Millennium's Levin uses golden touch to fund start-up

Mark Levin earned a reputation for a colorful personality with an incredible knack for raising cash as co-founder of Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Two weeks ago, Takeda helped seal Levin's reputation in biotech with its $8.8 billion acquisition of Millennium. And Levin, who ran Millennium as CEO from 1993 to 2005, has sealed his reputation for raising cash with a $32 million Series A to get Constellation Pharmaceuticals up and running.

Levin is betting on the therapeutic power of epigenetics, the ability to switch genes on and off. So are Third Rock Ventures, The Column Group and Venrock, which co-led the round. Levin, a Third Rock partner, is acting CEO of Constellation. The company's list of founders includes some scientific heavyweights: Danny Reinberg, Ph.D, New York University School of Medicine; Yang Shi, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School and David Allis, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University.

Constellation isn't the only new epigenetics company to get started. The Boston Globe notes that MPM Capital of Boston and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers have quietly launched EpiZyme, a very low-profile start-up that currently isn't doing much talking.

- check out the Constellation release
- read the report in the Boston Globe

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