One of biotech's most valuable startups just filed to go public. Here are 5 crucial takeaways from Sana's 271-page filing.

Steve Harr

Summary List Placement

After raising more than $700 million since its 2018 launch, one of the biotech industry’s most valuable private companies is planning to go public.

Seattle-based Sana Biotechnology filed paperwork on Wednesday for an initial public offering. Following a red-hot year for biotech IPOs in 2020, Sana is hoping to take advantage of investor enthusiasm to fuel its ambitious cell and gene therapy programs.

The company was founded in July 2018 and is led by former executives of Juno Therapeutics, a cell therapy startup that was acquired in 2018 by Celgene for $9 billion. Sana came out of stealth mode in early 2019 and closed a Series B round in June 2020 in which it raised $435.6 million.

The size of its latest funding round places Sana among the top 10 biotech or life sciences companies in the US, according to data going back to 2002 from PitchBook. Some of the other companies on that shortlist include coronavirus-vaccine-maker Moderna, low-cost drugs startup EQRx, cancer-detection company Grail, and disgraced lab-testing firm Theranos.

Read more: The 26 billion-dollar startups to watch that are revolutionizing healthcare in 2021

Sana commanded a $2.77 billion valuation after the 2020 raise, the second-highest valuation among all private biotechs, according to Silicon Valley Bank’s annual industry report. Sana hasn’t set yet set the pricing terms for its IPO.

The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol SANA. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Bank of America are leading the offering.

We read through Sana’s 271-page filing to learn more about the secretive biotech’s business and strategy. Here are five crucial takeaways from Sana’s latest disclosure. 

Sana’s pipeline is sprawling, but it’s at least a year away from starting human testing

Sana’s filing provides the first detailed look at the treatments it’s working on, and it’s sprawling in terms of both its scientific ambitions and the range of disease areas it’s targeting. 

The biotech’s lead program is focused on a rare genetic blood disorder called ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency. Beyond that, the company has early-stage treatment candidates in development for heart failure, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, several types of cancer, sickle cell disease, and beta-thalassemia.

Sana’s platform is primarily focused on engineering and manipulating cells. But it’s also researching gene delivery, gene modifications, and pluripotent stem cells.

All this work is still in the earliest stages of development. None of its potential treatments are being tested in people, and Sana doesn’t expect that to happen until 2022 at the earliest.

Biotech companies deciding to go public before any of their treatments are tested in people has been a trend in the last few years, as investor appetite for early scientific bets has grown. By that count, Sana is shaping up to be a mammoth wager. 

The startup has set up an independent research arm and is digging into COVID-19

Sana’s S-1 also gives details on the company’s research arm SanaX, led by Harvard Medical School genetics professor Richard Mulligan. The group is currently investigating new tools for Sana’s cell and gene therapies, including developing new viral vectors, expanding the capacity of existing vectors and manipulating the body’s immune response. 

On top of that, SanaX is exploring how to best delivery specific antibodies to treat the novel coronavirus. That could put the startup in competition with industry giant Regeneron, which has teamed up with gene therapy pioneer Jim Wilson to find new ways of delivering antibodies to fight the virus. 

New tools that come out of SanaX could be folded into Sana’s internal drug portfolio or be used in an external partnership. The company has yet to announce any drug industry collaborations.

“Our goal is to lead both the present and future of cell engineering and we are committed to making significant investments in research and other activities that will ensure a leadership position throughout the next decade,” the S-1 said. 

ARCH and Flagship own nearly half of Sana’s shares

ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Pioneering are the main venture capital firms backing Sana. 

ARCH owns 27.5% of Sana’s stock going into the offering, and Flagship owns 21.4%. The next largest institutional investor is Canada Pension Plan’s investment fund, which owns 5.8% of the biotech.

How much those shares will ultimately be worth is an open question, as Sana has yet to specify its target pricing range. Most biotech IPOs offered shares somewhere around $15 to $20, which would effectively value Sana at somewhere around $9 billion to $12 billion, Stat News’s Kate Sheridan reported.

Judging by its $705.5 million in previous funding, Sana isn’t a typical biotech. If Sana prices at $20 per share, ARCH’s and Flagship’s stakes would respectively be worth $3.5 billion and $2.7 billion. 

