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Flagship Ventures partners with AstraZeneca, Nestlé, Bayer

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Flagship Ventures, a venture capital and venture creation firm focused on innovations in healthcare and sustainability, has formed strategic innovation partnerships with AstraZenecaNestlé Health Science and Bayer CropScience. These collaborations 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.

Each partner will gain access to the firm’s 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 experience in product development and commercialization.

AZ, Nestlé Health Science and Bayer CropScience each also invested in Flagship Ventures’ Fund V, a $537 million, oversubscribed venture capital fund that closed in March. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

“For 15 years, Flagship has uniquely pursued a hybrid model of venture creation and investment to fulfill its mission of realizing entrepreneurial innovation,” said Dr. Noubar Afeyan, senior managing partner and CEO of Flagship. “The strategic innovation partnerships we have formed with these companies will enable us to accelerate our efforts, translate more scientific discoveries into game-changing companies that disrupt existing markets, and make our own breakthrough innovations to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

“We are partnering with Flagship based on their proven track record of successfully creating and investing in transformative therapeutics platforms,” said Dr. Menelas Pangalos, executive vice president of AZ’s innovative medicines and Eerly development biotech unit. “Collaborating with Flagship allows us to leverage our complementary strengths while accessing breakthrough science at its formative stages.”

Greg Behar, chief executive of Nestlé Health Science, said, “Our investment in Fund V is another step forward in advancing the therapeutic role of nutrition, an area alive with discovery and innovation. Nutritional therapy is rapidly advancing as breakthroughs are being made in terms of understanding mode of action, clinical and health economic evidence.”

The companies will work together to create the next generation of cutting-edge innovations leading to a portfolio of pioneering ventures. The corporate partners will collaborate with the resulting companies, and also may deploy traditional business development approaches such as direct investments, licensing, joint ventures or acquisitions.

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