Novartis Venture Fund
Foster innovation, drive significant patient benefit and generate superior returns by creating and investing in innovative life science companies.

NVF is stage agnostic, engaging in investments from seed- to later-stage life sciences companies across Biotechnology/Biopharma.

NVF manages over USD 800 million in committed capital and more than 40 portfolio companies across North America, Europe, Israel and Asia/Pacific.

Our Fund

Investment Focus:

Our primary focus is on the development of novel therapeutics and platforms. In our investments we look for unmet need and clinical impact, novel proprietary science and understanding of mechanism, management and board experience and capital efficiency in the program.

Invest Globally:

We invest in North America, Europe, Israel and Asia/Pacific with approximately USD 800 million under management in committed capital and more than 40 portfolio companies. We continue our strategy of making larger focused investments and anticipate total investments up to USD 30 million per company over its life.

Invest Across Healthcare Sector:

We make equity investments in Biotechnology/Biopharma life sciences companies. NVF is stage agnostic and engages in seed investments as well as later-stage investments. We typically lead or co-lead an investment and play an active role on company boards.


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number of jobs created
> 1000

dollars under management approximately $800 million

Phase 1 and 2 clinical programs

Return to Our Fund overview

Pipeline Overview of Biotechnology Portfolio

The Novartis Venture Fund has investments across various therapeutic areas. We seek companies that are truly innovative, have the potential to offer significant patient benefit, have excellent management and are capital-efficient.

In total, our current portfolio companies have 21 clinical programs in Phase 1 or Phase 2.

Autoimmune, Immunology, Transplantation 4 1
Cardiovascular, Metabolism 1 1
Dermatology 2
Hematology 1 2
Infectious Diseases 7 3 3
Nephrology 1
Neuroscience 4 1 2
Ophtalmology 3 1 1
Oncology 12 2 3
Respiratory 2
Woman's Health 1
  Pre-Clinical   Phase I   Phase II

Return to Our Fund overview

Medical Devices and Diagnostics

Seeking Healthcare Innovation

Physicians use a combination of technologies to produce the best clinical outcome. The challenges and opportunities in healthcare are multi-factorial. Our fund looks broadly to invest in all types of healthcare innovation that will to serve clinical need. The Novartis Venture Fund has invested in medical technologies and diagnostics since its inception in 1996. Our device investments are led by Steven Weinstein in our Cambridge office. We currently have targeted 20% of our fund to medical device, diagnostics and other healthcare-related information technology opportunities.

Our Focus

Our definition of medical technologies is broad. The NVF seeks opportunities that can change the practice of medicine, produce meaningful patient benefit, or reduce costs of medical care. We look for underserved indications, or where a company’s technology enables a new treatment paradigm. In today’s more cost-conscious healthcare environment, we also look for companies whose technologies allow the healthcare system to reduce overall cost while maintaining or improving outcomes. Our investment strategy is stage agnostic (seed to growth capital) and we are happy to lead an investment, and invest globally.

Our Portfolio

Advanced Animal Diagnostics, Inc.:
On-farm diagnostics platform to detect disease states and optimize overall health status of production animals.

Atlas Genetics, Ltd.:
Molecular diagnostic system for the ultra-rapid diagnosis of a broad range of infectious diseases.

Autonomic Technologies, Inc.:
Implantable neurostimulation device for severe headaches such as cluster headaches and migraines.

BioNano Genomics, Inc.:
Genome mapping platform using nanochannel technology to visualize whole genomes of any organism, including humans.

Genedata AG:
Computational solutions for drug discovery and systems biology research.

Symetis AG:
Trans-apical and trans-femoral cardiac valve replacement.

Our Team

Fund Management

Dr. Anja König
Juliette Audet
Dr. Laura Brass
Bart Dzikowski
Dr. Markus Goebel
Florent Gros
Dr. David Morris
Dr. Florian Muellershausen
Dr. Campbell Murray
Dr. Aaron Nelson
Michal Silverberg
Dr. Beat Steffen

