Colorful Third Rock crew defines new biotech startup style

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.

Now into its second fund, the venture firm is featured in Boston Magazine, which sets off on its exploration of the venture group with a look at Lotus Tissue Repair, a Third Rock-backed startup that was taking on dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, or DEB, an excruciatingly painful rare disease that leaves skin papery thin and easily torn. Shire ($SHPG) just bought the company, giving Third Rock a big upside on its initial investment.

Third Rock partner Alexis Borisy

Third Rock makes for a good feature. Its partners, including founders like Kevin Starr and Mark Levin, dress every day as if they're headed to a Jimmy Buffett concert. And they've been having a field day around their Boston headquarters (the firm recently branched out to the West Coast) where their extensive connections in the scientific community in Cambridge have helped launch many of the 31 companies they have backed.

"When you're ready to make the decision to put in the money to launch the company with $30 to $50 million, you have the science planned and you've asked some key questions," says Third Rock partner Alexis Borisy. "At Third Rock, we look for ideas and science so compelling that people are willing to invest, and we can see the path through. We will go in there in a big way with large-scale resources to make something happen."

So if you're feeling the itch to complain, check out a story about one crew that has successfully bucked the trend.

- here's the feature from Boston Magazine

Special Reports: Third Rock Ventures - The Top 15 Biotech VC firms | Alexis Borisy - Fierce's Top 10 Biotech Techies - 2013

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