Startups

Thinking big, Bayer’s Axel Bouchon tackles stem cell field with $225M startup partnered with Versant

Axel Bouchon, Bayer

Axel Bouchon, Bayer

Bayer’s Axel Bouchon has struck again.

Less than four months since the Bayer exec struck a deal with CRISPR Therapeutics to launch a gene editing JV named Casebia, he’s back with a new collaboration, this time focused on stem cells.

This time Bayer and Bouchon are teaming up with Versant Ventures to finance a new company called BlueRock, handing over $225 million in financing to pursue new regenerative medicines for heart disease and Parkinson’s, according to the Wall Street Journal, which was handed the exclusive ahead of a formal announcement early next week.

Brad Bolzon and Jerel Davis at Versant are playing lead roles in this new venture, which will be based in Toronto, New York and Boston after in licensing new tech and beginning the process of hiring some 50 staffers to get things going.

As he explained to Endpoints News back in August, Bouchon has been given the mandate of setting up big new ventures backed by monster financing rounds that can get these companies up and running in record time. A classic, big startup round can come in at $50 million, a figure that Bouchon dismissed as too small. And now that gene editing and stem cells have been notched, Bouchin is focused on RNA inhibition or activation and the microbiome.


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