WuXi creates $50M VC fund for "great minds" in life sciences

Shanghai-based WuXi PharmaTech has been building up its rep among drug developers looking to outsource their research work. Now the Chinese company has set up a $50 million venture capital fund to take a stake in some of the life sciences companies that can help WuXi build up its rapidly growing research platform.

"This fund will invest in technologies and life-sciences companies to enhance our platform capabilities and to help great minds realize the potential of their technologies and intellectual property," said WuXi in its latest quarterly report. "Through the fund's investments, WuXi expects to benefit from appreciation in value of the companies invested in and from access to these technologies and collaborations, including new revenue-generating opportunities."

WuXi has been on a buyout spree recently. Last month it bought out the antibody reagents maker Abgent, which has facilities in San Diego and Suzhou. And it recently announced plans to get into the clinical trials business, competing with CROs around the world. To facilitate its growth, WuXi bought out two Shanghai-based contract clinical research development services companies: MedKey Med-Tech Development and Jiecheng Med-Tech Development.

WuXi had agreed to a $1.6 billion buyout deal last year with Charles River in Boston, but the U.S. company backed out after heated opposition from its investors.

- here's WuXi's quarterly report