October 7, 2009
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Mimetogen Pharmaceuticals, a pharma company developing peptidomimetics based on technology from McGill University and the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research in Montréal, closed a new financing from iNovia Capital and VIMAC Ventures LLC.
The amount of the financing was not disclosed, but it is budgeted to take Mimetogen’s lead product, MIM-D3 for keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye syndrome), through both Phase I safety and tolerability and Phase II proof of concept studies in humans.
Mimetogen has other products in the pipeline for ophthalmic indications, and plans to focus on partnering for development of its leads for other indications (e.g., neurodegenerative disease and pain).
H/T @chrisarsenault @CVCACanada
August 6, 2009
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When Q2’s venture capital investment numbers came out for U.S. investment, healthcare/biotech investments were on top, beating out even IT investments in that period and generating some optimism.
Dow Jones has released the worldwide Q2 venture capital numbers (H/T @startupcfo, and things do not look so rosy here in Canada:
- The overall number of VC deals in 1H 2009 Canada was off 30% from 2008 levels, and the average raise was down as well, resulting in a nearly 50% drop in total investment from 2008 levels. That’s over $130 million less invested in 2009.
- Unlike in the U.S., there was no silver lining for biotech in Canada. Whereas IT investment was about 1/3 off its 2008 levels, healthcare/bio was off a whopping 62%, raising only $18 million total in the first 6 months of 2009!
One caveat is that things are not quite as bad as they seem on the biotech front, since quarter-to-quarter volatility is normally very high. In fact, Allostera closed a $17 million A round in July which practically doubles the YTD number from 1H levels, and I don’t expect we’ve seen the end of Q3 biotech VC activity.
Bottom Line: Even if a few banner deals pull the statistics up for Q3, BIOTECanada’s numbers will not improve without OVCF, OETF and Teralys making some sustained commitments to the biotech sector. No time like the present, folks.
July 9, 2009
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Chris Arsenault at iNovia has had an interesting series of tweets recently — two noting Canadian programs for young entrepreneurs:
He’s also in the middle of an interesting (and necessarily pithy) debate with Craig Netterfeld at Wellington about entrepreneurship nature vs nurture.
I had a convoluted parenthetical here about how I wasn’t actually “following” them because I’m not on Twitter, but it seemed easier just to be on Twitter than to explain why I wasn’t.
July 8, 2009
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Allostera Pharma Inc. anounced today that it closed a $17 million Series A round today, funded by four Canadian VCs: iNovia Capital, Genesys Capital, BDC Venture Capital with GO Capital, and Fonds Bio-Innovation s.e.c.
The company is a spin-out of a University of Montreal-affiliated hospital and it has a platform to make peptide drugs that inhibit receptor signalling allosterically (i.e., without inhibiting ligand binding). The lead product, in early stage trials, is an IL23-receptor inhibitor.
That’s a pretty healthy A round, coming as it does on the same day as Private Equity Analyst released U.S. data showing that U.S. VCs “raised $5.1 billion across 52 funds, down 63% from the $13.6 brought in by 115 funds last year.”
On the third hand, there’s Excel Venture Management’s new $125 million Boston-based fund, which will “focus (sic) its investments on healthcare information technology, services, diagnostics, medical devices, and life sciences platforms with applicability to adjacent industries such as energy, chemicals, defense, and agriculture.”