Investing upstream

Why RA Capital wants to start forming companies from scratch

After a decade of focusing on public investments and later adding private investments to its remit, RA Capital is getting into the business of starting companies from whole cloth. The firm thinks having a dedicated financier from start to acquisition or profitability offers the continuity of support that many companies are seeking.

RA Capital isn't revealing many details about its initial two newcos, except to say the areas will include dermatology and Orphan diseases. Nevertheless the move will put the firm in a rare position of being a single institution that participates in the entire financing spectrum from formation to investing in well-established public companies.

"You have a single cohesive team pulling in a single direction, with maximal flexibility to invest in wherever the science and the value take us," said the firm's Peter Kolchinsky. "Science doesn't care about whether you're public or private, LLC or C-Corp."

One constant that will remain regardless of stage is RA Capital's desire to

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