Betting on risky biopharma grows beyond the US

Medicxi, one of Europe’s biggest life sciences investment firms, has secured a further €400 million from investors in just six weeks as appetite for betting on often risky biopharma companies grows beyond the US. Two UK taxpayer-backed hospital trusts invested alongside pharma giants Novartis and Johnson & Johnson, Medicxi said of a fundraising that takes the amount it has accumulated from investors over the past three years to more than $1 billion… Biopharma companies, which use cutting edge biology to produce innovative medicines, is risky for investors given the high failure rate that is the hallmark of drug discovery. After swallowing up substantial investment, even an apparently promising drug can fail during late-stage testing. However, explaining the rising appeal of the sector, Francesco De Rubertis, a former molecular biologist and Medicxi’s co-founder, said the European industry was maturing, “with bigger companies and good returns on investment”. This, in turn, was motivating and attracting investors. The new fund will be invested in early and late stage biopharma companies… Medicxi… is based in London, Geneva and Jersey… Medicxi decided to reserve up to 35 per cent of the fund for new investors to expand the pool of potential money it is tapping.
Sarah Neville