Verastem, Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing drugs to treat cancers by targeting cancer stem cells, has raised $32m in Series B funding.
The round was led by Advanced Technology Ventures and Astellas Venture Management, with participation from all existing investors, Longwood Founders Fund, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cardinal Partners and MPM Capital.
The company intends to use the funds to advance research and development and progress drug candidates into clinical development. Its first candidate is expected to enter the clinic in 2012.
Founded by Rich Aldrich, Michelle Dipp, Piyush Gupta, Satish Jindal, Eric Lander, Robert Weinberg (co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Board) and Christoph Westphal (Chairman), Verastem focuses on discovering and developing drugs to treat breast and other cancers by targeting cancer stem cells, which are an underlying cause of tumor recurrence and metastasis.