Eli Lilly partner BioAge raises $170 mln for obesity treatment, ET HealthWorld

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Bengaluru: BioAge Labs, a biotech startup collaborating with Eli Lilly for trialing its obesity therapy, said on Tuesday it had raised $170 million in its latest funding round.

The Richmond, California-based startup is one of several that are developing potential treatments for obesity. Investors have rushed to back such companies in recent months, hoping to make a fortune later as the demand for weight-loss drugs picks up.

Such drugs have also captured Wall Street’s attention in recent months. Lilly’s recently approved weight-loss drug, Zepbound, propelled its market value to nearly $700 billion and placed it in a rarefied class of corporations.

BioAge said the funds would be used for development of its lead compound azelaprag. The company plans to initiate a mid-stage trial of the compound in mid-2024, in combination with Lilly’s Zepbound, for the treatment of obesity. Lilly’s Chorus is collaborating with BioAge for the studies.

The funding round was led by life sciences investment firm Sofinnova Investments. New investors, including venture capital firm Longitude Capital and investment manager RA Capital, both of which focus on the healthcare sector, participated in the round.

James Healy, managing partner at Sofinnova Investments, will become the chairman of BioAge’s board. Longitude Capital managing director Patrick Enright will also join the board, BioAge said.

Among the other backers in the round were Lilly Ventures, Amgen Ventures and existing BioAge investor Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), the startup added.

Despite hopes of a soft landing for the U.S. economy, venture capital activity in the United States has been subdued as investors await more certainty before signing big checks for startups.

  • Published On Feb 14, 2024 at 06:22 PM IST

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