GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a UK-listed drugs company, has set aside £50m ($78m) to launch a corporate venturing fund for the country’s early-stage healthcare companies and spin-outs from universities. The UK Venture Capital Fund will be part of GSK’s existing corporate venturing unit, SR One, and is similar in scope to semiconductor company Intel’s launch of regional funds and leadership of the $3.5bn Intel Invest in America Alliance.  Founded in 1985, SR One has invested more than $600m in biotech companies and 70% of its current portfolio are US-based. The fund is being launched at the same time as GSK plans to build a drugs factory in the UK after a cut in the intellectual property (IP) tax rate to 10% from 28% for assets held through a so-called patent box. Deborah Harland, partner at SR One, said: "This week’s release was the first time the fund has been announced.  It is subject to successful implementation of the patent box, the mechanism for which is now the subject of consultation and so more specific details will be communicated in due course." Andrew Witty, chief executive of GSK (pictured), said: "The successful introduction of the patent box will enable us to increase investment in communities where we have existing facilities by scaling up current manufacturing and building a significant new plant.  "With a more IP-friendly environment, we also plan to launch a new UK venture capital fund and invest in new technologies such as green chemistry. In total, these new investments in the UK would be worth more than £500m."

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