Thursday, June 14, 2012

Third Rock pumps $40.7 million into sickle cell startup Global Blood Therapeutics

Drug developers talk a lot about “large patient populations,” “unmet medical needs” and a “clear path to approval.” Yet sickle cell disease, one of the knottiest diseases meeting all those criteria, has gone years without a breakthrough commercial treatment.
That might prove an advantage for Global Blood Therapeutics Inc., the first company birthed by Third Rock Ventures LLC’s West Coast office.

Third Rock and Global Blood announced Thursday morning that it is backing the South San Francisco startup with $40.7 million in Series A financing to discover and develop oral, small molecule drugs to treat sickle cell disease and other conditions involving funky-shaped blood proteins. Essentially, its drugs will aim at pushing those proteins into healthier shapes that change the course of the diseases.

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