The biotech hasn’t built its own manufacturing presence, instead relying on third parties

The drugs Sana aspires to make are very complex. The filing reveals that Sana hasn’t spent its copious funding on building its own manufacturing capacity. 

“We do not yet own or operate any cGMP manufacturing facilities,” the filing states, referencing current good manufacturing practices, the universal standards enforced by drug regulators. 

Instead, like many pre-commercial biotechs, Sana is relying on third-party contractors to produce its experimental treatments.

While the company doesn’t have a manufacturing footprint, it has built up a nationwide research presence with about 170,000 square-feet in office and lab space across Seattle, South San Francisco, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Sana has been hungry for growth, executing three acquisitions worth a combined $1.5 billion

Sana has made several acquisitions in its first two years of operations, which combined are worth more than the funding it has raised to date. The company has mainly used its own stock to fund the deals.

Its largest was the February 2019 acquisition of Cobalt Biomedicine, which was also incubated at Flagship Pioneering but was still in stealth mode when it was acquired. Sana paid $136 million in stock in the deal, which included the possibility of $500 million in milestone payments and a $500 million “success payment” tied to its valuation.

The acquisition gave Sana access to the in-vivo gene therapy approach used in its lead drug candidate. It also helped Sana grow its workforce, which has ballooned from 37 employees at its launch to more than 200 employees currently. 

Sana has further built out its broad pipeline through the acquisition of two Seattle-based startups. It bought  Cytocardia Inc. in November 2019 for upwards of $148 million and acquired Oscine Corp. in September 2020 for upwards of $234.3 million. 

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The buzzy biotech Verve is gearing up to test a gene-editing treatment that could cure heart disease. The CEO shares his 3-step vision for the one-and-done heart treatment.

Summary List PlacementA Cambridge, Massachusetts biotech chasing the goal of curing heart disease just announced the first treatment it plans to test in people.
Verve Therapeutics’ lead experimental therapy, dubbed VERVE-101, aims to slash bad cholesterol levels and effectively cure patients with a serious genetic heart disease by editing a tiny piece of their DNA. Verve CEO and cofounder Dr. Sekar Kathiresan told Business Insider that’s the first part of his three-step strategy in transforming how heart disease is treated.
“Ultimately, this medicine, if effective and safe, will be a one-and-done for heart attack,” Kathiresan said.
Verve is set to be one of the leading — if not the first — biotechs to begin testing cutting-edge gene-editing technologies in humans to treat heart disease. Other biotechs have started testing CRISPR-based treatments for the genetic blood disorders sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia.
Kathiresan, a prominent cardiologist, founded Verve while working as a researcher at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. After a lifetime of studying the heart and its related genetics, Kathiresan resigned from his positions to lead Verve, which was incubated by GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, from 2016 to 2018. 
Over the last two years, Verve has raised more than $120 million in seed and Series A rounds led by GV. The company now has 53 employees, with plans to grow to about 80 workers in the next two years, Kathiresan said. Most of the hiring will be for clinical research and manufacturing roles, he added. 
New data shows sustained cholesterol drop in monkeys, further building enthusiasm for gene-editing research
The biotech’s first experimental treatment was built using tools from the biotech Beam Therapeutics called base editing technology. It’s a more precise way to edit genes, allowing scientists to change a single letter of genetic code.
In this case, VERVE-101 aims to change an A to a G in the code of a gene involved in regulating cholesterol levels, called PCSK9. That single infusion should permanently lower someone’s bad cholesterol levels. 
Verve’s first study will enroll patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic heart disease that affects about 1.6 million people in the US and Europe, Kathiresan estimated.
These patients have abnormally high levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol from birth, which often result in overworked arteries. The ultimate result is young patients, often in their 30s or 40s, having heart attacks, strokes, and sometimes even dying. 
The technology isn’t ready to be tested in people. Verve will focus in 2021 on completing the necessary toxicology studies and lab work to set the stage for human testing to begin in 2022, Kathiresan said.
Even as the technology remains a ways away from potentially reaching large numbers of patients, excitement is clearly building in the space.
Verve’s partner Beam, for instance, went public in February 2020 at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Less than a year later, Beam’s stock has increased more than 350%, with the biotech now worth well over $5 billion, despite having no treatments ready for testing in people.
Verve’s latest monkey data, released Tuesday morning, should further bolster enthusiasm. Initial data, presented in June 2020, showed the technology could effectively block genes to dramatically lower cholesterol levels in monkeys.
“This could be the cure for heart disease,” Dr. Michael Davidson, a cardiovascular surgeon not involved in the research, told The New York Times.
In Tuesday’s update, Verve showed that cholesterol drop of 61% was sustained six months out and counting, based on results from four monkeys. These are the first monkey studies to show a prolonged benefit from the base-editing technology, Kathiresan said.
The long-term goal is to develop a one-and-done treatment that can prevent heart attacks
The company’s long-term vision is to tackle cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the US. The initial work in patients with this genetic heart condition is the first of three steps, Kathiresan said.
“Step two and step three are even more exciting,” he added. 
The second phase will expand research to anybody with atherosclerotic heart disease, a group that Kathiresan estimated at about 24 million people in the US and Europe. That’s a condition in which plaque builds up in arteries, narrowing them and potentially blocking blood flow or causing them to break.
The third step is the most ambitious: testing a gene-editing program as a preventive therapy for anyone at risk of heart attack. This would require a sizable amount of safety data in humans, Kathiresan acknowledged — data that doesn’t yet exist at any level for base-editing treatments. 
In chasing that ambitious vision, Verve will soon need to raise more capital. Kathiresan declined to say if Verve plans take advantage of a red-hot IPO market and go public this year.
“We’re in the process of thinking through what those additional raises are going to be like,” he said. “That’s probably all I want to say right now on that topic.”Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We took a 1964 Louisiana literacy test and failed spectacularly

