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New Appoach targets Cancer Stem Cells and uses tens of thousands of animal models |

Stemcentrx, has raised $500 million and is valued at $3 billion, people familiar with its finances say, a nearly unprecedented value for a company with no revenue, facing the usual R and D obstacles, and that almost no one has heard of. Silicon Valley is used to “unicorns,” those private, usually profitless, and fast-growing tech companies worth a billion dollars or more, like Snapchat, Square, and Uber. Now the same phenomenon is spreading to biotech, where investors are throwing money at companies that promise to beat the historically low odds of drug success. The company is unusual because it’s betting on a scientific idea that’s not universally accepted-that cancer is caused not by any cell that goes rogue, but by rare and powerful cancer stem cells. Stemcentrx’s contrarian premise-that stem cells can be bad, not good-has drawn some impressive backers, including Sequoia Capital, Elon Musk, and most notably Founders Fund, the investment firm led by Peter Thiel, the Midas-touch