Dr. Laura Brass is a senior investment partner at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, Laura was a Managing Director at MPM Capital, and prior to that, she was a member of the founding management team and SVP of Business Development for TriNetX, a healthcare IT company focusing on big data analytics for clinical research. Before TriNetX, Laura was Director of Business Development at Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development and at its Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. She led commercialization strategy, start-up creation, deal structuring, and negotiations for a portfolio of over 250 biotech, synthetic chemistry, engineering, software, device, and stem cell technologies developed at Harvard and Harvard-affiliated institutions. Laura has also held roles in business development and IP strategy at Elixir Pharmaceuticals, and was CEO of Aferon, Inc., an early-stage antiviral start-up company. Laura holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Bart Dzikowski is the Head of Transactions & Legal for NVF based in Basel, Switzerland. During his time with Novartis, he has served as the Head of Corporate Legal M&A (a.i.) and as Senior Business Development & Licensing/M&A Counsel. Before joining Novartis in 2009, Bart was Vice President with the Investment Banking Division of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch in New York and, before that, he was an associate with the Corporate/M&A Group at the law firm of Allen & Overy LLP in New York. Bart holds degrees in common law (LL.B.) and civil law (B.C.L.) from McGill Law School in Canada and is a member of the New York State Bar.

Portfolio companies

Enterprise Therapeutics (Observer)

Dr. Markus Goebel is a Managing Director at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he worked as Head Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporate M&A and Head Nervous System Business Development & Licensing. A physician by training and certified, amongst others, in hematology/oncology, Markus worked for Farmitalia Germany and later held several positions in R&D, Marketing and Strategy at Roche headquarters before joining Novartis. Markus received an MD and a PhD from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Portfolio companies

Macrolide (Board Seat) eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc. (Board Seat) E-Scape Bio (Board Seat)


Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR) EraGen Biosciences, Inc. (Acquired by Luminex Corporation) FoldRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Acquired by Pfizer) Intellikine, Inc. (Acquired by Takeda) LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Acquired by Takeda) Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: RARX) Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Acquired by GlaxoSmithKline) Xenoport, Inc. (NASDAQ: XNPT)

Florent Gros is a Managing Director at NVF in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining NVF, he worked in various global leadership positions in intellectual property and transaction matters at Nestlé, Pasteur Merieux Connaught (Sanofi Pasteur) and Novartis, in Europe and North America. Florent is a Kaufmann Fellow (2012) and holds a Biotechnology Engineering Masters Degree from France, and did his diploma thesis on vaccines at GSK in Belgium. He also holds European and French patent lawyer degrees and a Masters in Private Law.

Portfolio companies

Adicet Bio, Inc. (Board Seat) Anokion SA (Board Seat) Atlas Genetics, Ltd (Board Seat) Inflazome (Board Seat) Kanyos Bio, Inc. (Board Seat) Oculis (Board Seat) Vivet Therapeutics (Board Seat)


Evolva AG (SIX Swiss Exchange: EVE) Neovacs SA (Alternext Paris: ALNEV) Okairos AG (Acquired by GlaxoSmithKline) Cellerix BV (Merger with Tigenix BV, NYSE Euronext: TIG) Gensight (EURONEXT: SIGHT) Merus Biopharmaceuticals BV (NASDAQ:MRUS)

Dr. Anja König is the Global Head of the NVF in Basel, Switzerland. Previously, she was a Managing Director at NVF investing in Switzerland, U.K. and the rest of Europe as well as Asia/Pacific. Prior to joining NVF, she was an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Company in New York, where she worked with healthcare companies in the US, Europe and Emerging Markets. Anja holds a PhD in physics from Cornell University. She is active in the Swiss startup ecosystem and is a member of the board of the University of Zurich Life Sciences Fund, the evaluation panel of the Bridge Grant POC program of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the CTI, the selection committee of BaseLaunch and serves as a coach with the ETH Pioneer Labs program.

Portfolio companies

Bicycle Therapeutics, Ltd. (Board Seat) Forendo Pharma, Ltd. (Board Seat) Anaveon (Board Seat)


Covagen AG (Acquired by J&J) Heptares Therapeutics, Ltd (Acquired by Sosei) Nabriva Therapeutics AG (NASDAQ: NBRV) Qurient Therapeutics (KOSDAQ: 115180)

Dr. Campbell Murray is a Managing Director at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he worked at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research as the Director of Special Projects. Campbell is a New Zealand-trained physician and worked as a Medical House Officer at Auckland Hospital. He is a Kauffman Fellow and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an MPP (public policy) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Knox Fellow and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

Portfolio companies

Akouos (Observer) Annexon, Inc. (Board Seat) Expansion Therapeutics (Board Seat) Galera Therapeutics, Inc. (Board Seat) Lemonaid Health, Inc. (Board Seat) TScan Therapeutics (Board Seat)