The 26 billion-dollar startups to watch that are revolutionizing healthcare in 2021

Summary List PlacementThe financial calamities predicted at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic didn’t materialize for most healthcare startups. 
The industry’s up-and-coming private companies largely benefited from the one-two punch of financial concerns in other parts of the market and an increased focus on healthcare with all eyes on America’s wavering pandemic response.
2020 will likely go down as one of the single most pivotal years for the US healthcare industry in history. Even outside large hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, private startups raised a whopping $17 billion in 2020, a 57% increase over 2019’s record, according to a new report from Silicon Valley Bank.
That led to a new herd of healthcare unicorns, private companies valued at or above $1 billion. Some former unicorns, like GoodRx and Amwell, made public market debuts while others continued raising venture capital and private financings while the market was favorable. Some startups raised two separate funding rounds in the last year alone.
Read more: The 8 digital health startups to watch that are changing healthcare in 2021
Business Insider rounded up the 26 healthcare companies currently valued at more than $1 billion, according to Pitchbook and additional reporting.SEE ALSO: Investors think Amazon and Alphabet could set the pace for healthcare deals in 2021. Here’s what they are watching.
MDLive – $1 billion

MDLive is a long-standing telemedicine provider that has boomed during the pandemic. The 11-year-old company offers a suite of digital health and virtual care services to its patients in the United States and operates on a similar level to its competitor, telehealth giant Teladoc.
Teladoc in October completed its merger with Livongo, a company that helps patients manage chronic conditions like diabetes, spurring speculation that MDLive may pursue a similar blockbuster deal in 2021. 
MDLive indicated its plan to go public in 2021 instead when it announced $50 million in equity investment in September. According to Pitchbook data, the round valued MDLive at $1 billion and also included $25 million in debt financing as a separate transaction.
— Megan Hernbroth
Cityblock Health – $1 billion

Cityblock Health wants to improve healthcare outcomes for low-income patients through its social support services for what investors call social determinants of health in addition to its virtual care service.
These factors, which include access to public transportation, affordable and reliable housing, and nutritious food, operate outside the four walls of a clinic or doctor’s office but have massive implications on patients’ long-term health.
Cityblock Health raised $160 million in Series C funding on December 14, catapulting the three-year-old startup to the unicorn club.
Investors recently told Business Insider that startups like Cityblock could be poised to rise even further in 2021 as the pandemic continues and the inequities in care remain at the forefront of the nation’s response.
— Megan Hernbroth
Virta Health – $1.1 billion

