Health IT

Amazon CEO adds second healthcare investment with cancer immunotherapy funding

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has taken an interest in cancer immunotherapies. The investment in life science innovation marks a shift in his personal  investment focus from the technology startups that he has favored. His investment in Juno Therapeutics through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions helps expand its Series A round from $120 million in […]

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has taken an interest in cancer immunotherapies. The investment in life science innovation marks a shift in his personal  investment focus from the technology startups that he has favored. His investment in Juno Therapeutics through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions helps expand its Series A round from $120 million in December to more than $145 million, according to a company statement.
Venrock, a venture capital firm, also invested in the expanded round. Bezos has also invested in health IT company, ZocDoc.
Seattle-based Juno is a partnership between Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. It is developing two platforms for cancer treatments that also reduce toxicities tied to chemotherapeutics — chimeric antigen receptors and T-cell receptors. Its goal is to develop several cancer treatments across hematologic and solid tumor cancers, according to the statement.
Targeted therapies have grown since 1990 to account for 45 percent of drug approvals, according to research by JP Morgan. Venture capital firm Venrock also participated in the round. Science picked the development of therapeutics to help the body use its own immune system to fight cancer as the medical breakthrough for 2014.