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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

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.