Virta Health is a Silicon Valley startup that combines virtual care and the trendy ketogenic diet to help patients with diabetes. 
Virta encourages patients with type 2 diabetes to adopt a low-carb, high-fat diet and matches them with trained professionals to help track and manage their symptoms. In a peer-reviewed study Virta funded, researchers found that these changes to a patient’s diet could ultimately reduce or remove the need for medications like insulin.
Virta raised $93 million in Series C funding in January 2020 before raising another $65 million in Series D funding on December 2. The subsequent round valued the startup its $1.1 billion, Bloomberg reported.
— Megan Hernbroth
 
Lyra Health – $1.1 billion

Lyra is a mental health startup that works with companies to provide better benefits to employees. The startup has a network of therapists, coaches, and other care providers that provide virtual care visits to any employee with access to the software at little or no cost.
The service has been booming during the pandemic, according to investors, as remote employees struggle with work-life balance and employers seek to replace the enticing in-office perks with options that benefit more people.
Lyra raised $110 million in Series D funding on August 27, earning the five-year-old startup a $1.1 billion valuation, according to Pitchbook data.
Investors have been eager to back mental health startups in 2020, and many told Business Insider they foresee that trend only increasing in 2021. 
— Megan Hernbroth
 
Sema4 – $1.1 billion

Sema4 is a data analytics startup based in Stamford, Connecticut, that looks at data sets of large populations to gain insight into health outcomes. The company spun out of the Mount Sinai Health System in 2017, and was named for a system of sending messages using codes, which is the core function of its technology.
On July 29, the company said that it raised $121 million in Series C funding from BlackRock Innovation Capital Group, Mount Sinai Health System, The Blackstone Group, Moore Strategic Ventures, Deerfield Management, Oak HC/FT, Decheng Capital, Connecticut Innovations, and Section 32.
The round came about a year after a $120 million Series B funding round. In total the company has raised nearly $371 million, according to Pitchbook data.
— Megan Hernbroth
Freenome – $1.2 billion

Freenome is a liquid biopsy startup that seeks to detect cancer through a routine blood draw. 
“What we’re aiming to do is develop a test that healthy patients would take as part of their annual physical that tells you whether or not somebody’s going to have cancer,” cofounder and CEO Gabe Otte told Business Insider in 2016 following the company’s seed funding round.
Otte developed technology that can read the human genome for early markers of cancer by looking at a patient’s blood instead of more traditional biopsies that rely on sampling tumor cells. In the years since his first fundraising round, Otte and his team have also created software that creates a system for early disease detection and screenings.
The San Francisco-based company raised $270 million in Series C funding in July. Its investors include GV, Roche Venture Fund, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Fidelity Investments, Novartis, American Cancer Society, Andreessen Horowitz, BrightEdge Ventures, Polaris Partners, Section 32, RA Capital Management, and Farallon Capital Management, among others. It has raised more than $508 million in total, according to Pitchbook data.
— Megan Hernbroth
 
 
Rakuten Medical – $1.2 billion

Headquartered in San Diego, Rakuten Medical develops precision-targeted cancer therapies designed to treat solid tumors. 
The biotech is led by the Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, who is also founder and CEO of the large Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten. Mikitani said he was inspired to fund the cancer research after his father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012.
Rakuten Medical has raised about $471 million, according to PitchBook. Both Mikitani and Rakuten have invested in Rakuten Medical.
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Orca Bio – $1.2 billion

Biotech startup Orca Bio creates new cell therapies for procedures like bone marrow transplants that help strengthen patients’ immunity. The doses are personalized to each patient and are built cell-by-cell using another person’s blood.
According to the company, this treatment could help cure certain diseases and decrease side effects commonly experienced with current drugs. In November, the startup released a study of its therapy’s success on patients with graft-versus-host disease, a complication commonly associated with transplant recipients. 
The Silicon Valley company raised $192 million in Series D funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and 8VC on June 17. According to Pitchbook data, it has raised $300 million since it was founded in 2016.
— Megan Hernbroth
Whoop – $1.2 billion

