Flagship VentureLabs, Creating and Spinning Out Cleantech and Life Sciences Startups for 10 Years, Takes the Veil Off

2/17/11Follow @xconomy

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$400 million from other investors. VentureLabs startups account for a sizeable chunk of the 62 startups Flagship has invested in throughout its history.

Check out this link for a more thorough list of the VentureLabs portfolio. Meanwhile, read below for information on the companies we’ve covered before:

—ModeRNA Therapeutics, started out of VentureLabs last summer, announced in October that it had developed a method for producing human induced pluripotent stem cells, which are adult cells reprogrammed to function like embryonic stem cells. The startup, whose research comes from Children’s Hospital Boston, was founded by scientists from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cardiovascular Research Center, and MIT. The stem cells formed with ModeRNA’s method could create an array of cells useful in medicine, such as blood cells, neurons, and muscle cells.

—Joule Biotechnologies got its start in Flagship in 2007, but launched publicly in 2009. The Cambridge-based startup is tapping key elements of the photosynthesis process to make ethanol—at a price more competitive with fossil fuels. It collected a $30 million Series B round from Flagship and other investors last April, and in September got a U.S. patent for an engineered bacterium that produces liquid hydrocarbon fuels from sunlight and carbon dioxide.

—LS9 is working out of South San Francisco, and recently pocketed $30 million in equity-based funding, for its technology that modifies bacteria to convert sugars to fuels. The firm’s name is actually a nod to its beginnings at VentureLabs; it was the ninth company that started as part of the program.

Adnexus Therapeutics of Waltham, MA, was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) in 2007, a month after filing for an $86 million IPO and two months after pulling in a $15.5 million Series C round. Flagship put the most money into the company, which makes biologic therapeutics derived from the protein fibronectin. Bristol-Myers paid a net $415 million in cash for Adnexus, with another $75 million committed for hitting milestones.

—Eleven Biotherapeutics emerged from stealth mode a year ago, raising $35 million in its Series A round. Third Rock Ventures also partnered in that funding round and supplied … Next Page »

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