BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Verastem, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat breast and other cancers by targeting cancer stem cells, announced today that it has raised $32 million through a Series B financing. Proceeds from the financing will support ongoing research and development and will progress drug candidates into clinical development. The first candidate is projected to enter the clinic in 2012.
“This financing is a recognition of the significant potential for targeted cancer stem cell therapies in clinical practice,” said Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of Verastem.
“Targeting cancer stem cells via the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, or EMT, has the potential to transform the treatment paradigm for certain serious cancers, such as triple negative breast cancer,” said Robert Weinberg, Ph.D., Verastem co-founder and co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board.
Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Astellas Venture Management (AVM) led the Series B, and were joined by all existing investors, Longwood Founders Fund, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cardinal Partners and MPM Capital.
“We are delighted that ATV and AVM are joining us in this round of financing,” said Steve Kraus, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “It is a strong sign of support for Verastem’s mission to develop novel therapies targeting cancer stem cells. They share our confidence that this approach can transform how cancer is treated.”
About Verastem, Inc.
Verastem, Inc. is a private biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat breast and other cancers by targeting cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are an underlying cause of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Verastem is translating breakthrough discoveries in cancer stem cell research into new medicines for the treatment of major cancers such as breast cancer.
Verastem was founded by Rich Aldrich, Michelle Dipp, Piyush Gupta, Satish Jindal, Eric Lander, Robert Weinberg and Christoph Westphal. Verastem is backed by Advanced Technology Ventures, Astellas Venture Management, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cardinal Partners, Longwood Founders Fund, and MPM Capital. For more information, please visit www.verastem.com