Whoop makes a health and fitness tracking strap that has won over everyone from Lebron James to Eli Manning to Kevin Durant.
The strap, which functions similar to existing watch fitness trackers, allegedly helped PGA Tour golfer Nick Watney detect early COVID-19 symptoms by picking up on his elevated respiratory rate, in addition to integrating with popular fitness app Strava. The strap itself costs nothing and is included with a membership for $30 a month or $288 for one year.
The 8-year-old startup was founded by 31-year-old founder and CEO Will Ahmed. On October 28, Whoop said it had raised $100 million in Series E funding at a $1.2 billion valuation. 
— Megan Hernbroth
Butterfly Network – $1.3 billion

Butterfly Network, a company that developed an iPhone-based ultrasound device, wants to make the technology more accessible to doctors and healthcare workers so they can make more precise diagnoses on the move. 
The device, called Butterfly iQ, plugs into the iPhone and isn’t much bigger than the phone itself. It’s been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in imaging the abdomen, bladder, and heart. 
In September 2018, Butterfly raised $250 million from investors such as Fidelity, Fosun Pharma, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In total, the company raised $370 million. 
In November, the company said it plans to go public via a merger with the special purpose acquisition company Longview Acquisition Corp., a deal that would value the company at $1.5 billion. The deal, commonly referred to as a SPAC, was among a wave of similar reverse mergers that allowed startups to forgo the traditional IPO process while still taking advantage of public markets investors.
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Everlywell – $1.3 billion

Everlywell offers at-home testing kits for food sensitivity, fertility, hormones, STDs, and thyroid or metabolism issues, all compliant with federal standards. The startup sends samples to accredited labs, which perform the tests using patient-provided samples similar to what would occur at a routine doctor’s office visit. 
The tests are not currently covered by any insurance providers, but Everlywell says that it tries to keep its pricing simple and easy for consumers to understand. 
Everlywell patients receive results that have been reviewed by licensed physicians through a mobile app. They are then able to take those to a primary care or specialist provider without having to step foot in a traditional medical testing lab. The startup received national attention when founder Julia Cheek pitched the idea on Shark Tank.
In March, Everlywell announced it was also offering an at-home COVID-19 test as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the United States. It partnered with independent labs to scale infrastructure to the point where it can handle up to 250,000 tests weekly, according to the company.
The company raised $25 million in Series C funding in February 2020. On December 3, the startup announced it raised $175 million in Series D funding from Goodwater Capital, Highland Capital Partners, and Next Coast Ventures in addition to several private equity firms. In total, the company has raised more than $250 million.
— Megan Hernbroth
Grand Rounds – $1.3 billion

Grand Rounds works with companies like Walmart and Home Depot to offer an on-demand healthcare virtual assistant to employees as an employer-provided benefit. The company previously focused on large self-insured companies like the aforementioned, but have recently started selling to medium-sized companies as the pandemic left many employers scrambling to offer relevant benefits while maintaining low costs.
In September, Grand Rounds raised $175 million from private equity firm Carlyle Group that launched its valuation to $1.3 billion, according to Pitchbook data.  
“As COVID hit and these employers, to take care of digital and work-from-home workforces across the country, they all had unique situations and needs pop up,” Carlyle Group investor and Grand Rounds board member Robert Schmidt told Business Insider in September.
— Megan Hernbroth
 
Ro – $1.5 billion

Ro is a direct-to-consumer provider that offers generic medications for conditions such as erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and weight management through the mail. Patients can consult a doctor through Ro’s telemedicine service throughout the course of treatment and are required to pay a cash fee for medication and the visit since Ro doesn’t accept insurance. 
The three-year-old company raised $200 million in venture funding on July 27, nabbing a $1.5 billion valuation as a result. It acquired Workpath, another startup that provides in-home care services, in December as it seeks to expand beyond digital health.
— Megan Hernbroth
Olive – $1.5 billion