Aerpio Therapeutics, Inc. Akebia Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKBA) Alios BioPharma, Inc. (Acquired by J&J) Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: TKAI) Neurovance, Inc. (Acquired by Otsuka)

Dr. David Morris is a Venture Partner at NVF in San Francisco, CA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he held multiple leadership roles in the Novartis Pharmaceuticals development organization including the Development Franchise Head of Respiratory, Development Franchise Head of Primary Care and, most recently, Global Head of Clinical Operations, Analytics and Regions where he was responsible for clinical trials operations and monitoring, statistics, data management, medical writing, submissions management and digital innovation. Prior to joining Novartis in 2009, David worked in drug discovery and translational medicine at Roche in Palo Alto, California. Before joining industry, he was a faculty member at Yale University Medical School and, prior to that, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School. David received his Bachelors and Medical Degrees with distinction from the University of Rochester Medical School and trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UCSF. He did his postdoctoral research training at the Lung Biology Center and Cardiovascular Research Institute at UCSF.

Portfolio companies

eFFECTOR (Observer) Inflazome (Observer) Enterprise Therapeutics (Board Seat)

Dr. Florian Muellershausen is a Principal at NVF in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining Novartis Venture Fund, he worked as a Scientific Manager for the R&D Committee of the Novartis Board of Directors and, before that held various scientific and drug discovery roles at the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research (NIBR) including as Laboratory Head in target discovery and in early clinical research as Translational Medicine Expert, Autoimmunity. Florian received his MSc degree in Biochemistry from Free University Berlin and his PhD degree with great distinction in Biochemistry from Ruhr University Bochum and completed his post-doctoral training at NIBR in Switzerland.

Portfolio companies

Artios (Observer) Forendo ( Observer)

Dr. Aaron Nelson is a Principal at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, he was an investor at dRx Capital, the joint investment company of Novartis and Qualcomm, focused on Digital Medicine. Previously, Aaron worked on technology strategy across multiple Business Units within Novartis, including Strategic Project Leader for the Trials of The Future program and Group Head in the Investigative Toxicology organization. Aaron studied medicine at Tufts University, cell and microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Karolinska Institutet, and completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University.

Portfolio companies

Cavion (Observer) Lemonaid Health (Observer) ROX (Board Seat)

Michal Silverberg is a Managing Director at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, she was a Senior Partner at Takeda Ventures and, before that, worked at Novo Nordisk in roles of increasing responsibility including as Senior Director Business Development and New Product Commercialization, serving as a member of the BioPharm leadership team. Since 1998, Michal has held positions in various sectors of the life science industry including in the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel (The Incubator program), venture capital (Ofer Brothers Hi Tech) and global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including various positions at MGVS, an Israeli biotech company and at OSI Pharmaceuticals in a business development role. She received her B.A. in Economics and Business Management from Haifa University, her M.B.A from Tel-Aviv University in Israel and her Master's degree in Biotechnology from Columbia University in New York.

Portfolio companies

Cavion (Board Seat) FORMA (Board Seat) Selenity (Board Seat) Twentyeight-Seven (Board Seat)


Viamet Therapeutics (Acquired by NovaQuest Capital Management)

Juliette Audet is a Senior Associate at NVF in Cambridge, MA, USA. Prior to joining NVF, she worked at Novartis Pharmaceuticals as a Senior Manager of Global Pharma Strategy in Basel, Switzerland, and, before that, she was a consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York and Geneva, Switzerland. Juliette holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Master's degree in Physics (majoring in plasma physics and neuroscience) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Portfolio companies

Annexon (Observer) TScan Therapeutics (Observer)

Board of Directors

Prof. Patrick Aebischer
Prof. Paul Herrling
Harry Kirsch
Prof. Christoph Meier
Dr. Raj Parekh

Prof. Patrick Aebischer is President emeritus of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and a member of its Brain Mind Institute. Patrick Aebischer trained as an MD (1980) and a Neuroscientist (1983) at the Universities of Geneva and Fribourg in Switzerland. Prior to joining EPFL, he held Faculty positions at Brown University and the University of Lausanne. He has received numerous honors, including the Robert Bing Prize of the Swiss Academy of Medicine and the Pfizer Foundation Prize for Clinical Neurosciences. He serves as a Senate Member of the "Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE). He is a member of the scientific committee of the Italian Institute of Technology and a member of the Singapore Biomedical Sciences International Advisory Council. Prof. Aebischer is a member of the Board of Lonza, Nestlé and Logitech and a founder of three biotech companies. He is a senior partner of NanoDimension-III.

