Incubate Letter in Opposition to MA S. 2774

See Incubate's letter to the Massachusetts state legislature in opposition to S. 2774


04.07.2022

Dear Chairwoman Friedman and Chairman Lawn:

I write today on behalf of Incubate, a coalition of America’s early-stage life sciences investors, about Governor Baker’s price setting proposal that would allow the Health Policy Commission (HPC) to determine the value of a drug and impose significant penalties for exceeding HPC’s “value” that is based on vague criteria. We are deeply concerned that, if enacted, S. 2774 would undermine Massachusetts’ robust life sciences community, chilling innovation, harming the state economy, and jeopardizing patient access to needed medicines.

Incubate has worked to ensure lawmakers in Washington understand the implications of price controls on the American biopharmaceutical ecosystem. Our members are clear on this point: the risk capital required to develop new drugs cannot be sustained if the U.S. embraces price controls, and without capital we will no longer be the global leader in innovation that so many patients rely on.

With this in mind, Incubate urges you to protect Massachusetts’ life sciences community by rejecting harmful government price setting proposals, like those included in S. 2774.

Investors know the odds of any particular research venture succeeding are very low, with 9 out of 10 drugs failing in clinical trials. Yet, they continue to pour money into startups and small biotechs knowing that one successful medicine could generate returns that more than make up for the losses on other failed treatments. Policies like those included in Governor Baker’s S. 2774 would fundamentally alter that investment calculus by drastically cutting back R&D spending in Massachusetts – a state that is home to the nation’s leading life sciences hubs that have given the world countless groundbreaking discoveries in oncology, gene therapy, medical AI, and more.

Incubate has closely tracked the life sciences venture capital deals taking place both in-state and around the country. Investors in Massachusetts have poured funding into hundreds of deals, raising a record of $13.7 billion in biopharma venture capital funding in 2021 alone. In the table below, I have provided details on deals that have occurred this year in Massachusetts.

Price setting schemes that arbitrarily cap pharmaceutical prices are irresponsible, as they would significantly reduce patient access to medicines needed now, while also disincentivizing investment into tomorrow’s cures and breakthroughs. By rejecting S.2774, you are supporting the robust life sciences industry, your constituents who are employed in the industry, and all the patients in-state and around the country who rely on Massachusetts for medicines and cures.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss this policy and its damaging effects with you further. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Ashlyn@incubatecoalition.org if you have any questions or visit our website at www.incubatecoalition.org for any additional information.