Olive makes automation technology for healthcare workers. Its artificial intelligence software picks up on keystrokes to learn how a healthcare worker interacts with specific applications and provide suggestions for tasks like prior authorizations or patient verifications. It also has a tool to help automate processes in hospitals’ human resources, finance, and supply chain departments.
Olive raised $106 million in venture funding in September, just months after raising $51 million in March. It is currently valued at $1.5 billion, according to Pitchbook data. In December acquired Verata Health to further expand its services to insurance companies and hospitals.
— Megan Hernbroth
Hims – $1.6 billion

Be it depression, hair loss, or erectile dysfunction, Hims wants men to “take care of themselves” without fear of stigma via its suite of telemedicine and personal care offerings.
Besides online primary care visits and therapy, it sells hair, skin, and sex products directly to consumers. Its sister site, Hers, offers similar services for women. Hims says its total funding to date is $260 million.
On October 1, the company announced that it was going public through a reverse merger with blank-check company Oaktree, that valued Hims publicly at $1.6 billion.  
Its investors include Atomic, Maverick Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Founders Fund, 8VC, and Redpoint Ventures.
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer & Megan Hernbroth
HeartFlow – $1.6 billion

HeartFlow is trying to make the process of finding blockages in the heart a lot less invasive. Using imaging from a CT scan, HeartFlow builds a 3D model that pinpoints the blockages associated with coronary-artery disease, a heart condition that affects millions of Americans and is the leading cause of death in the US. 
HeartFlow is based in Redwood City, California, and reached unicorn status in 2018 after raising $240 million. In total, the company has raised $532 million. 
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Zocdoc – $1.8 billion

Zocdoc helps patients book doctors’ appointments and check-in for them — everything from primary care to dental to optometry appointments.
Users can search based on procedures, conditions, and even a particular doctor they might want to book an appointment with.
In 2019, the company changed the way it pays its doctors in some states, moving from a subscription model to one that charges a per-booking fee. Some doctors weren’t been happy about the switch.
Zocdoc, which is based in New York, most recently raised $130 million in a Series D round in August 2015, bringing its total raised to $223 million. The company’s last reported valuation is from 2015, according to PitchBook.
During the pandemic, Zocdoc introduced video visits for the providers on its platform to use with patients. 
Zocdoc cofounder Cyrus Massoumi in September sued the company, claiming he was pushed out of his role as CEO in an illegal “coup.”
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Devoted Health – $1.8 billion

Devoted Health wants to reinvent how we care for aging Americans.
The company started selling Medicare Advantage plans in parts of Florida for 2019. In its second year, its enrollment jumped, in line with the company’s expectations. 
Read more: Oscar Health has confidentially filed to go public. Here’s a look at how the health insurer and rivals Clover and Bright have fared so far this year.
The company’s plans might look a bit different from traditional insurance in that Devoted plans to do more than pay for visits to doctors and hospitals. It also hires nurses and other employees directed at keeping seniors healthier and out of the hospital.
Devoted was founded in 2017 by brothers Ed and Todd Park. Before Devoted, Todd Park cofounded the health IT company Athenahealth and served as the chief technology officer of the US during the Obama administration. Ed Park, who serves as Devoted’s CEO, was formerly the chief technology officer and later chief operating officer at Athenahealth.
In October 2018, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company raised $300 million in a Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz, bringing its total funding to $369 million.
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Zymergen – $2.1 billion

Synthetic biology company Zymergen is a Silicon Valley company that turns living organisms into new materials. Synthetic biology involves harnessing the power of cells to make products like less-toxic sweeteners for food or drugs and biodegradable building materials and bags. It was a popular area of investment for cutting edge VC firms prior to the pandemic as the technology could help combat single-use plastic use.
On July 29, the eight-year-old startup raised $350 million in Series D funding led by private equity firm Baillie Gifford, according to Pitchbook data. Other investors include SoftBank Investment Advisers, SVF, Schiehallion Fund, SciFi VC, DCVC Bio, True Ventures, Perceptive Advisors, Baron Funds, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, and MicroVentures.
— Megan Hernbroth
Lyell – $2.5 billion

