Startups, BioPharma

Doug Williams’ Codiak Biosciences gets $61M Series B for exosome work

This closes out Codiak Biosciences’ Series B round first announced alongside its November launch – bringing the fledgling startup’s funding to $92 million.

Douglas Williams

Former Biogen R&D head Doug Williams now leads up Codiak Biosciences.

Codiak Biosciences, the exosome-chasing startup launched by former Biogen R&D head Doug Williams, continues its rapid-fire fundraising: It just closed a $61 million Series B round.

This comes right on the heels of Codiak’s November 2015 launch – in which it announced $80 million in a Series A and partial B round. This $61 million brings Codiak’s funding up to $92 million. The latest round was led by ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures, with participation from the Alaska Permanent Fund, Alexandria Venture Investments and Fidelity.

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Williams left Biogen this past July to pursue Codiak Biosciences, which is using exosomes – the complex molecular garbage cans of cellular function – to create new therapeutics, starting with pancreatic cancer. Exosomes, which are vesicles released by diseased and normal cells to mediate inter-cellular communication, is also showing potential as a diagnostics tool.

The underlying technology comes from the labs of Raghu Kalluri, chairman of the department of cancer biology at MD Anderson. It’s cofounded by Eric Lander, president and founding director of Harvard and MIT’s Broad Institute.