Professor School of Life Sciences, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL); former Director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC); Director of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Molecular Oncology.

Prof. Paul Herrling is Vice-President of the Board of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Rat) and Professor for Drug Discovery Science at the Philosophisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultãt at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Prof. Herrling also holds a number of memberships in various boards including the Board of the Novartis Institute for Functional Genomics, the Board of Trustees Foundation for NIH and the Board of Trustees at the University of Basel. He also serves as member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases (DNDi), of the Advisory Board of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Basel and of the Scientific Advisory Boards of H3D, Medidata and of the Human Brain Project of the European Union. Prof. Paul Herrling was global Head of Research of Novartis Pharma AG and a member of the Novartis Pharma Executive Board.

Harry Kirsch is the Chief Financial Officer of Novartis and a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis. Prior to his current position, he served as CFO of the company's Pharmaceuticals Division. Under his leadership, the division's core operating income margin increased, in constant currencies, every quarter of 2011 and 2012 despite patent expirations. Harry joined Novartis in 2003 from Procter & Gamble in the United States, where he was a CFO of P&G's global pharmaceutical business and held various finance positions at divisional, regional, country and manufacturing site level, as well as in P&G Global Business Services organization. Harry also represents Novartis on the board of the GSK Consumer Healthcare joint venture. Harry holds a degree in industrial engineering and economics from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.

Nobel Prize Winner for Chemistry, Collège de France, Paris, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.

Director of Research, Institut Curie, Paris, France.

Dr. Christoph A. Meier is the Chief Medical Officer at the University Hospital Basel and Professor at the Medical Faculty of the University of Geneva. Prior to his current role, he was the Chief of the Department of Internal Medicine & Specialties and a member of the Board of Directors at Triemli Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland, as well as Chief of Endocrinology and Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology at the University Hospital Geneva. Dr. Meier received his Medical Degree from the University of Basel in Switzerland and holds his Swiss Board Certification (FMH) in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology & Diabetology. Dr. Meier completed his medical residency at the University Hospital of Geneva and was a a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in the Molecular, Cellular Nutritional Endocrinology Branch in Bethesda, MD (USA). He was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician Fellow at the Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, as well as a Clinical Fellow in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Raj Parekh is General Partner at Advent Life Sciences in London, UK. He joined Advent in 2005 bringing over 20 years of experience in biomedical research and as an entrepreneur and investor. After gaining an M.A. and D.Phil. degrees from Oxford University, Dr. Parekh pursued a successful academic career in molecular medicine before co-founding Oxford GlycoSciences (IPO on LSE and NASDAQ). Following its sale to UCB-Celltech, he became Chairman of Galapagos and a founding Director of Celldex Therapeutics. He has been involved with portfolio companies primarily engaged in the discovery of new medicines, including Avila, EUSA and Thiakis. Dr. Parekh currently serves on the board of several portfolio companies including Arrakis, Aura Biosciences and Levicept.

Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Member, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.

Dr. Beat Steffen is a Principal at NVF in Basel, Switzerland. Prior to joining NVF, he worked at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in commercial roles in the US and in Switzerland launching several products mainly in the cardiovascular area. Beat joined Novartis from Wellington Partners Venture Capital where he worked with biotech and medical device startup companies. Prior to that, he was at McKinsey & Company in Zurich working with clients in the pharmaceutical industry. Beat is a Swiss-trained physician having focused in cardiovascular surgery and intensive care. He graduated from the University of Zurich Medical School and qualified as a Medical Doctor in Basel. Beat holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD.

Portfolio companies

Aelin Therapeutics (Board Seat)

Scientific Advisors

Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn
Prof. Daniel Louvard

Our Portfolio

Enterprise Therapeutics is a drug discovery company dedicated to the research and development of novel therapies for the treatment of respiratory diseases.

Expansion Therapeutics is a drug discovery and development company pursuing the vast potential of small molecule medicines for RNA-mediated diseases.

Oculis is a clinical –stage, privately held, pharmaceutical development company focusing on opthalmic drugs and novel drug delivery to the eye.

