A Handful of Philly Biotech Companies Snagged $240M in Investments This Past Week

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Biotechnology companies have become a huge attraction for VC dollars in the Philly region in the last several years, and a handful of companies in the sector this week have helped prove that growth.
Technological advances have accelerated discoveries across the life sciences, and money is flowing toward therapies, research and in honor of those lost to certain diseases (a family donated $55 million to the University of Pennsylvania for breast cancer research this week). Let’s dive into who’s gotten funding:

Starry Syndicate Powers $165M Bet on in vivo CAR-T Therapies

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The VC wings of Pfizer, Bayer, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Bristol Myers Squibb have come together to support the birth of a new biotech: Capstan Therapeutics. Armed with $165 million from the companies and VCs, the startup will advance a CAR-T therapy produced inside patients toward clinical development.

TEDCO Invests First of Maryland’s SSBCI Funds in Medcura, Inc.

TEDCO logo over a backdrop of the Maryland flag
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TEDCO, Maryland’s economic engine for technology companies, announced today it invested $1 million in Medcura, Inc. through the new State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Based in Riverdale, MD, Medcura is a life science and medical device company that has commercialized its first product derived from its advanced wound treatment platform for rapid bleeding management and is in the final stages of development of the next standard of care for the management of intraoperative surgical bleeding.

Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund Launches Manufacturing Assistance Program

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The Manufacturing Assistance Program is designed to help growth-stage stem cell companies fund and build out their manufacturing capabilities, which is a major need, particularly among the Fund’s portfolio companies that have reached this stage in their development.

VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners Invests in Jeeva to Help Increase Patient Diversity in Clinical Trials

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Virginia Venture Partners, the equity investment program of Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), today announced an investment in Manassas, Va.-based Jeeva. Jeeva provides a scalable eClinical Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that helps sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) accelerate flexible clinical operations while minimizing burden on site staff and patients. Jeeva will use this investment towards commercialization of the SaaS platform to accelerate therapy development for therapeutic areas such as rare diseases, immunology, and oncology in the U.S. and in emerging markets such as Latin America and India, where the company has recently established strategic partnerships.

McNulty Foundation Invests $2.6M to Advance Women in STEM through Leadership Program at Saint Joseph’s University

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Saint Joseph’s University will expand its commitment to women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a $2.6 million investment from the John P. and Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation. The University and the Foundation have worked to advance women’s representation and leadership in STEM for over a decade through the John P. McNulty Scholars program.

White House to Award $52.9 Million Grant to Va. Biotech Authority

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The White House announced the grant to the Virginia Biotechnology Research Partnership Authority on Friday. It is among 21 projects that will receive grants from the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, using a $1 billion fund created under the American Rescue Plan Act to generate economic opportunities in disadvantaged communities that need them.

Fulton Bank, an Important Growth Engine for Regional Life Sciences Companies

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In 2019, Fulton Bank launched a new division aimed at supporting life sciences companies that many financial institutions shied away from historically—young, emerging bioscience and tech companies that offer high risk, high reward investment profiles.

West Pharmaceutical Adds $65M and 225 Jobs to Pennsylvania-Based Manufacturing Site

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While Ly­coming Coun­ty, PA is main­ly known for host­ing the Lit­tle League World Se­ries every year, a new in­vest­ment in the area will hope­ful­ly give a boost to its man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.
West Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Ser­vices, a mak­er of vials, pre-fil­l­able sy­ringes and self-in­jec­tion prod­ucts, will in­vest $65 mil­lion to ex­pand its man­u­fac­tur­ing site in the town of Jer­sey Shore, PA a few miles down the road from Williamsport, PA. How­ev­er, the square footage of the ex­pan­sion and the time­line of the com­ple­tion were not im­me­di­ate­ly avail­able.
The com­pa­ny will be in­vest­ing about $60 mil­lion to ex­pand the fa­cil­i­ty as well as in­crease the com­pa­ny head­count by 225 both at the Jer­sey Shore lo­ca­tion and at the com­pa­ny’s head­quar­ters in Ex­ton, PA.

Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund Supports Innovative Women Researchers, Part 2

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The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF) is a champion for women in stem cell research. A host of women-led labs have received MSCRF support in pursuit of ground-breaking research in a wide-range of areas, including fields as diverse as blood brain barrier modeling, tissue engineering, autism, and rare disease therapeutics, among others.