Medicxi Ventures – which is a is a spin-off of Index Ventures life sciences’ arm – announced the new MV1 fund this week, explaining that it had already attracted investment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
The venture capital group – which will be managed by Francesco De Rubertis, David Grainger, Kevin Johnson and Michèle Ollier – said the fund will “predominantly invest in Europe” and focus on developers working in areas of unmet medical need.
Medicxi Ventures told us that, rather than investing in any particular therapeutic areas, if follows an “asset-centric” and “will invest in companies with just one or two assets rather than multiple programmes.”
It also said that: “Medicxi Ventures comprises all of the Index’s legacy life sciences portfolio investments and funds. Both firms will operate independently, Medicxi V focused on life sciences and Index V focused on tech.”
Index Ventures signed a manufacturing deal with Swiss life sciences supplier and contract manufacturer Lonza in January 2014. The agreement has seen the CMO all biologics for biotech’s in the venture capital firm’s portfolio.
Medicxi Ventures told us that the relationship with Lonza had not changed.
Florence and the medicine
The venture capital fund's name caused a bit of a buzz on twitter, with some suggesting it is designed to evoke Italy’s Pope-rich clan of bankers and fine arts patrons, the Medicis of Florence.
We put this to the firm which told us: “Medicxi Ventures link to the 'Renaissance' is to capture the idea of a period of blossoming of human creativity and progress, when both arts and science flourished together and synergised.”