We invest in the life sciences, with particular focus on therapeutics. We are equally comfortable investing at a very early stage of drug development, when candidate drugs have just been discovered and are entering preclinical development, as at later stages. We back scientists that we believe can become future industry leaders: smart and insightful, driven by clear product vision, comfortable in unchartered territory, sharp, independent decision makers, ready to change direction when the data speaks. In short, we aspire to back entrepreneurs (read here).
We recognise that drug discovery is difficult and firmly believe that only molecules that are supported by the strongest conviction of key scientists deserve financial backing. The absence of reasons to stop a drug development program (“red flags”) should not, by itself, be a justification for moving a program forward; strong conviction is a much more appropriate decision-making tool in early-stage R&D.
We believe that simply relying on statistical considerations as a predictor for success in drug discovery is not a sustainable strategy. In addition, complex governance structures and processes can slow down innovation and create headwinds against breakthroughs: virtual companies and stepwise “asset-centric” financing can create a suitable environment for early stage innovation (read here, here and here). As molecules progress through clinical development, we back entrepreneurs in building their companies around those assets that are appropriately de-risked.
We invest primarily in Europe, looking at opportunities in academia, biotech and pharmaceutical companies.