GE launches $250M life sciences VC fund

General Electric has pulled the wraps off of a new, $250 million venture fund which will invest in new life sciences technologies as it steps up its work with Eli Lilly on new cancer research.

GE and Lilly plan to expand on their two-year research pact investigating the proteins at work in tumors and new cancer diagnostics. "This new approach to molecular pathology unlocks information that has been hidden from doctors," Mark Little, senior vice president and director of GE global research, said in a statement. "It was just two years ago that researchers at GE and Lilly set out to discover key protein biomarkers that would predict the likelihood that a medication would be effective in treating certain cancers. Our new mapping technology is designed to bring new therapies to market faster and to make sure that the right patients get the right medicines."

Intrigued by the field's potential, GE says that its new "Healthymagination Fund" will back new diagnostic, information-technology and life-science technologies. The three primary focuses include "tools for research and development in biopharmaceuticals and stem cells, and technologies for manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines."

- check out the release on the venture fund
- here's the release on the pact with Lilly
- check out the story from the Wall Street Journal