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Google’s Verily backs $300m European life sciences fund

The Medicxi fund for drug development firms also attracts support from Novartis

Google Verily life sciences

Google’s life sciences unit Verily has joined the backers of a new $300m investment fund that seeks to support late-stage drug development companies in Europe.

Verily, which is part of Google holding company Alphabet, has to date concentrated more on technology, working on healthcare data, devices and software with Sanofi and bioelectrics with GSK.

In contrast the Medicxi Growth 1 (MG1) fund will invest in private or public companies with at least one asset in phase II or beyond that has the potential to become a licensed pharmaceutical product.

Giuseppe Zocco, co-founder and partner at Medicxi, said: “This late-stage growth fund will support ambitious European entrepreneurs who are willing and able to build innovative companies through advanced clinical development and market entry, rather than pursuing a premature and generally suboptimal early exit through partnering or M&A."

Medicxi’s other new backers - Novartis and the European Investment Fund (EIF) - are more traditional firms for it to be working with, and join existing partners like Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline.

For its part the EIF, which exists to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance, will be making one of its largest life sciences investments in MG1.

MG1 will also be supported by a scientific advisory board, which will benefit from the sector expertise of the senior executives of Novartis and Verily, with the latter appointing two members to the advisory board.

Andrew Conrad, CEO of Verily, said: “We are excited to partner with Medicxi, Novartis and EIF to help European life sciences innovators accelerate patient and physician access to new and promising therapeutics.”

15th June 2017

From: Research

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