Avalon Ventures Enters Strategic Collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to Fund
and Launch Up to Ten Life Science Companies
First-of-its-kind Program Will Fuel Early-Stage Innovation
SAN DIEGO, April 23, 2013
SAN DIEGO, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Avalon Ventures today announced that
it has entered into a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to fund and
launch up to ten early-stage life science companies in San Diego. This
first-of-its-kind collaboration combines Avalon Ventures' successful approach
of investing in early-stage life science innovation with GSK's expertise and
resources in drug discovery and development.
Avalon Ventures will identify promising new technologies focusing on
early-stage discovery across various therapy areas.A joint management
committee of Avalon and GSK will then approve the formation of new companies
based upon these technologies. Together, Avalon and GSK will finance these
newly-established companies. Avalon Ventures will provide funding of up to $30
million from its recently announced $200 million Fund X. GSK will provide
company seed funding, research and development support and success-based
preclinical and clinical milestones up to a total of $465 million for ten
Avalon will provide executive leadership and operational management consistent
with its current portfolio strategy. GSK will have the option to acquire each
company upon the generation of a clinical candidate.Should GSK elect not to
exercise this option, company ownership will remain with Avalon, and Avalon
will be free to enter into other strategic transactions.
"We are committed to finding creative ways to support academia and the early
stage research that is vital to the success of our industry," said Moncef
Slaoui, Chairman, Research & Development, GSK. "This innovative collaboration
with Avalon, which has established a robust track record in drug discovery,
will benefit not only GSK but the life science industry as a whole and,
While the technologies may come from anywhere, the companies that are created
from this collaboration will all be located in San Diego.
"The collaboration between GSK and Avalon Ventures represents a new paradigm
for funding early-stage life science companies in which Avalon can continue to
pursue its validated approach to company formation and value creation while
capitalizing on the drug discovery and development infrastructure of one of
the world's largest pharmaceutical companies," said Jay Lichter, Managing
Director of Avalon Ventures, who directs life science investing for the fund.
"I believe that this partnership has the potential to drive the innovation
ecosystem and economic growth in Southern California."
"The initiative is modeled in part on GSK's successful Discovery Partnerships
with Academia (DPAc) program, which now has eight projects underway with
universities in the US, Canada and the UK," said Lon Cardon, Senior Vice
President, Alternative Discovery & Development, GSK."We are excited by this
new way that pharma and venture capital are collaborating to nurture
innovation and look forward to a successful relationship with Avalon
About Avalon Ventures
Avalon Ventures is a venture capital firm that has founded and/or funded more
than 100 information technology and life sciences companies.The firm is
passionate about backing talented entrepreneurs seeking to build
market-leading companies. Throughout the firm's 30 year tenure, Avalon's
long-standing and successful focus has been on seed and early-stage companies.
All Avalon partners are seasoned entrepreneurs with experience in company
formation, operations and value creation in the life science and tech sectors.
Avalon's current fund of $200 million, launched in 2012, continues the firm's
tradition of pursuing disruptive ideas in ever changing markets.
Avalon Ventures was advised on the collaboration by the Paul Hastings LLP, and
GSK was advised by Sidley Austin LLP.
SOURCE Avalon Ventures
Contact: Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D., Canale Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org,
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