UCLA Startup, ImaginAb, Closes $21 Million Series B Financing

UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology

From FierceBiotech:

“UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology, a biotech approach to imaging that the company believes will help personalize treatments for cancer and immune disease.

Mérieux Développement, the investment arm of French life sciences outfit bioMérieux, led the latest round, joined by repeat investors Novartis ($NVS), Cycad Group and Nextech Invest. Each is betting ImaginAb’s novel take on imaging agents will help investigators better understand disease and match patients to their ideal therapies…”

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Read Press Release [web]
About ImaginAb [web]

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10 Most Well-Funded Startup Neighborhoods in LA

Why are there so many funded startups on the Westside?

From builtinla:

“The Internet’s ability to flatten national borders, shorten distances and hyperlink individuals would seem to make the physical location of a business completely irrelevant. Yet tech, the industry that appears least tethered to the ground, tends to cluster around specific locations.

Within the LA tech community this is no exception. By mapping Built In LA’s 2013 digital funding startup data across LA zip codes, it’s clear that a huge majority of funded businesses in LA reside on the Westside.

Intuitively, this is not surprising because Santa Monica and Venice-based companies are frequently in the headlines. However, the degree to which companies based in these areas receive funding shows a tech ecosystem thriving mostly on the Westside. In total, companies headquartered within Westside zip codes received $741 million of funding out of approximately $1.1 billion invested in greater LA in 2013…”

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Mayor Garcetti Launches Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program

Entrepreneurs hold the key to sustained economic growth that makes an ecosystem vibrant and exciting.

From LA Daily News:

“Seeking to tap into private industry, Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday announced the creation of an “Entrepreneur in Residence” program to develop ideas on ways to create new businesses in the city, all funded by a private accounting firm.

“We want L.A. to be the leading destination for people starting new businesses, and there are no better guides for our efforts than successful entrepreneurs themselves,” Garcetti said of the program, sponsored by Ernst & Young…”

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LA Mayor’s Press Release [web]

Santa Monica-Based Biotech, Kite Pharma, Raises $50M in New Financing

Proceeds to Support Advancement of Clinical Programs in Cancer Immunotherapy

From Kite Pharma:

Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced the completion of a $50 million mezzanine private financing of convertible notes. Participants in the transaction included a syndicate of healthcare-dedicated investors, many of which are based in the United States and are first-time investors in Kite. Additional terms of the financing were not disclosed.

Kite expects to use proceeds of the financing to advance its programs developing novel cancer immunotherapy products. Kite’s lead investigational therapy is an autologous eACT™ product that targets CD19 expression on B cell malignancies, including diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Additional programs will target a number of both hematological malignancies and solid tumors…

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE [web]
FierceBiotech – Immuno-oncology specialist Kite adds $50M in new financing [web]
Kite Pharma [web]

Silicon Valley Goes to the Beach

Powered by video and fed by stars, a startup boom in west Los Angeles is giving California a second high-tech mecca

From Time:

The second-floor office of Tradesy, a 16-month-old online consignment shop, has all the requisite trappings of a digital startup. Inside an open, loftlike space, seven 20-somethings work at a central pod of desks near an L-shaped kitchen stocked with free snacks and drinks. Employees’ dogs scamper beneath their feet while a team of programmers, eyes glued to computer screens, huddles in a separate room.

But there is a giveaway clue that Tradesy isn’t based in Silicon Valley or one of the dozens of other tech hubs that have taken root from Austin to Omaha: a deck off the kitchen is piled with surfboards. From there, the Pacific Ocean and the wide white-sand beach of Santa Monica, Calif., is about 300 yards away–easy walking distance when the waves are breaking…

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LA Biotech, C3 Jian, Raises $60M Series D Financing

C3 Jian is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing and commercializing novel products to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases related to the human microbiome, with an initial focus on improving oral health.

From C3 Jian:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — C3 Jian, Inc., a private company focused on developing proprietary drugs with an initial focus on improving oral healthcare, announced today the close of its Series D financing raising total proceeds of $60.5 million.

Funds from the financing will be used to support continued clinical development of the Company’s lead product, referred to as C16G2, a proprietary peptide-based antimicrobial drug specifically targeting Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium responsible for dental caries or tooth decay. Under a U.S. FDA Investigational New Drug Application, the Company recently began a Phase 2 Clinical Trial to study C16G2 formulated as a mouth rinse as well as a gel for both dental tray and tooth brush applications. Proceeds received will also help advance development of a second peptide drug candidate that has both teeth remineralization, as well as hair/nail growth properties. In addition, the Company plans to build a pipeline of additional innovative compounds using its proprietary STAMP (Specifically Targeted Antimicrobial Peptide) technology platform. STAMPs have the potential to alter human microbiomes by targeting and eliminating a specific bacterium versus broad spectrum antibiotics. The Company expects to explore development of STAMPs for medical uses in addition to oral healthcare…

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE [web]

Watch video about the technology [web]

California Still Home to Most Women-Owned Businesses

California has an estimated 1.1 million women-owned firms, 427,800 in LA alone. These businesses employ 984,000 (393,400 in LA) and contribute $200 billion ($85.3 billion in LA) to the economy.

From L.A. Biz:

Business is picking up for women in California, and across the country, according to the fourth annual American Express OPEN State the of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

“We’ve seen much more diversity in the kinds of businesses women are owning over the past 10 to 15 years,” Julie Weeks tells me. Weeks is an American Express OPEN research advisor and author of the report. “We looked at the number of women-owned businesses started every day,” says Weeks.

Weeks is the President and CEO of Womenable, a for-profit social enterprise that looks to grown women’s entrepreneurship worldwide. Her report analyzed the 1997, 2002, and 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s quinquennial business census, the Survey of Business Owners..

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