US biopharma Ambit Biosciences nets $25m tranche of $50m financing

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US biopharmaceutical company Ambit Biosciences has closed the first $25m tranche of a new $50m preferred stock financing to support continued advancement of its lead drug candidate, quizartinib.

Existing investor OrbiMed Advisors led the financing with participation from venture capital firms Aisling Capital, Apposite Healthcare, Roche Ventures, GrowthWorks, MedImmune Ventures, Forward Ventures, Gimv and Radius Ventures.

In conjunction with the financing, David Bonita of OrbiMed Advisors will join Ambit’s board of directors.

“Ambit’s new management team has impressed us with its focus on moving the company’s core clinical programs forward in clinical development,” said Bonita. “We believe that the recent data from its 333 patient Phase 2 trial in relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia are very promising and look forward to working with the management team and their clinical collaborators in moving quizartinib through clinical development and into clinical use by physicians.”

OrbiMed recently re-upped its investment in immunology specialist Principia Biopharma as part of a $12.5m financing round. In April the firm closed its first Israeli life sciences venture fund on $220m.

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