Axios and NBC News tomorrow morning are co-hosting a live event in Washington, D.C. to discuss healthcare reform, moderated by Jim VandeHei and Chuck Todd. Our guests will be House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove and former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Pro Rata readers can RSVP by going here.
Amino, a San Francisco-based provider of healthcare transparency solutions to employers, doctors and hospitals, has raised $25 million in Series C funding. Highland Capital Management led the round, and was joined by Accel, Aspect Ventures, CRV, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures and Pilot Wall Group.
Why it's the BFD: Anything involving healthcare payments ― including healthcare pricing information ― is in serious flux right now, with Obamacare alive, then dead, then alive and now maybe dead again. The key here is that startups like Amino are hoping to be ACA-agnostic, thus following the once-followed VC mantra of not taking on regulatory risk.
Bottom line: "There's a clear appetite for price and network transparency in healthcare, especially as high deductibles aren't going away. But there's a limit to shopping in healthcare, as many studies have shown. If your appendix explodes or you have a heart attack, you won't have time to rush to a transparency website to find the best deal or the quality ratings of a surgeon. Other transparency companies, like Castlight Health, also have struggled to catch on." ― Bob Herman
• Tocagen, a San Diego-based developer of cancer-selective gene therapy products, has set its IPO terms to 7.3 million shares being offered at between $10 and $12 per share. It would have a fully-diluted market value of $189 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol TOCA, with Leerink Partners listed as left lead underwriter. http://bit.ly/2o5fkPL
• Verona Pharma, a London-based developer of therapeutics for treating respiratory diseases, has filed for an $86.25 million IPO. It plans to trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol VRNA, with Jefferies and Stifel serving as lead underwriters. Shareholders in the pre-revenue company include Novo AS (15.5% pre-IPO stake), Vivo Capital (15.4%), OrbiMed (12.3%), NEA (11.7%), Abingworth (9.3%), Arix Bioscience (7.5%), Aviva PLC (6.4%), Biodiscovery (5.9%), Tekla Capital (5.9%) and Aisling Capital (4%). http://bit.ly/2nzJOWa
• Warrior Met Coal, a Brookwood, Ala.-based metallurgical coal producer and exporter, has set its IPO terms to 16.7 million shares being offered at between $17 and $19 per share. It would have an initial market cap of around $963 million, were it to price in the middle of its range. The company plans to trade on the NYSE under ticker symbol HCC,with Credit Suisse listed as left lead underwriter. It reports a $65 million net loss in 2016 on $369 million in revenue. Shareholders include funds managed by Apollo Global Management, GSO and KKR.
• Zymeworks Inc., a Vancouver-based developer of bi-specific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, has filed for a $75 million IPO. It plans to trade on both the NYSE and TSX under ticker symbol ZYME, with Citigroup listed as left lead underwriter. Shareholders include Eli Lilly (17.5% pre-IPO stake), CTI Life Sciences (14.6%), Celgene (6.1%), BDC Capital, Lumira Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Teralys Capital, Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund, Brace Pharma Capital, Merlin Nexus and the Fonds de solidarite FTQ. www.zymeworks.com
• Petco, the pet retailing giant owned by CVC Capital Partners, has acquired PetCoach, a Wayne, Penn.-based maker of a veterinary app. No financial terms were disclosed. PetCoach had raised seed funding from Comcast Ventures, Maveron and DreamIt Ventures. http://bit.ly/2o587is
• ABB (Swiss: ABBN) has acquired Bernecker & Rainer, an Australian industrial automation company. No financial terms were disclosed, but Reuters reports that the deal was worth nearly $2 billion.. http://reut.rs/2o57ple
• Frutarom Industries, an Israeli flavoring and ingredients company, has acquired France's Rene Laurent for around $21 million. http://bit.ly/2nXvp9G
• Tiger Global Management has amassed a 12.5% stake in Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO), per SEC filings.
• Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo: 6502) has agreed to acquire Engie SA's (Paris: ENGIE) 40% stake in British nuclear power JV NuGen for around $138.5 million. http://reut.rs/2nzyY2h
• WalkMe, a San Francisco-based guidance engagement platform for the enterprise market, has acquired visual analytics startup Jaco for an undisclosed amount. WalkMe has raised $92 million in VC funding from firms like Insight Venture Partners, Greenspring Associates, Scale Venture Partners, Giza Venture Capital and Gemini Israel Ventures. http://bit.ly/2nXokG0
• Kevin Rose, the co-founder of Digg and a former general partner with GV, has joined True Ventures as a venture partner. He most recently had been serving as CEO of Hodinkee, a site for wristwatch enthusiasts. http://tcrn.ch/2n5aAdk
• Andrew Woolford has agreed to join Cerberus Business Finance, the direct lending affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, as a New York-based managing director and head of capital markets, effective next month. He previously was with Jefferies as head of leveraged loan sales. www.cerberus.com