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Third Rock, Warp Drive Bio secure $125m from France’s Sanofi

12 Jan 2012

Boston-based life science-focused venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures and Warp Drive Bio have launched a new pharmaceutical company alongside Euronext and New York-listed drug maker Sanofi.

The partnership will position the companies to advance the discovery and development of natural product drugs using Warp Drive Bio’s proprietary genomic technology and Sanofi’s natural products expertise.

The deal includes a possible future acquisition of Warp Drive by Sanofi if certain milestones are achieved, and provides up to $125m in initial funding, including up to $75m in equity investment, to accelerate the development of its platform and establish proof of concept.

Warp Drive Bio was founded by Third Rock Ventures and scientist Gregory Verdine, and was incubated at Third Rock Ventures for two years.

Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Greylock Partners is also participating alongside Third Rock Ventures and Sanofi in financing the company. The partnership will provide Warp Drive Bio with full funding to advance its core research and development strategy over at least the next five years.

“By combining Warp Drive Bio’s unique proprietary technology and Sanofi’s extensive drug development capabilities, we are convinced that this open and creative model of pharma-biotech partnership will boost innovation for the benefit of patients,” Third Rock said in a statement.

Last month Third Rock also announced the launch of a new company, Ember Therapeutics, with $34m of Series A financing. The company operates in the emerging area of brown fat biology.

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