Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Startup Cleave Biosciences raises $42M to develop cancer drugs

Cancer survivor, surfer and longtime biotech executive Laura Shawver is back in the Bay Area, with a startup round of $42 million to develop cancer-fighting drugs that restore the balance of proteins in cells.
Shawver’s new company — Cleave Biosciences of Burlingame — raised the money from U.S. Venture Partners, 5AM Ventures, Clarus Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors and Astellas Venture Management LLC, the corporate venture arm of Japan’s Astellas Pharma, it said Tuesday.
With one of the largest drug-development startup hauls this year, Cleave will use the cash to discover and develop “multiple” small-molecule drugs that restore protein homeostasis, or the balance of proteins in cells. The pathways used in those processes, helping normal cells make proteins or dispose of unneeded proteins, can be hijacked by cancer cells.

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