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Merck, GSK, J&J Broaden Strategic LP Relationships, External Discovery Initiatives

Executive Summary

In the latest examples of biotech VCs and Big Pharma joining forces to prospect for products, Index Ventures announced in March that it had raised a new €150 million life sciences venture fund, Index Life VI, and said that GSK and J&J had committed a combined 50% of the fund’s total capital. Three weeks later Merck said it added early-stage life science venture firm Flagship Ventures to the roster of venture funds it has joined as a limited partner. The investments signal continued interest in externalizing discovery and early-stage development by industry and feature new steps in an ongoing dance between industry’s largest players and the venture investors at the forefront of building biotechs and identifying promising assets.

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