Just months after recruiting a crew of experienced professionals to handle Sage Therapeutics, Third Rock Ventures has joined hands with Arch Venture Partners to fund the second leg of their R&D odyssey in CNS diseases with a $20 million B round.
Looking at this year's boom in high-dollar biotech IPOs, you can't miss the fingerprints of Third Rock Ventures, with three of the hottest market debuts coming straight from the fund's portfolio. That success is no coincidence, the group says, and its founders gave Nature an inside look at its painstaking process of choosing which companies to bankroll and which to let slide.
There's been a considerable amount of moaning and groaning in recent years over the clear lack of capital needed to start up a biotech. But Third Rock Ventures has helped banish the blues in certain quarters.
The money is earmarked for discovery work through Phase I. And interim CEO Kevin Starr--a partner at Third Rock who launched the company with a $35 million A round in 2011--hopes that Sage can break new ground in a tough R&D field.
Alcresta has fueled up with venture dollars en route to commercialization of its biotech-inspired nutritional products with a $10 million Series A round from previous backers Bessemer Venture Partners, Frazier Healthcare and Third Rock Ventures.
After co-founding Warp Drive, which launched last year to discover natural product drugs, Professor Gregory Verdine has taken over the chief executive role from Third Rock Ventures partner Alexis Borisy.
Medical device startups have complained for a while now that funding options for fledgling companies are few and far between. S3 Ventures in Austin, Texas is revving up to help fill that gap with the launch of a $75 million fund devoted, in part to development-stage medical device startups.
NinePoint Medical, a 2012 Fierce 15 winner, has launched its NvisionVLE imaging system in the U.S., all part of the company's plan to get profitable and expand its technology.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals CEO John Maraganore has joined Third Rock in the advisory role of venture partner, reunited in a way with his former Millennium Pharmaceuticals colleagues who launched the venture firm 6 years ago.
After a period of revamping a venture strategy gone wrong, Atlas Venture has come out today with news about an oversubscribed 9 th fund of $265 million. It's a rare comeback story in a VC industry that is suffering from an overall lack of capital to fuel startups in biotech and other high-risk-and-reward sectors.