Britain's biggest pharmaceuticals maker, GlaxoSmithKline, has teamed up with Johnson & Johnson and the private equity house Index Ventures to launch a ground-breaking €150m (£125m) fund to discover new drugs.
Index, whose previously investments include Skype and Lovefilm as well as the start-up rounds of biotechs including Genmab, is contributing €75m. Glaxo and J&J will together put up the other half of the cash. The three said their investment would focus on drugmakers with just one or two projects, rather than multiple development programmes. They will focus on opportunities in Europe.
Index, which has offices in London as well as in Geneva and San Francisco, will retain full decision-making rights to the portfolio, meaning neither Glaxo nor J&J will have preferential rights to buy any promising new drugs.
Like other big drug makers, Glaxo and J&J have started in-house venture capital arms to tackle rising development costs and loss of income as patents expire.