GlaxoSmithKline launches $50m venture capital fund


biomed_lrgPharmaceutical major GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has launched a $50m venture capital fund to invest in bioelectronic medicines and technologies.

Action Potential Venture Capital (APVC) has already agreed to back Californian startup SetPoint Medical, which makes implantable devices to treat inflammatory diseases, in its first deal.

APVC, which will be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will invest in five to seven businesses over the next five years.

GSK said miniaturised devices, or bioelectronic medicines, could be designed to interface between the peripheral nervous system and specific organs to read, change or generate electronic impulses that help treat a wide range of disorders.

Chairman of GSK’s research and development unit Moncef Slaoui said, “We want to help create the medicines of the future and be the catalyst for this work.

“GSK can play the integrating role that is needed to drive this new type of medical treatment all the way from the bench to the patient and this fund is a key part of our efforts.”

Late last year Glaxo’s corporate venture arm led a $35m financing round for kidney injury treatment company Thrasos Therapeutics.

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