The value of private company investments in our portfolio continues to grow as the companies increase their product pipelines, advance clinical development, and expand across new modalities. Notable examples include Lyndra, which has plans to initiate up to 7 new clinical trials in the next two years, and Keros which is bringing two drugs into clinical trials for neuromuscular diseases in the first half of 2019. Lyndra closed on an oversubscribed $60 million Series B in January, and Keros closed a $23 million Series B in November.
2019 is shaping up to be a record year for biopharma deals with a number of high-profile acquisitions of gene and cell therapy companies, including Roche’s acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, Biogen’s acquisition of Nightstar Therapeutics and Pfizer’s purchase of Vivet Therapeutics. These deals strengthen the position that gene therapy is now a significant and key treatment option for patients with serious diseases or cancer, providing further promise and validation of our investments in Akouos (gene therapy for hearing loss) and SwanBio (gene therapy for AMN).
In the past six months, PIF has helped to launch three promising new companies based on intellectual property from both MGH and BWH. We have highlighted below our investment in Nocion Therapeutics, a preclinical stage biotech company developing novel small molecules for cough, pain, and itch.