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In one of the largest Series A funding rounds ever recorded for biotech, and the largest ever in Canada, Germany’s Bayer and Versant Ventures have invested $225 million in the launch of BlueRock Therapeutics. Research and development will happen in Toronto, Boston and New York City, while manufacturing will take place through a partnership with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM). The venture will initially employ 30-40 people within Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District.
According to Bayer’s press release, BlueRock Therapeutics is focused on breakthrough treatments based on the latest stem cell technology in combination with superior cell differentiation protocols. BlueRock will collaborate with the Toronto-based McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine and University Health Network’s Dr. Gordon Keller, a renowned leader in stem cell biology, and a BlueRock co-founder. The firm will focus on curing diseases with significant cell loss and diminished self-repair potential, beginning with neurological and cardiovascular conditions, such as in patients who have suffered a heart attack.
Toronto has one of the highest number of stem cell researchers in the world. It’s Canada’s largest life sciences centre, one of North America’s largest clusters and where the discovery of stem cells took place more than 50 years ago. Since then, Ontario has remained at the forefront of regenerative medicine.
December 22, 2016
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All figures are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted. Information is accurate at the time of publication.