The San Francisco biotech company is focused on treating cancer with cell therapies. Lyell’s goal is to develop cell-based immunotherapies for cancer, with a focus on CAR-Ts and solid tumors.
In March 2020, the company raised a total $493 million in funding from undisclosed investors. The company has raised a total of $851 million, according to CB Insights, from investors including Foresite Capital Management, Arch Venture Partners, and Altitude Life Science Ventures.
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Sana Biotechnology – $2.8 billion

Sana Biotechnology is developing engineered cells that can be used as medication for patients. The goal, according to the company, is to engineer cells to repair and control genes or replace missing or damaged cells with an entirely new set of therapies for a range of conditions. It is currently focusing on immunology, stem cell biology, gene delivery, and gene modification.
The Seattle-based company said it has roughly 250 employees across three offices. In June, it raised $435 million in Series B funding from GV, Omega Fund, and Flagship Pioneering, according to Pitchbook data. The round was part of a larger initial financing, according to the company, which totaled $700 million after multiple separate rounds of fundraising.
Additional investors include ARCH Venture Partners, F-Prime Capital, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, City Hill Ventures, Baillie Gifford, Alaska Permanent Fund, Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and Bezos Expeditions.
— Megan Hernbroth
Radiology Partners – $4.3 billion

Southern California-based Radiology Partners owns and operates radiology clinics in 26 states across the US. According to the company, it employs roughly 1,500 radiologists and provides radiology services to more than 1200 hospitals on-site and virtually.
The eight-year-old company raised an undisclosed amount of private equity financing from Heritage Group in 2020, according to Pitchbook data, and subsequently raised two rounds of debt financing. Prior to 2020, it raised $750 million in growth financing from Starr Investment Holdings on July 19, 2019.
— Megan Hernbroth
Gingko Bioworks – $4.9 billion

Ginkgo Bioworks is a startup that designs microbes to produce substances like fragrances and medications. The Boston-based company sends the programmed bugs to partner companies that put them to use.
In September 2019, Ginkgo raised an additional $290 million. In total, the company has raised $719 million and a $350 million fund to invest in spinout companies that use its technology. 
In 2020 Ginkgo responded to the coronavirus pandemic by helping with testing, vaccines, and antibody therapeutics, according to its website. 
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Tempus Labs – $8.1 billion

Chicago-based Tempus got its start in 2015, and then rocketed into unicorn territory.
The startup, which was founded by Groupon founder Eric Lefkofsky, hopes to help doctors use data to find better cancer treatments for patients, using both clinical data — information about which medications patients have taken and how they responded to them — and data it sequences in its lab based on the tumors and hereditary genetics of cancer patients.
Tempus raised $100 million in March 2020 and another $200 million in December 2020, putting the company at an $8.1 billion valuation. So far, the company has raised about $1 billion. 
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Roivant Sciences – $9 billion

Roivant Sciences is a company known for developing drugs that other pharmaceutical companies have abandoned.
The company was founded by CEO Vivek Ramaswamy, who’s 35. Through its subsidiary companies, it identifies experimental drugs that other companies may have stopped developing for one reason or another that still have potential to get approved and go on the market.
So far, it has launched 17 subsidiary “-vant” companies, including a number that have gone public. Those include the neurodegenerative-disease-drug developer Axovant Sciences, the women’s health company Myovant Sciences, and the urology company Urovant Sciences.
In December 2019, the company entered a deal with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. The company raised $200 million from investors in 2018 a little more than a year after raising $1.1 billion in a monster round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The $200 million round valued the company at $7 billion. 
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer
Samumed – $12.4 billion

Samumed is the highest-valued startup on this list.
The San Diego-based company has attracted a total of $764 million and a heady valuation thanks to a pipeline of what could be revolutionary treatments to regenerate hair, skin, bones, and joints.
The company’s science hinges on something called progenitor stem cells. Samumed hopes to manipulate the pathway that makes these progenitor stem cells spring into action so that they don’t cause conditions like hair loss or osteoarthritis. 
The company had previously raised funding from backers including high-net worth people and sovereign funds rather than venture capital. Samumed’s chief business officer, Erich Horsley, said in May 2018 that the company could go public in the next three to four years.
— Lydia Ramsey Pflanzer

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