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SEBIO Congratulates 2019 Award Winners | SEBIO

SEBIO Congratulates 2019 Award Winners

Posted by on Nov 22, 2019

Best Deals In Class Award Winners Announced


Each year SEBIO recognizes healthcare and life sciences organizations in the Southeastern US whose achievements are bringing the region into focus as a hub of medical and technological innovation. The 2019 Investor & Partnering Forum in Miami honored five very worthy companies from across the region for their accomplishments this year.

The awards were presented by Evan McClure, MD, a partner in the Life Sciences practice of global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson. “This community of entrepreneurs continues to produce curative therapies, paradigm-shifting platforms, and foundational science that are changing lives the world over,” notes Dr. McClure. “The Southeast US has tremendous substrate for medical innovation, and these award recipients are but a few examples of the good that can be accomplished when investors and large industry players deploy resources throughout this talent-rich region.”

The award winners are as follows:

Initial Funding: Lindy Biosciences – Durham, NC – CEO Dr. Deborah Bitterfield


Deborah and her team have developed a formulation technology that creates stable spherical molecules from protein solutions. This allows for highly concentrated suspensions with low viscosity, which is important because it is paving the way for patients to be able to self-inject protein therapies – like monoclonal antibodies – at home, rather than going to an acute care setting for slow IV infusions. The company raised $1.6 million this year to advance this technology.

Venture Deal: Asklepios BioPharmaceutical (AskBio) – Research Triangle Park, NC – SVP BD&L Gregg Davis


AskBio, one of the pioneers of AAV gene therapies for rare and underserved disease areas, raised $235 million in April to support the company’s clinical trials and manufacturing scale-up. Since its founding in 2001, AskBio has spun out four companies to commercialize treatments for cardiovascular disease, hemophilia, muscular dystrophy, and metabolic disease. Two of these companies are now part of AbbVie and Pfizer, respectively.

Strategic Investment or Partnership: Stride Bio – Durham, NC – Dr. Garrett Berry, Business Development


Stride Bio is leveraging viral based gene therapies for a wide range of diseases, with a platform that can create novel viral capsids that evade neutralizing antibodies. The company inked a partnership earlier this year with Takeda to create therapies for Friedreich’s Ataxia and other rare diseases. This collaboration provides for $30 million up-front and up to $680 million in milestone payments to Stride Bio. This deal is a great example of a nimble biotech drawing resources to the region from a best-in-class pharma partner.

Strategic Acquisition: Brammer Bio – Alachua, FL and Cambridge, MA – Richard Snyder, former Brammer CSO


Brammer is a contract development and manufacturing organization that supports companies in creating cell and gene therapies for a broad range of applications. Only four years after its founding in 2015, Brammer was acquired this year for $1.7 billion by Thermo Fisher, which will keep its 80,000 square foot facility in Florida. This deal is notable not just because of its magnitude and the cutting-edge nature of its technologies, but because of the resources it continues to draw to the region.

IPO: Precision Biosciences – Durham, NC 


Precision Biosciences will be familiar to many of you as last year’s award winner for Best Venture Funding, when it raised a $110 million Series B to advance its novel gene editing system to create novel cell and gene therapies as well as food science technologies. Since last year’s conference, the company completed a $126 million IPO, which was the largest biotech IPO in the region. It’s especially gratifying to follow a company like Precision through multiple milestones as they continue to advance these transformative gene editing technologies.

About Southeastern Life Sciences Alliance

Today, the Southeast is recognized as one of the fastest growing life sciences regions in the U.S. The newly merged Southeastern Life Sciences Alliance is a regional non-profit organization formed by an alliance between SEMDA and SEBIO so as to optimize the life sciences industry in the Southeastern U.S. through efforts that promote entrepreneurship and bring together companies, investors, universities, and support organizations active in the development of the industry. The geographic footprint of the Southeastern Life Sciences Alliance presently includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

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