Aelin Therapeutics is pioneering a novel modality in drug development, branded Pept-insâ„¢, to harness the power of protein aggregation to specifically induce functional knockdown of a target protein in order to create a completely new class of antibiotics and first-in-class therapeutics against high-value undruggable human targets.

Lemonaid Health is leading a second wave of telehealth where technology algorithms power quality care. Lemonaid leverages evidence-based guidelines and the most up-to-date clinical protocols to offer a service direct to consumer for less than typical co-pays. Lemonaid is focused on creating a revolutionized patient experience and improving and optimizing clinical care through the advancements in machine learning and AI.

Vivet Therapeutics SAS is addressing current gene therapy limitations and focusing on the discovery and clinical development of gene therapy for liver inherited metabolic diseases as well as for protein replacement therapy. A treatment of the Wilson’s disease has entered GMP manufacturing and IND enabling studies. Additional programs are being developed, including for treatment of progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis and Citrulinemia.

Advanced Animal Diagnostics is an animal health diagnostics company, developing highly accurate, rapid on-farm diagnostics. The QScout® line of on-farm diagnostics will detect disease states at an early stage and optimize management of the reproductive, nutritional and overall health status of production animals, beginning with the dairy cow. The company’s platform diagnostic technology is designed to enhance the profitability of livestock production, improve animal welfare, and ensure a safe, abundant supply of animal protein.

Adicet Bio, Inc. is using it’s novel immune cell therapy platform in combination with its wholly owned subsidiary, Applied Immune Technologies, Ltd.’s T-Cell Receptor-Like (TCRL) antibody platform that are targeted to intracellular-derived peptides to develop novel immunotherapies for inflammatory, autoimmune and infectious diseases as well as cancer.

Akouos is developing targeted therapies to restore and preserve hearing in genetically-defined patient populations.

AMP was founded in 2009 as a spin-out from Prof. Ralf Hoffmann’s laboratory at the University of Leipzig. AMP is developing the next generation of broad-spectrum Gram-negative antibiotics for the treatment of drug-resistant infections. It has been estimated that approximately 30-40% of all hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections worldwide are caused by Gram-negative bacteria. Gram-negative pathogens are highly genetically flexible and thus develop resistance mechanisms that render most of the current therapies ineffective.

Anokion is developing targeted therapeutics by retraining white blood cells to induce therapeutic antigen-specific immune tolerance. Their technology uses the body’s natural immune regulation by engineering proteins to be perceived as "self" entities to treat autoimmune and allergic diseases and to reduce the immunogenicity of therapeutic proteins.

Atlas is developing the io® platform, a highly novel molecular diagnostic system for the ultra-rapid diagnosis of a broad range of infectious diseases using either nucleic acid or immunoassays. The system is fast, ultra-sensitive and designed for use in decentralized laboratories, point-of-care and other near-patient settings, providing a laboratory accurate test result in about 30 minutes.

Autonomic Technologies is developing a miniaturized implantable neurostimulation device to provide rapid relief from the debilitating pain and suffering caused by severe headaches such as cluster headaches and migraines.

Bicycle has a platform technology to create biotherapeutics combining features of small molecules and biopharmaceuticals. Bicycle Therapeutics is a spin-out from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology based on the work of the founding scientists Sir Gregory Winter and Prof. Christian Heinis.

Cavion is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company committed to providing patients with therapies for neurologic diseases and cancer through the development of drugs that selectively inhibit the T-type calcium channel (Cav3).

eFFECTOR is pioneering a new class of small molecule drugs that act by selectively regulating translation (protein synthesis). The company unites novel insights into the mechanisms of translational control with a proven approach to product invention. eFFECTOR is pursuing selective translation regulators to restore homeostasis to the translation landscape, thereby reversing the consequences of disregulation and offering treatment for a variety of serious conditions.

E-scape is developing therapeutics against genetic targets for neurodegenerative disease including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Lysosomal storage diseases. E-scape’s small molecule approach binds to mutated protein targets and alters protein structure to mimic wild type functionality.

Forendo is a drug discovery and development company with core competence in tissue specific regulation of sex hormone effects. Its two first-in-class product candidates are in preclinical development with the potential to offer significant therapeutic benefits in men’s and women’s health.

Forma targets essential cancer pathways to create small molecule cancer therapies. Forma leverages the integration of its innovative drug discovery technologies and oncology expertise, enabling efficient screening, discovery and rational development of drug candidates with qualified cellular mechanisms of action. Forma is building a robust pipeline of cancer therapies in areas such as tumor metabolism, proteinprotein interactions and epigenetics.

