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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Centessa, a Cambridge, Mass.-based pharma platform formed via the merger of 10 startups backed by British biotech VC firm Medicxi, raised $250 million in Series A funding led by General Atlantic.

Why it matters: Centessa's management team boasts a pedigree that includes CEO Saurabh Saha (ex-EVP of R&D and head of translational medicine for Bristol-Myers Squibb) and chief scientific officer Moncef Slaoui (ex-chief scientific officer to Operational Warp Speed).

  • Other investors include Vida Ventures, Janus Henderson, Boxer Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, T. Rowe Price, Venrock, Wellington Management, BVF Partners, EcoR1 Capital, Franklin Templeton, Logos Capital, Samsara BioCapital and LifeSci Venture Partners.
  • The hub-and-spoke portfolio includes four clinical-stage candidates, two of which are late-stage, plus more than 10 other programs.

The bottom line: "Centessa aims to build the infrastructure of a larger drugmaker around each of its component companies, which will be run as largely autonomous subsidiaries. The unorthodox arrangement reflects the vision of Medicxi, which has advocated for a leaner, 'asset-centric' approach to developing drugs, writes BioPharma Dive.

  • "The companies Medicxi helps fund are built around just one or two medicines, or a specific disease pathway, rather than broad pipelines of experimental compounds spanning multiple areas of research."

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.