PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel pours $200M into cancer stem cell biotech
- Stemcentrx, which is being described by some as a biotech "unicorn," has drawn interest from Founders Fund (run by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel), Sequoia Capital, Fidelity, and Elon Musk..
- Thiel has invested $200 million in StemCentrx, which is the largest investment in a single company he's made to date, the MIT Technology Review reports.
- Stemcentrx is a biotech company focused on combatting cancer by vanquishing "bad" stem cells.
Stemcentrx is a privately held biotech company based in San Francisco that has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars based on the concept that cancer is caused by rare and powerful stem cells. The company's managers have recruited experienced biotech veterans to work on developing therapies for 10 different types of cancer. Assuming this experimental approach works, these drugs will function like "laser-guided missiles attached to atomic bombs," according to the company.
That's a pretty powerful metaphor for a therapy. And while it has a strong theoretical foundation, it has not actually been subjected to proof-of-concept studies. However, there are other biotech companies pursuing this avenue as a way to address cancer—OncoMed and Verastem, both of which have already gone public.
Nonetheless with a $3 billion valuation, many think that Stemcentrx is overvalued—biotech bubble, anyone?
- Technology Review Peter Thiel Backs Biotech “Unicorn” Fighting Cancer Stem Cells