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MPM Capital, a Boston-based life sciences investment firm, has raised $850m for its fund that will invest in companies developing cancer drugs, including those experimenting with methods used in some Covid-19 vaccines.

The new fund will invest in private and public companies that are developing oncology treatments and using cell, gene and RNA therapies, the venture capital fund said in a statement on Wednesday. MPM’s first fund investing in cancer research start-ups raised $471m. 

“The companies that we invest in are all motivated to transform the lives of patients,” said Christiana Bardon, a managing partner at BioImpact Capital, the MPM affiliate that’s managing the fund. 

Venture capitalists are pouring money into start-ups focused on so-called messenger RNA, an innovative method which sends signals to cells to make proteins, after seeing the success Moderna and Pfizer had producing mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. Scientists are hopeful the technology can be used to treat other diseases including cancer, but creating drugs remains theoretical. Because the platform is so new, mRNA vaccines have also been subject to disinformation campaigns.

MPM has previously backed companies such as Orna Therapeutics, which seeks to develop low-cost RNA cancer drugs. 

Bloomberg News. More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com


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