Cambridge start-up reaps $33M in first round

A trio of familiar biotech venture groups is bankrolling the $33 million Series A for Agios Pharmaceuticals, a Boston-based biotech focused on new cancer therapies. Third Rock Ventures, Flagship Ventures and Arch Venture Partners joined forces to back the new venture. A Third Rock partner, Kevin Starr, is acting as interim CEO during the start-up phase.

Agios' technology will try to starve cancer cells by preventing them from breaking down glucose, using fatty acids or cannibalizing portions of their own cell. "Once you choke off the food supply, the cancer has no place to go," Starr tells the Boston Globe, which carried the scoop.

The Globe's story concentrates on some industry jitters related to biotech financing. With IPOs hurting in a roiled market, there's considerable concern that investors will grow increasingly reluctant to back biotech companies. So far, that hasn't been seen in the Boston cluster, where a string of new venture rounds have been announced, but second quarter venture numbers are due soon.

- see Agios' release
- read the report from the Boston Globe