Third Rock ramps up a $57M up­start fo­cus­ing on pro­teins in mo­tion

For years now, drug de­vel­op­ers have been tak­ing aim at a snap­shot of a pro­tein’s struc­ture. But a biotech start­up says that it’s fig­ur­ing out how to go af­ter pro­teins in mo­tion, and they ex­pect to un­cov­er all sorts of new tar­gets to tack­le a wide va­ri­ety of dis­eases in the process.

That, in a nut­shell, is the game plan be­ing laid out at the lat­est Third Rock start­up to come our way. Dubbed Re­lay Ther­a­peu­tics, it’s been en­dowed with a $57 mil­lion A round — brought to you by the pro­lif­ic ven­ture group with a con­tri­bu­tion from an af­fil­i­ate of D.E. Shaw Re­search, which is get­ting di­rect­ly in­volved — and billed as the world’s first dis­cov­ery plat­form aimed at de­vel­op­ing new ther­a­pies that can be found through the care­ful ex­am­i­na­tion of pro­teins in mo­tion. And it will be god­fa­thered by the ex­pe­ri­enced start­up play­er and ven­ture part­ner Alex­is Borisy, along with a group of sci­en­tists who be­lieve that pro­tein mo­tion’s time in the R&D sun is ap­proach­ing.

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