Today, the third and final day of BIO-Europe Spring® 2012, Index Ventures announced the launch of a EUR 150 million life science investment fund with heavy backing from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The news was announced at BIO-Europe Spring 2012 in a plenary session entitled “Big pharma and venture capital: Two chefs in the kitchen.” BIO-Europe Spring is one of the largest life science partnering events in the world with over 2,000 delegates who engage in more than 11,000 one-to-one partnering meetings.
The investment fund represents a new pharmaceutical-VC partnership model intended to propel early stage pre-competititve innovation. The fund includes investments from several of Index’s largest existing limited partners and will capitalize on Index’s successful track record in asset-centric approach.
“This is going to be a classic venture fund like all other index funds. It is a real VC fund, with the big vision to drive partnerships and discovery, not to drive R&D purposes,” said Francesco De Rubertis, Partner at Index Ventures. “The single most important benefit of our fund is having proximity to people on the front line who have a vested interest in the success of the fund.”
The investment fund will capitalize on the shared expertise of GSK and J&J through their participation in the fund’s scientific advisory board (SAB).
“The endeavor we are taking to discover new drugs is enormous. Our organizations are very large, but in absolute terms, they are small. It’s key for us to reach out to any new ideas anywhere in the world,” said Moncef Slaoui, Chairman R&D, GSK. “We need to capture the diversity of ideas and talent.”
In the past, this type of pre-competitive partnership was unheard of, but the sector has seen a recent shift in the previous model, allowing new capital to flow into early stage discovery.
“You need to be as effective as possible to progress assets to the finish line,” said Paul Stoffels, Worldwide Chairman Pharmaceuticals, J&J. “You need entrepreneurs who know when to start and when to stop, a very lean approach, and people who know the minimum amount of capital to find out what works, or doesn’t work. And you need a very large and diverse access to innovation to get to those best medicines in the future.”
BIO-Europe Spring 2012 was attended by over 2,100 delegates representing 1,304 companies from 44 countries, a 20% increase from 2011. Over 11,170 one-to-one partnering meetings generated by partneringONE®, the leading conference partnering system for the life sciences, took place at the event.
Go to the BIO-Europe Spring web site for additional coverage of the event atwww.ebdgroup.com/bes/index.php.
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EBD Group is the leading partnering firm for the global life science industry. Since 1993, biotech, pharma and medical device companies have leveraged EBD Group’s partnering conferences, technology and services to identify business opportunities and develop strategic relationships essential to their success.
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As the springtime counterpart to BIO-Europe®, BIO-Europe Spring® continues the tradition of providing life science companies with high caliber partnering opportunities. Featuring EBD Group’s acclaimed partnering system, partneringONE®, the event enables delegates to efficiently identify, meet and get partnerships started with companies across the biotech value chain.
In addition to productive partnering, BIO-Europe Spring offers high level workshops, panels, company presentations, and a lively exhibition. The program features executive level panelists who openly share their insight and opinion on many important industry issues. The company presentation tracks provide a forum for innovative start-ups, established biotech companies, and large and midsize pharma to present information on products, partnering opportunities and corporate strategy.
Combined, these elements create an insightful and productive event that will have you coming back year after year.
BIO-Europe Spring is produced by EBD Group, the leading partnering firm for the global biotechnology industry, with the support of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).
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