Jeff Engelman (L) and Josh Bilenker

Loxo founder Josh Bilenker, No­var­tis on­col­o­gy leader Jeff En­gel­man join forces to de­but can­cer R&D play­er

Josh Bilenker has been busy since leav­ing Eli Lil­ly at the end of Jan­u­ary.

Ear­li­er on Mon­day he put out word on LinkedIn that he and No­var­tis’ glob­al head of on­col­o­gy, Jeff En­gel­man, have launched a new can­cer R&D biotech — and they’ve al­ready banked the A round to fund ops.

In a state­ment, the two founders not­ed that they were go­ing af­ter dif­fi­cult but val­i­dat­ed mol­e­c­u­lar tar­gets in on­col­o­gy, ze­ro­ing in on pro­teins such as ki­nas­es and oth­er en­zymes that can now be pipeline fod­der due to a laun­dry list of every buzzy biotech tool you can throw in a para­graph: CRISPR, ma­chine learn­ing/AI, X-ray crys­tal­log­ra­phy and so on.

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