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Posts Tagged ‘Venture Capital

Genzyme, BioEnvision, ImPath, Sanofi – New Strains of Fish in the Ocean of Commerce

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Yes, it’s disheartening reporting (from the front lines as well) what makes people broke and drives them homeless or close to it (particularly, federal policy and welfare reform with its diversions into Designer Family Curricula).

However, in looking at this policy one continues to run into some of the larger industries (corporations) running and directing the policy of our non-representative governments (US, state, county, regional, etc.).

See the list @ What Brings All These Companies Together in One Electronic Place and for One Cause?” (July 7 LGH post)… That question is still on the table; most of my comments these days are “spam.” However, there are other networks (like phone, email, etc.); the word is out.

This post is a bit of a wild ride, which is better than the straight path to poverty and drudgery, and narrating who paved the road… I think it shows there IS an alternate way to live, and one of the better ways to get there is to ignore the advice, and perhaps follow the career paths of people who are arrogant enough to believe they should be planning for the planet, and coaching people what kind of jobs to work, inbetween inventing and merchandising new technologies, raising capital for startups and then selling them and with the profit, starting up some more things, most of this related very, very (very very) closely to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, who are most likely to sponsor professorships, fellowships, centers of excellence at the university level, and all kinds of projects which might improve THEIR profits.*

(Don’t miss the part where a leading geneticist George Church (see Human Genome Project) is interviewed by a German magazine about the theoretical and technical possibility bring the Neanderthals back to life through DNA (and of a surrogate human mother). And where he figures, well, there’d need to be a cohort of them… This mindset probably wouldn’t be welcome in any welfare-to-work programs as a legitimate work-activity — creative thinking and inventing “disruptive technologies” which some of these below are called. In fact, in my experience, the extended gauntlet of the family courts is about THE best way to squelch any creative thinking — if one parent exhibits it, the other can simply get them labeled as an oddball or eccentric thinker, and next moment it’s — where are my kids? Thus while it’s not quite LEGAL to actually OUTLAW creative thinking or resourcefulness in single parents (or their exes), a lot of it can be screened out in the family law arena, preserving the status quo of “divorce” as a crime, and non-collaborative (with the ex) behaviors as a thought-crime close to it. ]]

[*And sorry about all those long opening sentences. I can’t reconstruct DNA, so apparently like stringing those ideas together in a sentence; and yes, that is a form of play…)

Particularly if one wasn’t born into the privilege and/or hasn’t hit the ground running from an early age…to end up at Harvard, Yale, etc. it might be good to look at the flip side of the social science research and demonstration fields one is constantly exposed to while going through the courts, custody, etc. matters….

How each of these corporations got started and what they are doing is downright inspiring and enlightening. It’s a history lesson — on the actual mutual-benefit factor, as opposed to the alleged public benefit factor, which sometimes turns out to be just myth. It takes money to keep the myths spinning, too — so like I continue to say, “follow the money” and “educate yourself.”

This Top section is just to brush some biotech language in front of our faces, maybe as an industry alert that, finding minimum-wage jobs for those on welfare may not be the best idea for them, at least if “income self-sufficiency” is the long-term goal… in THIS global corporate climate?


From “FierceBioTech.com (“The BioTech Industry’s Daily Monitor”) we see a Harvard Biological Chemist dive into the thrill-seeking team science environment of searching for things to help the Pharmaceutical companies come up with new drugs. Look at the startup funding, and the companions (not to mention the company names):

Prolific Harvard chemist Greg Verdine takes helm at Warp Drive
July 2, 2013 | By Ryan McBride

Professor Gregory Verdine has founded plenty of biotech companies, but Warp Drive Bio has become the first one he has ever helmed as CEO. After co-founding Warp Drive, which launched last year to discover natural product drugs, Verdine has taken over the chief executive role from Third Rock Ventures partner Alexis Borisy.

Based on Verdine’s original scientific idea, Warp Drive took off last year with a $125 million financing deal to mine bacterial genomes for drug compounds. Sanofi signed on as a funder and collaborator from the start, helping Third Rock and Greylock Partners to finance the drug-discovery effort. Borisy, who Verdine credits for the business plan behind Warp Drive, has become the startup’s executive chairman.

That whole article is fascinating; towards the end it mentions GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, and Novartis as companies willing to come “back to earth” in searching for great bacteria to test new drugs on. That’s where Warp Drive and a Harvard chemistry professor seem to come in.


Related, earlier this year (like, January), we learn about the Financial Power of Syndication:


UPDATED: Fueled by Sanofi, Warp Drive Bio takes off with $125M deal
January 12, 2013 by Ryan McBride


Biotech startup Warp Drive Bio has scored $125 million in financing from a syndicate that features the French drug giant Sanofi ($SNY) along with founding backer Third Rock Ventures and the VC firm Greylock Partners. More than just an investor in Warp Drive, Sanofi has an option to acquire the startup if the new company can hit certain goals in developing drugs found in microbial genomes.


With a brand new approach for discovering drugs from nature, Warp Drive aims to search the genomes of microbes for molecules that have the potential to target disease pathways that the have eluded all other attempts to do so. It’s the brainchild of Greg Verdine, a chemical biologist at Harvard and venture partner at Third Rock. His fellow founders include Harvard genomics pro George Church** and James Wells, who studies protein-to-protein interactions at the University of California, San Francisco. (“UCSF”)


“This is the type of early-stage, blue sky, innovative, transformative company that a lot of people are saying just isn’t getting created anymore,” Alexis Borisy, a Third Rock partner and interim CEO of the startup, told FierceBiotech. “But here we are. We have created it.”

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Written by Let's Get Honest

July 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm

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