Big Pharma VCs may complement traditional venture

Biopharma venture funds are coming into vogue, with Baxter ($BAX) providing a recent example. The company says in GEN that it will create a $200 million fund for investing in early-stage companies (though early-stage is not necessarily the objective of all bio venture funds). It's not looking just for opportunities that complement its existing offerings, but also for long-term growth potential. And it's looking for its first opportunity now.

VCs appear less willing to play by the old rules. They are moving away from long-term investments, focusing on "early-stage three-year windows, and flipping things to pharma after those three years," says Joseph Panetta, president at the San Diego region's life sciences industry group BIOCOM, in the story.

That could set up a complementary relationship between the two types of investors, with biopharma using its deep pockets to funnel more money to early stage biotechs and traditional VCs finding willing partners for backing life sciences startups. Together, the two groups could advance hot new science and, importantly for the corporate VC set, feed the pipelines of Big Pharma outfits for years to come.

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