MGI alum garner $60M to launch new cancer drug developer

A group of MGI Pharma alumni is launching a Boston-based startup named Tesaro in Boston with $60 million in venture backing for its plan to acquire, develop and commercialize new cancer drugs.

The company is being co-founded and partially financed by a core of execs coming from MGI--by way of Abraxis--which was acquired by Eisai in 2008 for $3.9 billion. The team: Lonnie Moulder, chief executive officer; Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., president and chief scientific officer; and Rick Rodgers, executive vice president and chief financial officer. They joined with New Enterprise Associates to bank $20 million for start-up costs while NEA reserved another $40 million for future growth.

"Lonnie Moulder, Mary Lynne Hedley and Rick Rogers are the type of entrepreneurs NEA loves to back," said NEA general partner David Mott. This team has an exceptional track record for delivering value to all constituencies including patients, investors and employees, and importantly, they have previously worked together as a team. Oncology therapeutics is among the largest and fastest growing segments of the biopharmaceutical industry, yet cancer patients remain among the most underserved by today's drugs."

- here's the release from Tesaro