Presage Biosciences, a US-based developer of drugs for cancers in animals, has sold a minority stake worth $8m to peer Celgene. Celgene is also investing an initial $5m to help pay for Presage’s clinical trials with more available if performance targets are hit. Thomas Daniel, president of research and early development at Celgene, said: “Drug development is currently challenged by heavy reliance on in vitro test systems and animal xenografts of little relevance to individual patients. “The Presage platform addresses this challenge, permitting rapid assessment of drug candidates and combinations in relevant models, with potential to base critical drug development decisions on in vivo response data.” Jim Olson, an oncology specialist and serial entrepreneur at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, founded Presage in 2008. In August 2011, Presage’s regulatory filing said it had raised $1.6m of a planned $10m round, following a $3.8m investment a year earlier. Olson also co-founded Blaze Bioscience, which has just raised $8.5m in its series A round from angel investors.

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