Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Flagship Ventures, a leading venture capital and venture creation firm focused on innovations in biotech and sustainability has formed strategic innovation partnerships with AstraZeneca, Nestle Health Science and Bayer CropScience. These partnerships will allow Flagship to scale up its unique innovation foundry, VentureLabs®, as well as expand its early stage venture funding activities while leveraging the partners’ strengths as market leaders in biotech.
Working with Flagship, each partner will gain access to the firm’s unique model of entrepreneurial innovation, venture creation and development. Flagship will benefit from each partner’s deep knowledge of market needs and research frontiers, as well as expertise in product development and commercialization. As part of the innovation partnerships, AstraZeneca, Nestle Health Science and Bayer CropScience each also invested in Flagship Ventures’ Fund V, a $537 million, oversubscribed venture capital fund that closed in March 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the partnership agreement, the parties will work together to create the next generation of cutting-edge biotech innovations leading to a portfolio of pioneering ventures. The corporate partners will collaborate with the resulting companies, and may also deploy traditional business development approaches such as direct investments, licensing, joint ventures or acquisitions.
The firm has seen eight of its early-stage biotech investments go public within the last two years and are collectively worth more than $10 billion dollars. Flagship’s biggest investment includes Moderna Therapeutics, a messenger RNA drug developer that has raised $1 billion from investors and has established partnership with AstraZeneca , Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and Merck.