Third Rock Ventures, a healthcare venture firm focused on disruptive areas of science and medicine, has launched Maze Therapeutics to focus on translating genetic insights into new medicines.
Maze Therapeutics has secured an initial investment commitment of $191m, led by Third Rock Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners.
GV, Foresite Capital, Casdin Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments and other undisclosed investors have also participated in the round.
The company will leverage genetic modifiers, a natural protection against disease, to develop medicines for severe diseases.
Maze Therapeutics founder, interim CEO and Third Rock Ventures partner Dr Charles Homcy said: “At Maze, we are focused on expanding our understanding of the natural disease protection provided by genetic modifiers through an integrated approach that combines studying natural human genetic variation across the globe and conducting large-scale experiments of gene perturbations.
“Through our integrated approach, we believe we will create novel medicines based around those modifiers to treat a number of diseases.”
The new firm will be supported by major scientific founders who are experts in their respective fields, including Mark Daly, Stephen Elledge, Aaron Gitler, Sekar Kathiresan and Jonathan Weissman.
Mark Daly is expertise in the field of human genetics. He is a co-director of the Program in Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute and founding chief of the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.
Stephen Elledge is a pioneer in the field of genetics. He is the Gregor Mendel Professor of Genetics and Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Aaron Gitler is a neuroscientist and genetics expert with a focus on understanding the cellular consequences of protein misfolding to recommend potential strategies for therapeutic intervention.
Sekar Kathiresan is a physician-scientist and human geneticist with a major focus on genetics of complex diseases. Jonathan Weissman is engaged in the development of advanced tools to study the organizational principals of biological systems.
ARCH Venture Partners managing director and co-founder Robert Nelsen said: “Maze has assembled an exceptional team who are leaders in their fields and have shaped many aspects of how we think about genetics, biology and drug discovery.”