On an annual basis, equity funding to private cancer therapeutics companies was up 153% in 2015. In Q1’16, the positive trend-lines continued, with deal activity rising to a new high of 32 in Q1’16, more than double the deal count seen in Q1’11.
Our cancer therapeutics category includes private biotechnology and drug discovery companies globally focused on cancer treatment, including the use of immuno-oncology (therapies that target the immune system to help fight cancer), oncolytic viruses (viruses that kill cancer cells), antibodies, and drugs that target the cancer stem cells thought to lead to tumors.
Our analysis includes all equity funding rounds and convertible notes.
Global financing history
Deals in Q1’16 were up 28% from Q4’15, crossing the 30-deal threshold on their way to a new high. Some of the largest funding rounds in Q1’16 include Series A rounds raised by by immuno-oncology startups Forty Seven ($75M) and NextCure ($67M).
Q3’15 was the quarter with the peak in funding, with dollars driven by 3 mega-rounds, including a $320M Series A round raised by Immunocore. Though funding dollars in Q1’16 were just half of the total funding seen in Q3’15, it was still the second-highest quarter for funding.
Deal share by stage
Over 40% of deals went to early-stage startups. More than 25 companies raised seed/angel rounds and over 90 companies raised Series A rounds.
Less than 14% deals went to late-stage startups raising Series D and beyond. Some of largest late-stage funding deals include a $130M Series F rounds raised by antibody-centered cancer therapeutics company Symphogen in 2011 and a $97M private equity round raised by China-based BeiGene last year.
The “other” category includes convertible notes and other undisclosed rounds.
Most well-funded companies
Stemcentrx, valued at $5B, is the most well-funded startup on the list, having raised $373.5M in equity funding from investors including Elon Musk, Fidelity Investments, Founders Fund, Artis Ventures, and Sequoia Capital.
Two of the companies on our previous list of most well-funded cancer therapeutics companies — Corvus Pharmaceuticals and Celator Pharmaceuticals — exited last quarter. Corvus’ IPO was valued at $306M.
The rankings are based on equity funding rounds raised.
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