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15 December 2017

Relay completes $63m series B leg

GV has joined the investors in oncology treatment developer Relay Therapeutics, which has now raised $120m altogether.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

US-based cancer therapy developer Relay Therapeutics closed a $63m series B round yesterday featuring GV, an early-stage investment vehicle for internet technology group Alphabet.

The round was led by investment firm BVF Partners and included Alexandria Venture Investments, a division of life science real estate developer Alexandria Real Estate Equities, as well as Third Rock Ventures, Casdin Capital, EcoR1 Capital and Section 32.

Relay Therapeutics is creating a drug discovery platform that relies on insights into protein motion, making it possible to exploit the dynamic structural changes undergone by protein molecules in a patient.

Relay's technology is based on research by David Shaw, founder of biochemistry research firm DE Shaw Research, Matthew Jacobson of University of California San Francisco, Dorothee Kern of Brandeis University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Mark Murcko of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The cash will help advance a pipeline of cancer treatments towards the clinic and support further development of the platform, which Relay hopes will eventually also serve to generate drugs for other diseases.

Kanishka Pothula, managing director at BVF Partners, will join the company's board of directors. Relay had previously secured $57m in series A funding from DE Shaw Research and Third Rock Ventures in September 2016.

Alexandria Venture Investments was listed as a returning investor for the series B round, though it was not named as a series A backer when that round was disclosed.

Krishna Yeshwant, general partner at GV, said: “Relay Therapeutics is at the nexus of applying experimentation and computation to drug discovery and development.

“The core thesis of modelling protein movement is a compelling addition to rational drug design approaches, and we look forward to working with Relay’s experienced team as they continue to build out the platform.”

– A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, Global Corporate Venturing.

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