Cells die all the time in a controlled manner that’s perfectly normal. But the way cells die matters. Sometimes cell death is violent, sparking inflammation believed to contribute to disease. Quench Bio aims to develop drugs that stop the uncontrolled forms of programmed cell death, potentially halting inflammatory disease. The Cambridge, MA-based startup has come out of stealth with $50 million in Series A financing intended to produce a drug candidate ready for tests in humans in about three years.
2019 was an exciting and busy year at Atlas Venture. Take a look at our year filled with new joiners, partnerships, financings, R&D progress, and more.
When we started to think about changing our company name, we knew it wasn’t something to take lightly — changing our brand and outward facing image was a big deal! Several companies rebranded over the last few years and built successful biotech companies, some publicly-traded (e.g., Translate Bio, Aimmune); nevertheless the process as well as the ultimate messaging seemed tricky and important to have a solid grasp on and plan for. We considered changing our name last year and decided to hold off, preferring to wait for a more ideal time. We built some brand recognition following our January 2019 Celgene (now BMS) alliance, which included the AHR antagonist and kynurenine degrading enzyme (“Kynase”) programs, but we were still a young company of just over three years. If we were going to change our name, it was now or never. We are working to build a sustainable clinical stage company and felt that the rebranding was an important component of establishing a solid foundation for the future.
This blog was written by Mark Manfredi, CEO of Ikena Oncology, and guest blogger Maude Tessier, CBO, as part of the From The Trenches feature of LifeSciVC.
It’s that time of year again when we pause to reflect on the state of the industry – and there’s more to focus on in biopharma today than just the drug pricing debate.
As I described last year, we host two major events in the 4Q every year: our Atlas Venture Annual Meeting for our fund investors (Limited Partners) and our Atlas Retreat for senior industry executives. As a customary kickoff for these events, we share a summary “Year In Review” to frame up some of the important themes facing biopharma. Last year we shared the 2018 presentation here via a video, and decided to do the same this year.
The perennial drug pricing debate has reached a fever pitch, as loud as it’s ever been over the past few decades. Politicians on both sides are bashing the drug industry with the typical talking points about exorbitant prices, countered of course by the expected talking points about innovation and impact from PhRMA and BIO. Even VC’s and biotech CEOs are actively engaged in letter-writing campaigns to support the industry.