Lon Cardon, senior vice-president of alternative discovery and development at GSK, said: "The initiative is modeled in part on GSK's successful Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) program, which now has eight projects underway with universities in the US, Canada and the UK."

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a UK-listed drugs company, will partner with venture capital firm Avalon Ventures to co-invest in up to 10 start-ups over the next three years.

US-based Avalon, which last year raised $200m for its tenth fund, will invest $30m into the start-ups. GSK will provide company seed funding, research and development support and success-based preclinical and clinical milestones up to a total of $465m for 10 companies. GSK will also have the option to acquire each company upon the generation of a clinical candidate.

Law firm Paul Hastings advised Avalon Ventures on the collaboration, with Sidley Austin as legal counsel for GSK.

Moncef Slaoui, chairman of GSK’s research and development,said: “We are committed to finding creative ways to support academia and the early stage research that is vital to the success of our industry.”

He added to news provider Wall Street Journal: “We are going to immediately own this…

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