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Stem Cell Venture Financings are back in Vogue

Verastem focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancer by targeting cancer stem cells on 11/16/10 closed  a $16M Series A financing.

Verastem is leveraging its understanding of cancer stem cell biology and harnessing the power of its unique cancer stem cell high-throughput screening technology to identify therapies to treat a broad range of cancers, including breast cancer.

  • Verastem founders have developed a proprietary approach to identify compounds with the potential to selectively kill cancer stem cells described in 2008 and 2009 publications in the journal, Cell;
  • Verastem was co-founded by scientific advisors Piyush Gupta (Whitehead Institute), Eric Lander (Broad Institute), Robert Weinberg (Whitehead Institute), Satish Jindal, Rich Aldrich, Michelle Dipp, and Christoph Westphal (Longwood Founders Fund). In addition, Verastem has assembled a world-class scientific advisory board including Julian Adams, George Daley, Daniel Haber, Yossi Schlessinger, Phil Sharp, Roger Tung, Chris Walsh, and Eric Winer who will advise Verastem as it discovers and develops new types of drugs for the treatment of cancer (www.verastem.com);
  • Founding investor, Longwood Founders Fund was joined by Bessemer Venture Partners, Cardinal Partners and MPM Capital.

It is believed that cancer stem cells play an important role in cancer recurrence.