KSQ Comes Out Of Stealth Mode With $76m And Meeker As CEO
Emerging Company Profile: Former Sanofi-Genzyme exec David Meeker signed on to lead the startup, which is using a CRISPR-based drug discovery platform to develop specifically targeted therapies, with an initial focus on oncology and immunology, after leaving big pharma.
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While Forbion's new €360m venture capital fund and other investors have emerged to fund private and public companies, BARDA and other US agencies have been active supporters of biopharma firms in recent weeks. Also, KSQ grabs $80m in VC cash and VelosBios brings in $50m.
CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex initiated the first human study of CRISPR gene-editing technology with an industry sponsor, following an investigator-sponsored study initiated in China two years ago. These are not the first gene-editing trials, but they're important milestones for the CRISPR field.
Norbert Bischofberger returns to his start-up roots, exiting Gilead after nearly 30 years to become CEO of Kronos, which is developing novel drugs directed at tough cancer targets. He's one of several big pharma/large biotech executives to venture recently into entrepreneurial opportunities.