Irvine’s biotech scene isn’t as established as the one in San Diego, but the area is attracting its own pool of talent and fast-growing companies. Among them:
• Irvine-based Urovant Sciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: UROV) raised $140 million in its initial public offering in October 2018. It is now valued around $275 million and occupies a 22,000-square-foot office at UCI Research Park. Most recently, the firm received a $300 million loan from a Japanese investor to continue the development of its core drug, vibegron, which is meant to treat overactive bladder conditions.
• PeproMene Bio Inc. in Irvine is developing a blood cancer treatment. The company has raised about $44 million in funding and has ties to Duarte’s City of Hope National Medical Center. Last year, it announced plans to go public on the South Korean Kosdaq stock market as soon as 2020.
• Bioniz Therapeutics is focused on drug discovery for immuno-inflammatory diseases and cancer. Its backers include David Pyott, former CEO at Allergan and Joe Kiani, chief executive of Masimo Corp. The Business Journal was the first to report last month that Bioniz Therapeutics is in talks with a Spanish pharmaceutical company that could result in a $540 million sale of one of its main drug products.