Company Founded by Pioneering Scientists Behind Gleevec(R), Leading
Entrepreneurs and Third Rock Ventures
Apr. 11, 2011 (Business Wire) -- Blueprint Medicines, a company harnessing the understanding of the molecular blueprint of cancer to develop personalized, highly-selective cancer therapies, today announced the closing of a $40 million Series A financing led by Third Rock Ventures. Nicholas Lydon, Ph.D., and Brian Druker, M.D., co-founded the company along with biotech entrepreneurs Chris Varma, Ph.D., and David Armistead, Ph.D., and Third Rock Ventures. Drs. Lydon and Druker are recipients of the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Award for Clinical Medical Research for their role in the development of Gleevec® (imatinib mesylate), a targeted kinase inhibitor that transformed chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) from a fatal cancer into a manageable disease. Proceeds from the financing will be used to develop new cancer therapies - using the company's proprietary compound library and Insights-to-Validation™ Platform - that target the driver molecular aberrations of cancer and emerging resistance mechanisms unique to certain cancer patients. Dr. Varma is Blueprint Medicines' founding president and chief executive officer, and Dr. Armistead is the founding chief scientific officer.
"Over the past decade, targeted kinase inhibitors have been successfully designed, advanced into clinical trials and delivered to patients, forever changing the way cancer is treated," said Dr. Lydon. "We are now at a crossroads where innovative drug discovery and development could again enable a transformative shift in cancer treatment. By leveraging the growing body of molecular and cancer genome data and focusing on patients with clearly defined molecular aberrations, Blueprint Medicines is positioned to develop the selective cancer treatments that will make this transformation possible."
Blueprint Medicines' founding advisors are world-renowned experts in cancer genomics, clinical oncology, biochemistry and rational drug development and bring proven ability to translate cancer research breakthroughs into meaningful treatments for patients. These scientific leaders are working collaboratively with Blueprint Medicines' management team and include Dr. Lydon; Dr. Druker, director of the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute; and Scott Lowe, Ph.D., an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and deputy director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Cancer Center.
The company's management team and board of directors include proven biotechnology industry veterans. Joining Dr. Varma and Dr.