"The heresies of one age become, as they always do, the orthodoxies of the next.” So said Margaret Thatcher in 1979, but it could easily have been David Cameron at the Liaison Committee in Parliament yesterday. Whoever is in power, making Britain’s public services more efficient and effective means taking on the broken orthodoxy of Whitehall thinking.
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It has often been said that one of the key features that distinguishes “big pharma” from biotech is access to the latest technological platforms to aid efficient drug discovery and development.
We at Index are leading a $17.5m Series B round into London-based app developer SwiftKey (TouchType Ltd), makers of the best-selling Android app of 2012, the SwiftKey virtual keyboard. We first fell in love with the product, until we met with the team and were blown away by their unique ability to turn their amazing technology into a successful mass-market product.
When Disraeli supposedly said “The only two certainties in life are death and taxes” he could not have imagined that little over a century later, such rock-solid logic could be under threat. If a team of Croatian scientists, led by Professor Miroslav Radman, are correct, death need be no certainty. DrugBaron was fortunate to spend several days with Prof Radman and his team earlier this year, and hear about his research into proteome instability, and the insights that has given him into the mechanism of aging. Most intriguingly, these insights have the potential to underpin a whole pipeline of novel therapeutics for a wide range of degenerative diseases, and perhaps, ultimately, for aging itself.
Since 2007, Index Ventures has been the largest shareholder in a rising star of pharma companies, ProFibrix - a visionary company whose lead product aims to save lives and speed recovery for patients undergoing bleeding during surgery and after trauma.
Today, our belief in ProFibrix - and particularly in founder Jaap Koopman, PhD - has been justified with the news of their acquisition by The Medicines Company.
Comparing the founding of two virtual drug development companies, Funxional Therapeutics in 2006 and XO1 earlier in 2013 proves at least one thing: in just seven years it has become dramatically easier and quicker to create a virtual drug development company. Today it is even possible to take virtual to its logical extreme: a zero person biotech company.
In 2010, in my blog, DrugBaron, I declared the death of incremental innovation and wrote the obituary. It didn’t seem a very bold statement at the time - increasing payor pressure was beginning to bite, and it seemed obvious that the entrenched practice of paying a premium for small (often imperceptible) improvements was passing...
Index Ventures is leading a €2.5m Series A investment alongside Angel investors in Paris-based Rad, a discovery platform for cool fashion, art and design products. Here, Martin Mignot who is joining the Board, explains why we are excited to be working with them…
A tidal wave of technological disruption is rolling through the financial services sector - and not before time, says Jan Hammer, partner at Index Ventures.
Why we decided to back Capitaine Train with €500k of seed capital last year, and to keep supporting them today with a €1.1m contribution to their Series A.