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Biotech startup Atterocor grabs $16M A round for cancer compound

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Newly hatched Atterocor has gained the wherewithal to push ahead with a lead drug for adrenal cancer. The Ann Arbor, MI-based biotech snapped up $16 million from Frazier Healthcare and early-stage specialist 5AM Ventures, the company announced this morning.

Founded in 2012, Atterocor plans to move quickly toward advancing its lead drug for adrenal cancer toward clinical trials. The startup offers scant information in its release about the program, but it says that adrenal cancer often goes undiagnosed until late stages of disease, with a relatively low 600 new cases per year in the U.S. The tiny size of this patient population qualifies this cancer as rare, and Atterocor expects to be able to offer these patients an alternative to the few and ineffective treatment options available.

"Adrenal cancer is a rare disease for which there are very limited treatment options and a critical patient need," Julia Owens, Atterocor's founder and CEO, said in the release. "Now that we have secured financing for this program, we will continue to focus on achieving key corporate and clinical development milestones and look forward to providing updates around our future progress."

Dr. Gary Hammer, an adrenal cancer expert who heads the center for organogenesis at the University of Michigan, joins Owens as a founder and will serve as the startup's chief scientist. Its chief operating officer, Raili Kerppola, is also a founder.

- here's the brief release

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