Third Rock Venture to Seed Life Science Companies with $770 Million Fund

Third Rock Ventures完成7.7亿美元融资,计划投资10到12家生命科学公司

2019-06-10 10:59:00 BioSpace

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Boston-based venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures announced it had closed on a new fund, Fund V, having raised $770 million in oversubscribed funding. As with its other funds, it will focus on discovering, launching and building life science companies. This is the largest fund in the 12 years Third Rock has been in existence. The company indicates it will use the money to seed 10 to 12 life science companies. Third Rock has a portfolio of wildly successful companies including Agios Pharmaceuticals, Foundation Medicine and bluebird bio. Just this week, bluebird bio announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had approved its Zynteglo gene therapy for patients 12 years and older with transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia (TDT). TDT is a severe genetic disorder caused by mutations in the beta-globin gene. This results in decreased or missing hemoglobin. Patients with TDT require lifelong chronic blood transfusions to stay alive, which has the risk of progressive multiple organ damage from iron overload. Zynteglo is a one-time gene therapy that appears to cure the disease. Since being founded in 2007, Third Rock has raised $2.7 billion and invested in more than 50 companies. Its portfolio companies have launched 10 products, including five therapeutics, three diagnostics and two devices. One aspect of Third Rock that is unique is its willingness to invest in early-stage science, generally viewed as high risk. But its model of focusing on research has been successful, with 19 of their portfolio companies having launched IPOs, many with market values of billions of dollars. Robert Tepper, one of Third Rock’s founders, indicated to Bloomberg that the firm plans to invest more upfront and retain a larger share. “If we can hold on to those companies as the sole investor or the predominant investor, we think we can get much higher up on the value-creation curve.” Investors in the new fund included university endowments, family offices and foundations, and the London, UK-based Wellcome Trust. Wellcome Trust has invested in all of Third Rock’s venture funds. “We appreciate the strong support from new and existing investors,” stated Tepper. “Over the course of 12 years, we have built a leading investor base that is supportive of our unique model. Our approach is hands-on, team oriented, value creation driven, and built for the long term. I am incredibly proud of all that we have achieved to date, and looking forward to what we can accomplish in Fund V and beyond. The team at Third Rock is committed to creating companies with a solid foundation of great science, people, culture, and core values.” Recent companies launched by Third Rock include Thrive Earlier Detection Corp. On May 30, Thrive raised $110 million in Series A funding. Thrive is launching CancerSEEK, a liquid biopsy test to detect multiple cancers early. The round was led by Third Rock with Section 32, Casdin Capital, Biomatics Capital, BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners, Invus, Exact Sciences and others. Thrive came out of the research of Bert Vogelstein, Kenneth Kinzler and Nickolas Papadopoulos at Johns Hopkins University. At the time, Christoph Lengauer, partner at Third Rock and co-founder and chief innovation officer of Thrive, stated, “Over the past 30 years we have made great strides in understanding cancer. Combining this knowledge with the latest in molecular testing technologies, our founders have developed a simple and affordable blood test for the detection of many cancers at relatively early states. We envision a future where routine preventative care includes a blood test for cancer, just as patients are now routinely tested for early stages of heart disease. We know that if cancer is caught early enough it can often be cured.”
总部位于波士顿的风险投资公司 Third Rock Ventures 宣布,在筹集到7.7亿美元的超额认购资金后,该公司已关闭了一只名为 Fund V 的新基金。与其他基金一样,它将专注于发现、创办和建设生命科学公司。 这是 Third Rock 成立12年来规模最大的基金。该公司表示,将用这笔资金培育10至12家生命科学公司。 Third Rock 拥有一批非常成功的公司,包括 Agios 制药公司、 Foundation Medicine 和 Bluebird 。 就在本周,蓝鸟生物宣布,欧洲药品管理局( EMA )已批准其 Zyntello 基因疗法治疗12岁及以上的输血依赖型β-地中海贫血( TDT )。TDT 是由β-血红蛋白基因突变引起的严重遗传病。这导致血红蛋白减少或丢失。TDT 患者需要终生的慢性输血才能活着,这有铁过载导致的进行性多器官损害的风险。Zyntello 是一种一次性的基因疗法,似乎可以治愈这种疾病。 自2007年成立以来, Third Rock 已经募集了27亿美元,并投资了50多家公司。其投资组合公司已经推出了10种产品,包括五种疗法、三种诊断和两种设备。 第三岩银行独特的一个方面是它愿意投资早期的科学,通常被认为是高风险。但该公司专注于研究的模式一直很成功,其中19家投资组合公司已启动 IPO ,其中许多公司市值高达数十亿美元。 Third Rock 创始人之一罗伯特•泰珀( Robert Tepper )向彭博( Bloomberg )表示,该公司计划加大前期投资,并保留更大份额。“如果我们能够坚持让这些公司作为唯一投资者或主要投资者,我们认为我们可以在价值创造曲线上得到更高的回报。” 新基金的投资者包括大学捐赠基金、家族理财室和基金会,以及总部位于英国伦敦的 WellcomTrust 。Wellcome Trust 投资了 Third Rock 的所有风险基金。 泰珀表示:“我们感谢新投资者和现有投资者的大力支持。”“在过去12年里,我们建立了领先的投资者基础,支持我们独特的模式。我们的方法是动手,团队为导向,价值创造驱动,并建立了长期。我对我们迄今所取得的成就感到无比自豪,并期待着我们能够在第五基金及以后取得的成就。Third Rock 的团队致力于创建具有坚实基础的公司,这些基础包括伟大的科学、人才、文化和核心价值观。” 最近由 Third Rock 发起的公司包括 Thrive Early Detection Corp .5月30日, Thrive 通过 A 系列融资1.1亿美元。Throve 正在启动 CancerSEEK ,一种液体活检测试,以早期检测多种癌症。这轮融资由 Third Rock 牵头,共有32家机构, Casdin Capital 、 Biomatics Capital 、 BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners 、 Invus 、 Exact Sciences 等。 Thrive 来自于约翰霍普金斯大学 Bert Vogelstein 、 Kenneth Kinzler 和 Nickolas Papadopoulos 的研究。 当时, Third Rock 合伙人、 Thrive 联合创始人兼首席创新官 Christoph Lengager 表示:“过去30年里,我们在理解癌症方面取得了长足进步。结合这一知识和最新的分子检测技术,我们的创始人开发了一个简单和负担得起的血液检测,以检测许多癌症在相对早期的状态。我们设想未来的常规预防保健包括对癌症的血液检测,就像现在对病人进行心脏疾病早期阶段的常规检测一样。我们知道,如果及早发现癌症,往往可以治愈。”

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