Third Rock Ventures' Bet on Lotus Tissue Repair Generates Big Return, Up to $325 Million

Published: Feb 27, 2013

Third Rock Ventures has seen its biotech startup companies achieve some impressive things since it got going in 2007. But now the firm can point to the first venture-style return on one of its home-grown startups. Dublin, Ireland-based Shire (NASDAQ: SHPG) shed some light on Third Rock’s biggest return in a regulatory filing this week. Shire said last month that it agreed to acquire Cambridge, MA-based Lotus Tissue Repair, and Monday it disclosed the amount of the deal—$49.3 million up front plus another $275 million later if Lotus can hit certain safety and development milestones. The disclosure came in a footnote of Shire’s annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The dollar amounts aren’t huge by biotech standards, but the deal is still important to Third Rock. That’s because the firm was the sole venture investor in Lotus, and doesn’t have to split the winnings with any other VC firm. Third Rock committed $26.5 million in a Series A venture round in June 2011, but only pumped $2.8 million into Lotus at that time, according to an SEC filing.

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