Just in time for the holidays, two key biotech firms are making Austin biotech business headlines, raising substantial capital in a ramp-up toward 2014.
Earlier in the week, Austin’s Apollo Endosurgery reported via an SEC filing that it had raised $60.7 million, the vast majority of a planned $63.7 million in Series C financing. The SEC filing indicated that eleven separate investors participated in Apollo’s current funding round. This news comes in the wake of the company’s last major news release, announcing the completion of an $110 million purchase of Allergan‘s Obesity Intervention Division and its lap-band technology. Apollo continues to aggressively expand its product offerings, and will undoubtedly use this new round of funding to continue its growth and expansion into the new year.
Also making Austin biotech news this week is Vermillion, an industry leader in the development of next-generation diagnostic tests for gynecologic cancers and women’s health, who announced that a group of top investors, including Oracle Investment Management, Jack W. Schuler, and Matthew W. Strobeck among others, have exercised warrants to purchase 12.1 million shares of Vermillion common stock at an exercise price of $1.46 per share.
The warrants, which were issued in conjunction with an equity financing transaction that closed on May 13, 2013, will deliver $17.6 million in proceeds to Vermillion. In total, the company has amassed approximately $30.9 million in funding, before transaction costs. According to a company press release, Vermillion plans to use the recent funding proceeds from the warrant exercise “to increase test sales and improve reimbursement for OVA1, expand commercial opportunities in the U.S. and new markets and advance one or more next-generation ovarian cancer diagnostic tests.”
In other Vermillion news, the company recently announced a major appointment to its executive staff, naming Marian E. Sacco as senior vice president of sales and marketing and chief commercial officer. Ms. Sacco has a proven background in diagnostics and women’s health, with more than 25 years of experience in product development, worldwide marketing, operations and sales management in both private and public companies.
Most recently, she has been working as a strategic consultant for numerous women’s healthcare companies, with a client list that includes both product and laboratory service companies focused on new, novel tests and technologies in genetics, pregnancy, reproductive health and oncology. In this way, her skill set is well-suited for Vermillion, and adds yet another biotech business talent to the Austin biotech community.