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With Capital Scarce, Charities Emerge as a Stronger Force on Start-Up Scene

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Disease-oriented foundations and cash-strapped biotechs are increasingly seeking common ground: as more becomes known about the mechanisms by which a given disease operates, foundation boards are finding more opportunities to fund promising start-ups and established biotechs.

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Autism Speaks Launches Venture Philanthropy Arm

Autism Speaks, an advocacy group that has devoted nearly $200 million to basic research on autism spectrum disorders since 2005, is spinning out a venture arm called Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism to fund efforts by the for-profit sector. The amount of funding involved is “not insignificant,” said Robert Ring, who left Pfizer in 2011 to spearhead the move into the transitional space.

Rare Disease Research: Where Compassion Meets Commerce

The advent of a new set of potential acquirers has heightened venture capital's interest in rare diseases, resulting in the creation of a new cohort of drug developers that are using cutting edge technologies to treat and in some cases cure grave illnesses. In this issue, we profile Afraxis, bluebird bio, Edimer Pharmaceuticals and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical.

Rare Disease Research: Where Compassion Meets Commerce

The advent of a new set of potential acquirers has heightened venture capital's interest in rare diseases, resulting in the creation of a new cohort of drug developers that are using cutting edge technologies to treat and in some cases cure grave illnesses. In this issue, we profile Afraxis, bluebird bio, Edimer Pharmaceuticals and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical.

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