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In Long Venture Downturn, Flagship And Canaan Are In The Money

This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily

Executive Summary

Two veteran life-science venture firms are pushing forward with new funds even as many of their peers can't persuade backers to open their wallets.

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Third Rock Portfolio Companies Innovate, Sometimes By Returning To The Roots Of Drug Discovery

Third Rock Ventures has raised $1.3 billion by going all-in on early stage biotech with a homegrown company strategy that requires that its own people run many of its portfolio companies after launch. It’s hard to say definitely that the strategy is working, but its investors just re-upped for a new half-billion-dollar fund.

Third Rock Ventures Rolls Its Own

Third Rock Ventures has raised $1.3 billion by going all-in on early-stage biotech with a homegrown company strategy that requires that its own people run many of its portfolio companies after launch. It’s hard to say definitively that the strategy is working, but then again, its investors just re-upped for a new half-billion-dollar fund.

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

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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