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In Vivo's Deals Of The Month, February 2018

Executive Summary

In Vivo's editors pick January's most significant deals, including Roche's acquisition of Flatiron and Moderna's latest big private fundraising. (Free article.)

Top Alliance: Gilead/Kite Licenses Sangamo's Gene Editing Technology

Gilead Sciences Inc. will pay up to $3.16 billion for exclusive rights to gene editing pioneer  Sangamo Therapeutics Inc.'s zinc finger nuclease technology to help its Kite Pharma Inc. subsidiary create better T cell therapies for cancer. In seeking a partner, Gilead eschewed newer gene editing plays, describing Sangamo's ZFN technology as "the optimal gene editing platform."  The partners have identified some initial oncology targets for specific therapeutic programs and will also attempt to develop CAR-T therapies for solid tumors. [See Deal]

Top Financing: Moderna Raises Another Big, Private Round

mRNA drug developer Moderna Therapeutics LLC added $500 million to its already-full coffers in early February.  New investors Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, BB Biotech, Julius Baer, Singapore-based EDBI and Sequoia Capital China joined existing investors Fidelity Management & Research, Pictet, Viking Global Investors, ArrowMark Partners and Alexandria Venture Investments. Moderna will combine this new money with existing resources to support its 19 development programs, as well as drug discovery for prophylactic vaccines and mRNA therapeutics designed to treat rare diseases. The money also will fund continued investment in the company's technology platform and its manufacturing and digital infrastructure. [See Deal]

Honorable Mention: Cota's $40 Million Series C

[COTA Inc.], an evidence-based data analytics company, has raised $40 million in Series C financing. IQVIA Holdings led the round and was joined by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, EW Healthcare Partners and existing investors Boston Millennia Partners, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Hackensack Meridian Health and Atoc Holdings. Cota  will use the funding to develop its lead product, the Cota Nodal Address system, which organizes complex real-world data of cancer patients and their diseases in a form that permits detailed analysis of outcomes, toxicities, practice patterns and cost.


Top M&A: Roche Acquires RWE With Flatiron Buy

Roche agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Flatiron Health Inc. for $1.9 billion in cash. The acquisition stems from an existing partnership – Roche previously held a 12.6% equity interest in Flatiron, which operates as a technology platform providing oncology-specific electronic health record software and a suite of software products for advancing real-world evidence of cancer research. The deal is structured so that Flatiron will continue to operate autonomously and it will maintain its network of partnerships. [See Deal]

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