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Wednesday, Oct 4, 2023

BIOTECH–Structural GenomiX Raises $32M in VC Financing

SBI Raises $32.6M; Illumina Files for IPO

San Diego-based Structural GenomiX said it raised $32 million in a second round of venture capital financing.

The round was led by Sprout Group and included existing investors Atlas Venture, Prospect Venture Partners, Apple Tree Partners and new investors Lombard-Odier, Index Ventures, and Vulcan Northwest.

Structural GenomiX uses a technique called X-ray crystallography to transform DNA sequence into three-dimensional protein structures. The shape and structure of a protein reveals important information about its function, which in turn allows researchers to develop compounds, or potential drugs.

“The company’s unique research platform places it at the crux of genomics, bioinformatics, and crystallography,” said Dr. Philippe Chambon, general partner at the Sprout Group. “That combination puts it in a very strong position for adding value to drug discovery in the post-genomic marketplace.”

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The completion of the human genome , 3 billion letters of DNA, encoding between 80,000 and 100,000 human genes needed to make and operate a human being , is far nearer than expected, according to recent reports.

Celera Genomics Corp., a private firm in Rockville, Md., announced April 6 it finished analyzing all the necessary pieces of human DNA and would assemble the human genome within three to six weeks, not by the end of the year, as reported earlier.

The genome is expected to provide the basis for a new generation of medical treatment, such as tailored drugs that will attack disease at the level of genes.

Only about 1,500 of the protein structures encoded for by the 80,000 to 100,000 genes have been determined thus far, Structural GenomiX reported on April 5.

“We will use this funding to move forcefully ahead toward our goal of solving 5,000 structures in five years,” said Tim Harris, CEO and president of Structural GenomiX.

Harris said the firm also plans to double the number of employees from its current level of 30 to 60 this year, automate significant portions of the pipeline and initiate partnerships.

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More Successful Financing: Another player in the world of genomics, privately held Structural Bioinformatics, Inc. of San Diego, said it raised $32.6 million in preferred stock.

The company said it initially offered $15 million in preferred stock, but expanded its offering to $32.6 million amid high demand.

The financing round was led by Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund, LP. Other investors include Invesco Capital Management of Denver, and Germany-based Deutsche Vermoegensbildungsgesellschaft m.b.H. and Veritas SG Investment Trust GmbH of Frankfurt.

Edward T. Maggio, chairman, president and CEO of Structural Bioinformatics, said the company will use the additional money to expand its computational science and drug discovery and speed up the growth of its protein structural database.

“As sequencing of the human genome is nearing completion, we are seeing a fundamental evolutionary shift in attention toward genome-derived protein structure and structure-based drug design,” Maggio said.

IPO: San Diego’s Illumina Inc. announced April 4 it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering worth $100 million.

All of the shares of common stock comprising the offering will be sold by Illumina.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. will be lead underwriter in the IPO. Chase H & Q; and SG Cowen will be co-managers.

Illumina’s miniaturized technology uses fiber optics to conduct up to 3 million tests simultaneously for scientific experimentation, the company said.


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