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€210 million European life science fund announced

A new life sciences fund involving Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been launched by Medixci Ventures.02 Feb 2016

Medicxi Ventures was formerly known as Index Ventures Life Sciences, and has relaunched itself as an independent venture capital firm.

The new fund, called Medicxi Ventures 1 (MV1) will focus on early-stage life sciences investments and will predominantly invest in Europe, Medicxi said.

All of the existing life sciences portfolio companies, funds and staff from Index Ventures have moved to the new firm, Medicxi said.

The advisory board of the new fund will include research and development and business development executives from the two pharmaceutical companies as well as Medicxi executives. The two pharmaceutical companies have not received any specific rights to the portfolio companies, Medicxi said.

Neil Rimer, co-founder of Index Ventures, said that Index and Medicxi will now operate independently.

"The creation of Medicxi Ventures as a new entity is a natural evolution given that Index' life sciences team has been operating autonomously within the firm for several years," Rimer said. "We retain close ties and look forward to continuing to share ideas and expertise."

Life sciences expert Allistair Booth of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind said: "This is good news for the funding of early stage biotech companies, particularly coming close on the heels of the formation of the Apollo Fund, in which J&J and GSK also participated alongside AstraZeneca, and the UCL technology fund."

"Factor into this funding environment the Oxford Sciences Innovation fund of £320m, Sofinnova’s new €300m healthcare venture fund, the Syncona fund and the Malin fund, IP Group, Imperial Innovations, Cambridge Innovation and others, and you can’t help but conclude it’s an exciting time for biotechnology companies in Europe," Booth said.