Cydan, the NEA Startup Machine, Scours the Globe for Orphan Drugs  
4/25/2013 7:49:41 AM

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What if you could create a biotech startup focused on treating a rare disease, with a drug candidate already in hand, and high odds of success in clinical trials? That’s the concept that crystallized in former MedImmune executive David Mott’s mind through decades of experience in the life sciences sector. The idea ultimately led him to start a Cambridge, MA-based biotech incubator called Cydan. This new organization, formally announced this month, has been staffed with a hand-picked squad of specialists tasked with churning out a lineup of small companies that make drugs for orphan diseases. Mott, now a general partner at life sciences investment firm New Enterprise Associates, pulled together support for the idea from Pfizer Venture investments (the VC arm of New York-based Pfizer) and Alexandria Real Estate Equities to provide $16 million to get Cydan off the ground.

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