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Venture-backed Modis Therapeutics Acquired By Publicly-held Zogenix for $250M

Modis Therapeutics, a venture-backed biopharma company, is being acquired by Zogenix Inc. for $250 million, the companies announced today and as reported by Street Insider.

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Founded in 2016, Oakland, Calif.-based Modis had raised a known $30 million over the course of its lifetime in just one round that took place in October 2018 Series A co-led by Orbimed Advisors and F Prime Capital Partners.

With a market cap of $1.85 billion, publicly-traded Zogenix describes itself as a “global pharmaceutical company developing rare disease therapies.” Modis, meanwhile, has a similar focus. The startup develops novel therapies for “rare genetic diseases with high unmet medical need.”

The biopharma space is not for the faint of heart. With long cycles, it can take many years for drugs to go through clinical trials with only the possibility of approval. So, Zogenix taking a $250 million bet on Modis at such an early stage is notable.

Modis’s lead product candidate, MT1621, is in late-stage development for the treatment of Thymidine Kinase 2 deficiency (TK2d), an inherited mitochondrial DNA depletion disorder that predominantly affects children and is often fatal.

In a press release, Zogenix said the clinical data on the candidate is thus far “compelling” with the potential for “an accelerated regulatory path in both the U.S. and Europe.”

Interestingly, investors don’t seem particularly excited by the news. Shares of Zogenix were down by nearly 13 percent to $43.53 at one point this morning.

In July 2018, Crunchbase News Reporter Joanna Glasner wrote about how exits in the biotech sector tend to be more low-key than other exits but not any less impressive. Since then, we’ve covered a number of large deals in the space, including Swiss biopharmaceutical company Roivant Sciences raising $200 million last November, bringing its valuation to $7 billion, among others.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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