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Investors bankroll unique brains-and-beauty collaboration with $30M round

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Jon Flint, Jennifer Aniston and Jill Beraud of Living Proof--Image courtesy of PRNewsFoto/Living Proof

Living Proof probably has the best scientific pedigree of any cosmetics company in the business. MIT professor and serial biotech entrepreneur Robert Langer as well as Harvard's Rox Anderson have both committed brainpower to the venture, which has gained 9 patents on better ways to tame dry or frizzy hair. Jon Flint and Amir Nashat at Polaris, who have been involved in a long lineup of Langer startups, helped found the company. And more recently Jennifer Aniston contributed her famous mug and grabbed an equity position in the company.

Today, Living Proof also has another $30 million in venture cash to get the commercialization work in gear, while bankrolling some fresh efforts on the scientific side of the hair care venture.

"In addition to accelerating market penetration, this major financing will give us the fuel we need to continue our original vision: bringing together some of the most brilliant scientists in medicine to create proprietary beauty products that truly work," Flint said in a statement.

Polaris Venture Partners and the Pohlad Family Capital Fund joined Leerink Swann in putting the new money together. Launched way back in 2004, Living Proof has been coming on strong. The company hired Jill Beraud, a former PepsiCo marketing wiz, to run the company in late 2011. And the company recently achieved celebrity status with Aniston's arrival. 

The company may not meet the kind of unmet-medical-need criteria expected of most biotechs, but the high valuations that some cosmetics companies have earned in recent years make this a different kind of play for these entrepreneurial types. And it may eventually register as one of their most successful startups.    

- here's the story from the Boston Globe

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MIT's Robert Langer turned out to be a pretty mellow guy