J&J and GSK Join Medicxi Ventures

Major drugs companies Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have become partners in a €210 million life sciences venture capital fund.

Both groups will each contribute more than €50 million to Medicxi Ventures, formerly part of Index Ventures, one of Europe’s most prominent investors in technology start-ups.

Medicxi starts as one of the largest independent life science investment firms in Europe. It will also inherit the existing life science funds of Index Ventures which will in future focus solely on technology.

Based in London, UK; Geneva, Switzerland; and Jersey, the fund’s focus is on strengthening R&D innovation and collaborating with pharmaceutical companies is a key part of this strategy.

The move is the latest of several similar funds launched in recent months and highlights the increasing interest of big drugs firms in early stage life science investment as a way to identify promising assets outside their in-house laboratories.

Late last month, J&J and GSK, along with AstraZeneca, linked with UK universities to form Apollo Therapeutics to help commercialize academic research.

Medicxi will be managed by four general partners, all of whom previously led the life sciences practice of Index Ventures, namely Francesco De Rubertis, David Grainger, Kevin Johnson and Michèle Ollier.

J&J and GSK will not have any specific rights over other Medicxi companies.

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