Galera is a clinical stage drug development company with a portfolio of small molecule superoxide dismutase activators. Superoxide, a product of normal cellular oxygen metabolism and certain environmental stresses, is harmful to DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids. This highly reactive molecule is managed by superoxide dismutases (SODs), but the SOD enzyme is deficient in certain disease states. Galera’s technology replaces this loss of function. The company is initially focusing on radiation-induced mucositis, cancer and pulmonary fibrosis.

Genedata provides computational solutions for drug discovery and systems biology research with a combination of software products and professional services that have been developed in partnership with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

GenSight Biologics is focused on the development of gene therapies in ophthalmic diseases to prevent retinal degeneration in selected pathological conditions and to restore vision in patients suffering from very low vision or blindness.

ImaginAb has a proprietary antibody fragment platform that yields molecular information to guide treatment decisions in cancer and immunology by in vivo imaging. ImaginAb also collaborates with biopharmaceutical partners to design imaging agents as companion diagnostics for therapeutic antibodies.

Inflazome is developing first in class, orally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs by targeting activation of the inflammasome. The company has proprietary new chemical entities that inhibit inflammasome-driven release of pro-inflammatory cytokines that exacerbate inflammation. In addition, they block innate immune cell pyroptosis (uncontrolled cell death), a process that leads to chronic inflammation.

Intersection is developing a device to help monitor and manage patients in acute decompensated heart failure. A large and growing cost driver for healthcare systems, acute decompensated heart failure and related hospital re-admissions is a growing area of focus globally. Intersection looks to improve patient outcomes, inform the treatment paradigm, and reduce costs for healthcare systems.

Kanyos and was founded with the goal of developing antigen-specific immune tolerance technology for two specific autoimmune indications, type-1 diabetes and celiac disease. The technology originates from EPFL and consists of transporting antigens onto the surface of erythrocytes, enabling specific antigen T cell depletion.

Merganser Biotech is developing new medicines that increase hepcidin activity for the treatment of rare hematological and iron overload diseases. Hepcidin is the master regulator of iron metabolism and controls iron absorption from the diet and iron transfer around the body. Hepcidin deficiency causes iron overload, leading to heart and liver damage and may contribute to the severity of ineffective erythropoiesis and anemia in beta thalassemia. Merganser's hepcidin mimetic peptides prevent iron accumulation and reduce the severity of ineffective erythropoiesis in preclinical models of beta thalassemia.

Macrolide is an anti-infective company founded to advance new technology developed by Professor Andrew Myers at Harvard University. Current macrolide antibiotics, such as erythromycin and azithromycin, are less effective due to increase bacterial resistance. Macrolide’s technology enables the total synthesis of virtually any macrolide providing novel next generation macrolide antibiotics with a focus to gram negative organisms.

Merus leverages its proprietary antibody platform to generate full-length bi-specific IgG antibodies (Biclonics®) for oncology. The technology platform leverages fixed VL chains to produce functional monoclonal and bi-specific antibodies in a single cell. Merus has also developed an innovative transgenic mice platform (MeMo®) and state-of-the-art phage display libraries of human Fab fragments to generate panels of common light chain antibodies.

MyoPowers is developing a class III medical implant for the treatment of severe urinary incontinence in males and females, one of the largest under developed therapeutic areas today. MyoPowers aims to enter into CE-enabling clinical studies in the near-term.

Neurovance is a biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Neurovance’s clinical stage EB-1020 for adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a norepinephrine and dopaminepreferring triple reuptake inhibitor that is expected to be effective for adult ADHD without the addiction potential of other ADHD drugs.

Ra uses proprietary combinatorial assembly and in vitro display technologies to discover macrocyclic compounds with enhanced bioavailability targeting a wide range of intracellular, cell-surface, and circulating proteins. Ra’s initial focus is on orally available replacements for a variety of marketed biologics, as well as drugs targeting intracellular protein-protein interactions.

Trellis is leveraging its proprietary CellSpotTM technology to deliver higher quality therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. The company has programs in infectious disease.

