Bayer Launches Stem Cell Therapy CompanyBy
Bayer and Versant Ventures, a San Francisco-based healthcare investment firm, have launched BlueRock Therapeutics, a regenerative medicine company that plans to develop induced pluripotent stem-cell therapies.
To enable BlueRock Therapeutics’ platform and pipeline, Bayer and Versant have said they are committing $225 million in series A financing. The funds are projected to give BlueRock Therapeutics at least four years of runway and will allow the new company to advance a number of programs into the clinic, with an initial focus on cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.
BlueRock Therapeutics will have research and development operations in Toronto, New York, and Boston. Its platform is enabled by strategic partnerships with academic and industry collaborators in the US, Canada, and Japan.
BlueRock Therapeutics is the second large investment by the Bayer Lifescience Center (BLSC), which operates as a strategic unit in Bayer directly reporting to Bayer’s board of management. In December 2015, the BLSC formed a joint venture, Casebia, with CRISPR Therapeutics AG, a gene-editing company co-founded by Versant.