Roivant wins $200m backing to expand R&D operations

Biotech startup Roivant has won a further $200 million backing from investors in a financing round valuing the company at $7 billion.

Roivant is a biotech unicorn – a privately held company worth upwards of $1 billion – that is headed by entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

Based in Switzerland and London, Roivant has a series of subsidiary companies that are focusing on developing drugs that have been cast off by other pharma companies.

There were doubts about this strategy earlier this year after the high-profile failure of Alzheimer’s drug intepirdine in January, which was being developed by subsidiary Axovant.

But this does not seem to have put off a new bunch of investors, including NovaQuest Capital Management, RTW Investments and other large institutional asset managers.

All existing institutional shareholders are also participating.

Funding will be used to launch further “Vants” – Ramaswamy’s pet name for his subsidiary companies.

The company noted that since its last financing round in 2017, the number of therapies in development at Roivant has grown from 14 to 34.

The number of “Vants” has grown from six to 14 and the number of employees across the company and its subsidiaries has increased from 350 to over 750.

Roivant anticipates topline data from six phase III clinical trials and multiple clinical readouts from earlier-stage therapies across its family of companies in 2019.

It also anticipates growing revenue at Datavant and other new “Vants” launched by Roivant Health.

In July subsidiary Enzyvant begun a rolling filing with the FDA for its RVT-802, a single administration regenerative therapy designed to treat primary immune deficiency resulting from absence of the thymus gland associated with the rare disease DiGeorge syndrome (DGS).

Roivant also signed a development and licensing agreement with Poxel for a potential oral type 2 diabetes drug, imeglimin.

Based in France, Poxel is developing a portfolio of drugs that were sold off by Merck Serono in 2009.

Last year Roivant raised $1.1 billion from an investor group led by SoftBank Vision Fund.

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