Cambrian Biopharma: Encouraging Longer and Healthier Years

Developing medicines to help people live longer, healthier lives

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2 min

Life expectancy has increased rapidly since the early 19th century — more than doubling from 30 to 70 years of age. However, even though advancements in medicine have significantly improved longevity, chronic diseases from aging still account for more than 70% of deaths worldwide. With this, the treatment and prevention of age-related conditions offer a vast market opportunity.

By functioning as a combination of biotech startup and venture-backed incubator, Alumni Ventures portfolio company Cambrian Biopharma is aiming to significantly improve human health and longevity. The company is developing medicines and therapies that treat specific diseases and then deploying them as preventative solutions.

Effective DisCo Model

Cambrian is employing the unique business model of a Distributed Drug Discovery Company (DisCo). DisCos create portfolios of majority-owned subsidiaries, each dedicated to developing an individual drug. This allows the parent company to take multiple shots on goal, efficiently homing in on winners and cutting losses.

The DisCo model has proven successful for many biotechs, including BridgeBio ($7B market cap), Roivant ($7B SPAC), and Biohaven ($9B market cap). It has also produced promising initial results for Cambrian. Since launching operations two years ago, Cambrian has added 14 assets to its portfolio, including one company that had an IPO in 2021. The company is on track to take three programs to clinical trials by mid-2023.

Experienced Team and Significant Market Opportunity

Thanks to an accomplished, experienced team, Cambrian is a growing part of the therapeutics world. The company was co-founded by billionaire biotech entrepreneur Christian Angermayer, Co-Founder of ATAI Life Sciences ($1.3B market cap) and Alnylam ($20B+ market cap). Angermayer has been involved in more than 50 successful IPO and M&A transactions as an entrepreneur, investor, and/or banker/advisor.

Additionally, Co-Founder and CEO James Peyer holds a PhD in Stem Cell Biology, worked at McKinsey, and built Apollo Ventures with Christian to invest in longevity biotech. James is regarded as a leading investor in the longevity space, having led over 20 investments and deploying over $300M. The broader executive team also holds deep domain expertise. 

Backed by Storied Investors & Experienced Biotech Firms

Future Ventures: Future is co-founded by Steve Jurvetson, who has been named to the Forbes Midas List Top Tech investors five times and sits on the board of Space X — and is a Cambrian Board Observer.

Anthos Capital: The firm was founded by former Goldman Sachs and Summit Partners investors.

The SALT Fund: Exits include Grail (exit $8B), Hims and Hers ($1.6B SPAC), and Just Biotherapeutics ($90M acquisition by Evotec).

How We Are Involved

Alumni Ventures’ Strawberry Creek Ventures (for the UC Berkeley community), Westwood Ventures (for the UCLA community), Spike Ventures (for the Stanford community), and Purple Arch Ventures (for the Northwestern community) participated in Cambrian’s $100M Series C. The deal was also added to AV’s Deep Tech Fund, and part of the allocation was raised via Syndication. 

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Contact [email protected] for additional information. To see additional risk factors and investment considerations, visit