophy. The condition trails age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as a leading cause of irreversible blindness among the elderly. Geographic atrophy is an advanced form of the disease. No therapies are now approved to treat the condition.

Zimura, inhibitor of …

Read more
  • 0

Novartis mulls spinning off ophthalmology and respiratory divisions

As part of its ongoing restructuring efforts, Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) is reportedly considering selling its ophthalmology and respiratory businesses, according to Bloomberg.

Private equity firms are reportedly sizing up the business units.

According to the company’s website, its core therapeutic areas are cardiovascular, hematology, solid tumors, immunology and neuroscience.

Novartis’s ophthalmology division focuses on various therapies for vision problems, including glaucoma, ocular surface disease and age-related macular degeneration.

Its respiratory disease unit focuses on developing therapies for asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Earlier this year, the company announced that it would lay off about 8,000 employees, representing 7.4% of its workforce. The company had roughly 108,000 workers.

In 2019, Novartis announced it would spin off its Alcon eye-care division. Th…

Read more
  • 0

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ CEO on treating serious eye disorders and female leadership in life sciences

EyePoint Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: EYPT) specializes in creating ocular products for serious eye disorders. The company has developed five FDA-approved sustained-release treatments in ophthalmology. The company’s preclinical development program is focused on drug candidates to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, osteoarthritis and other diseases.

The company was formed in 2018 after pSivida announced acquired Icon Bioscience.

To learn more about the company, we interviewed EyePoint Pharmaceuticals’ president and CEO, Nancy S. Lurker, who is also an advisor to Novo Nordisk and serves on the board of directors for the company Aquestive Therapeutics.

In the following interview, Lurker touches on what inspires her as the CEO of EyePoint while also providing advice for women interested in pursuing leadership roles within the life sciences industry.

Nancy Lurker

Preventing bli…

Read more
  • 0

Novartis shares dip after announcing disappointing Q4 results

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) posted fourth-quarter results today that trailed the consensus forecast.

The Basel, Switzerland–based company reported a $2.1 billion net income, an 86% increase in Q4 2019. Earnings per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31 were $1.34 per share on revenue of $12.8 billion. 

Analysts had anticipated earnings of $1.36 per share. 

Still, there is room for optimism. 

In an earnings call, Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan said the company had achieved “solid operational performance over the past three years,” after revamping its strategy in 2018. Net sales from 2017 to 2020 have grown 5% annually while its Innovative Medicines division achieved a 35% growth rate in 2020. 

“We have a leading pipeline across 10 therapeutic areas [and], four advanced therapy platforms,” Narasimhan added. 

Novartis has enacted a series of cost-savings measures that has enabled the company to save $2 billion in cost over the past three years. T…

Read more
  • 0