July 14, 2011

Boston Globe

Verastem raises $32 million

Verastem Inc., a Cambridge start-up seeking to develop treatments against cancer stem cells, said today that it has raised $32 million through a Series B financing.

Advanced Technology Ventures and Astellas Venture Management led the Series B round, and they were joined by all existing investors --- Longwood Founders Fund, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cardinal Partners, and MPM Capital, the company said in a press release.

“This financing is a recognition of the significant potential for targeted cancer stem cell therapies in clinical practice,” Verastem chairman Christoph Westphal said in a statement.

Verastem recently announced that Henri Termeer, former chief executive of Genzyme Corp., had joined its board.

Late last year, the company disclosed that it had raised $16 million. And a Globe story from that time noted that Verastem’s scientific advisory board reads like a Who’s Who of New England’s leading researchers, including Verastem cofounder Robert Weinberg of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research; Eric S. Lander of the Broad Institute; Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, also of MIT; Harvard stem cell scientist Dr. George Q. Daley; and Dr. Eric P. Winer, director of the breast oncology center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.