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Ambys raises $140 million to tackle liver disease

Ambys, a Silicon Valley developer of therapies for serious liver diseases, raised $60 million in Series A funding from Third Rock Ventures and Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical. It also secured another $80 million from Takeda via a strategic partnership, which includes options that allow Takeda to buy partial rights to Ambys' first four drug candidates.

Why it's a big deal: Because it's become increasingly common for biotech startups to partner with big pharma, but most of those deals usually include the potential for control — either in terms of developed products or an option to buy the entire company. Ambys' deal with Takeda provides neither.

More via Brittany Meiling at Endpoints:

The company is tackling three different avenues in liver disease: a cell therapy platform, a gene therapy, and gain-of-function small molecules. [Third Rock's Jeff] Tong said it was imperative that Ambys pursue all three areas at once... [because] many young biotechs make the fatal mistake of funneling all their cash into the first program that shows big promise.