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Roger Perlmutter, previously the head of research at Merck, said Wednesday he will become the CEO of a startup that is using Nobel Prize-winning microscope technology that can pinpoint the location of individual molecules within human cells as a way to invent new medicines.

The company, Eikon Therapeutics of Hayward, Calif., also announced that it has raised $148 million from The Column Group and other investors including Foresite Capital, Innovation Endeavors, and Lux Capital.


Perlmutter said he was drawn to the company by technology that could address questions drug researchers have always had but have never been able to answer. The promise, he told STAT, is that Eikon’s microscopes could “make movies” of what’s happening in individual cells,  monitoring how molecules behave over mere hundreths of a second.

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