Startups, Venture

Jonathan Lim isn’t ready to say much about his new startup, but he does have $42M for it

Jonathan Lim knows how to build biotechs for a sale. He auctioned off Ignyta — where he was CEO — to Roche last February for a tidy $1.7 billion, gaining a 74% premium on his stock. A few months before he also participated in the sale of Bonti to Allergan, which he had co-founded and helped manage as chairman of the board.

Now he’s on to a new startup, but don’t look for a lot of details about the plans he’s hatching now.

The company is Erasca (as in erase cancer), based in San Diego. Lim, the executive chairman, is tackling cancer again — talking about potential cures, no less. And he has $42 million in A round money for the team of 12 to get started.

That’s about it, for now. In an interview, Lim declined to offer any details about the work the 12-member team has planned. Time to clinic? Why, there should be several programs in the clinic in a few years. Science? Nothing really to add there either, beyond the fact that they are focused on small molecules and “key molecular drivers.” There was a customary bow to “precision medicine.”

City Hill Ventures, where Lim is managing partner, and Cormorant Asset Management led the round. Lim also recently joined Arch as a venture partner.

Erasca and Lim may have a story to tell at some point. But except for a name and some money and a ballpark disease area to play in, it may as well have stayed in stealth mode for awhile longer.

Image: Jonathan Lim. MASS KICKER

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Sr. Manager, Regulatory Affairs, CMC
CytomX Therapeutics San Francisco, CA
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Catalytic Data Science Charleston, SC
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Flatiron Health New York City or San Francisco

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