Sincerely,

John Stanford

Executive Director

Life Sciences Venture Capital Transactions: Massachusetts, 2022

DateCompany Description
3.28.22ConcertAIConcertAI, a Cambridge- based medical research tools startup, raised $150m in Series C funding at a $1.9b valuation from Sixth Street Partners.
3.25.22PodimetricsPodimetrics, a Somerville- based digital health startup focused on diabetes-related amputations, raised $45m in Series C funding led by D1 Capital Partners.
3.24.22Celsius TherapeuticsCelsius Therapeutics, a Cambridge- based biotech whose first candidate is to treat IBD, raised $83m. Casdin Capital led, and was joined by Amgen Ventures, Amplitude Ventures, Catalio Capital, Co-Win Ventures, Fast Track Initiative, Section 32 and insiders Alexandria Venture Investments, GV, Heritage Provider Network and Third Rock Ventures.
3.18.22Volta LabsVolta Labs, a Cambridge- based genomic sequencing automation startup, raised $20m in Series A funding. Maverick Ventures led, and was joined by Khosla Ventures, Casdin Capital, E14 Funds and Blindspot Ventures.
3.17.22Curiox BiosystemsCuriox Biosystems, a Woburn- based biological sample prep automation company, raised $15m in Series C funding. Luha Private Equity led, and was joined by KB Investment Co. and Quad Investment Management.
3.11.22Zeta SurgicalZeta Surgical, a Boston-based image-guided surgery startup, raised $5.2m in seed funding led by Innospark Ventures.
3.10.22Adiso Therapeutics  Adiso Therapeutics, Concord- based biotech focused on inflammatory diseases, raised more than $60m led by Morningside Ventures.
3.9.22Sherlock BiosciencesSherlock Biosciences, a Boston-based CRISPR diagnostics startup, raised $80m in Series B funding. Novalis LifeSciences led, and was joined by Illumina Ventures Albany Capital, Catalio Capital Management and insiders, Northpond Ventures and Good Ventures.
3.3.22NextRNANextRNA Therapeutics, a Cambridge- based non-coding RNA biotech, raised $46.8m in Series A funding. Cobro Ventures and Lightchain Capital co-led, and were joined by Circle Alternative Investments, Evans Capital, Jefferies, Rivas Capital and Willett Advisors.
2.16.22Bain CapitalBain Capital and Hellman & Friedman completed their $17b buyout of Athenahealth, a Watertown- based EHR and medical billing software provider.
2.16.22Third Harmonic BioThird Harmonic Bio, a Cambridge- based developer of treatments for severe hives, raised $105m in Series B funding. General Atlantic and insider BVF Partners co-led, and were joined by Boxer Capital, RA Capital, RTW, Deep Track Capital, Ajax Health/Zeus and Commodore Capital.
2.15.22VariantyxVariantyx, a Boston-based precision medicine and genetic testing startup raised $41.5m. New Era Capital Partners led, and was joined by Peregrine Ventures, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, 20/20 HealthCare Partners and Pitango HealthTech.
2.11.22Day Zero DiagnosticsDay Zero Diagnostics, a Boston-based biotech focused on antibiotic-resistant infections, raised $21m. Sands Capital led, and was joined by Becton Dickinson, Panacea Ventures, Hongkou Capital, Triventures and Golden Seeds.
2.10.22Radial AnalyticsRadial Analytics, a Concord- based healthcare decision support platform, raised $3 million led by Initialized Capital.
2.10.22Arkuda TherapeuticsArkuda Therapeutics, a Watertown- based neurodegenerative disease biotech, raised $64m in Series B funding. Cormorant and Pivotal BioVenture Partners co-led, and were joined by Surveyor Capital. Eli Lilly and insiders Atlas Venture, Pfizer Ventures, Tekla Capital Management and Mission BioCapital.
2.9.22Seismic TherapeuticSeismic Therapeutic, a Watertown- based autoimmune biotech led by the founders of Pandion Therapeutics raised $101m in Series A funding. Lightspeed Venture Partners led, and was joined by Polaris Partners, GV, Boxer Capital, Timothy Springer and Samsara BioCapital.
2.4.22Intellia TherapeuticsIntellia Therapeutics acquired Cambridge- based Rewrite Therapeutics, a developer of DNA writing technologies, for up to $200m.
2.3.22Dewpoint TherapeuticsDewpoint Therapeutics, a Boston-based biomolecular condensates startup, raised $150m in Series C funding. SoftBank led, and was joined by Mubadala Capital, 3E Bioventures, Mirae Asset Capital, NS Investment and insiders Leaps by Bayer, Polaris Partners, Samsara BioCapital, Arch Venture Partners, EcoR1 Capital and Maverick Ventures.
1.31.22Comera Life SciencesComera Life Sciences, a Woburn- based developer of biologic medicines, agreed to go public at an implied $258m valuation via OTR Acquisition Corp.
1.26.22Akili InteractiveAkili Interactive, a Boston-based maker of video games for cognitive therapy, agreed to go public at an implied $1b valuation via Social Capital Suvretta Holdings 1 (Nasdaq: DNAA).
1.25.22Celino BiotechCelino Biotech, a Cambridge- based autonomous cell therapy manufacturing startup, raised $80m co-led by Bayer, 8VC and Humboldt Fund. Other backers include Felicis Ventures, Khosla Ventures and The Engine.
1.19.22Iterative ScopesIterative Scopes, a Cambridge- based developer of GI disease software, raised $150m in Series B funding. Insight Partners and Clearlake co-led, and were joined by insiders Obvious Ventures, J&J, Eli Lilly and Breyer Capital.
1.11.22MillstoneArlington Capital Partners bought Millstone, a Fall River- based provider of outsourced services to the med device and pharma markets, from Schooner Capital.
1.10.22Amylyx PharmaAmylyx Pharma, a Cambridge- based developer of ALS treatments, raised $190 million in its IPO.
1.10.22CinCor PharmaCinCor Pharma, a Boston-based biopharma focused on hypertension, raised $194 million in its IPO.
1.10.22Vigil NeuroscienceVigil Neuroscience, a Cambridge- based developer of antibody therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, raised $98 million in its IPO.
1.5.22Affinia TherapeuticsAffinia Therapeutics, a Waltham- based gene therapy startup, filed for an IPO.
1.5.22Korro BioKorro Bio, a Cambridge- based RNA editing company, raised $116 million in Series B funding. Eventide Asset Management led, and was joined by Fidelity, Invus, Point72, Verition Fund Management, Monashee Investment Management, Sixty Degree Capital and insiders Atlas Venture, NEA, Wu Capital, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Surveyor Capital, Cormorant, MP Healthcare Venture Management and Alexandria Venture Investments.
1.5.22SalioGen TherapeuticsSalioGen Therapeutics, a Cambridge- based gene coding startup, raised $115 million in Series B funding. GordonMD Global Investments and EPIQ Capital Group co-led, and were joined by Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, D1 Capital Partners, SymBiosis, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
1.3.22CinCor PharmaCinCor Pharma, a Boston-based biopharma focused on hypertension, set IPO terms to 11 million shares at $15-$17. It would have a $594 million fully diluted value, were it to price in the middle, and plans to list on the Nasdaq (CINC).
1.3.22Vigil NeuroscienceVigil Neuroscience, a Cambridge- based developer of antibody therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, set IPO terms to seven million shares at $15-$17. It would have a $491 million fully diluted value, were it to price in the middle, and plans to list on the Nasdaq (VIGL).

About Incubate

Incubate is a 501(c)(4) organization of venture capital organizations representing the patient, corporate, and investment communities. Our mission is to ensure patients continue to reap the benefits of the unrelenting innovation spurred by venture capital investment in the life sciences industry and protected by the American system of intellectual property.