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Verastem Inc., an early stage biotech company that aims to target cancer stem cells, has landed a $16 million Series A financing. Boston-based Longwood Founders Fund led the funding round, with additional backing by Larchmonth, N.Y.-based Bessemer Venture Partners, Princeton, N.J.-based Cardinal Partners and Boston-based MPM Capital.

Central to the Boston company’s mission is the idea that not all cancer cells are created equal, and that cancer stem cells play an important role in the recurrence of cancer after treatment. The company plans to target several cancers, including breast cancer. Verastem’s founders have developed a proprietary approach to identify drug compounds with the potential to selectively kill cancer stem cells. 

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