Altimmune is a clinical stage immunotherapeutic biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel products that engage, stimulate and improve immune responses for the prevention and treatment of disease. By leveraging the complementary attributes of its two innovative vaccine delivery platforms, RespirVecâ„¢ and Densigenâ„¢, Altimmune is able to rationally design and rapidly develop immunotherapeutic products tailored to address the a wide range of disease indications including acute respiratory infections, chronic viral infections and cancer with fundamental advantages over competing products.

Rox Medical is developing an innovative interventional vascular therapy for uncontrolled hypertension. This therapy is intended to reduce peripheral vascular resistance and add a compliant venous element to the arterial system through creation of a therapeutic arteriovenous anastomosis with the ROX Coupler.

Annexon is developing disease modifying therapeutics to protect neuronal connections (synapses) that are lost in nearly all forms of neurodegenerative disease. Annexon’s platform is focused on inhibiting C1q as the initiating molecule of the complement cascade responsible for aberrantly binding to functional synapses and triggering their elimination in neurodegenerative diseases. This pathway is also well known to contribute to pathology in a number of autoimmune diseases of the nervous system. Annexon’s lead molecule, ANX005, effectively blocks this pathway and will have broad therapeutic application in both acute and chronic neurological diseases. Annexon’s initial focus will be in acute peripheral immune-mediated disorders.

Artios Pharma Limited is a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company focused on developing first-in-class treatments for cancer.

Selenity Therapeutics is dedicated to discovering and developing highly selective therapies against validated drug targets where selectivity has been the historical challenge.

TScan Therapeutics is focused on developing novel therapeutics in immuno-oncology. Using its innovative platform technology, TScan is extending the promise of T cell-based treatments to patients with few therapeutic options.

Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics is a focused on the modulation of functional non-coding RNA (ncRNA) to treat cancer and other human diseases.


Our Successes

Ablation Frontiers

Acorda Therapeutics

Adenosine Therapeutics

Aeglea Biotherapeutics

Aerpio Therapeutics

Aileron Therapeutics

Akebia Therapeutics

Alios BioPharma

Altimmune, Inc.

Avila Therapeutics

BioNano Genomics



Cequent Pharmaceuticals



Cytos Biotechnology

Discovery Technologies

EraGen Biosciences


Evolva Holding

Eyetech Pharmaceuticals

FoldRx Pharmaceuticals

GlycArt Biotechnology

Gensight Biologics

Heptares Therapeutics, Ltd

Idenix Pharmaceuticals

Infinity Pharmaceuticals


IsoTis OrthoBiologics

Kinetix Pharmaceuticals

KuDOS Pharmaceuticals

LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals


Miikana Therapeutics





Therapeutics (IPO)


Ra Pharmaceuticals

Silence Therapeutics

Sirtris Pharmaceuticals

Speedel Holding



Swiss Pharma Contract


Tokai Pharmaceuticals

Torrey Pines Therapeutics

Transform Pharmaceuticals




Covagen AG was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2014.

ESBATech was acquired by Alcon in 20019.

Acorda Therapeutics completed a public offering (NASDAQ: ACOR) in 2006.

Ra Pharmaceuticals completed a public offering (NASDAQ: RARX) in 2016.

Neurovance was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals in 2017.

Aerpio Therapeutics completed a public offering (NASDAQ:ARPO) in 2017.

Nabriva completed a public offering (NASDAQ: NBRV) in 2015.

Akebia Therapeutics completed a public offering (NASDAQ: AKBA) in 2014.

Alios BioPharma was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2014.

Celladon completed a public offering (NASDAQ: CLDN) in 2014.

Covagen was acquired by Cilag CmbH, an affiliate of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, in 2014.

Tokai Pharmaceuticals completed a public offering (NASDAQ: TKAI) in 2014.

Okairos was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2013.

Avila Therapeutics was acquired by Celgene Corp. in 2012.

Intellikine was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. in 2012.

LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. In 2012.

Cellerix completed a reverse merger into listed Tigenix BV (NYSE: TIG) in 2011.

EraGen Biosciences was acquired by Luminex Corporation in 2011.

Cequent Pharmaceuticals was acquired by MDRNA (now Marina Biotech) in 2010.

Evolva Holding completed a reverse merger into listed Arpida AG (SIX: EVE) in 2010.

FoldRx Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Pfizer, Inc. in 2010.

Neovacs completed a public offering (Alternext Paris: ALNEV) in 2010.

Ablation Frontiers was acquired by Medtronic, Inc. in 2009.

EsbaTech was acquired by Alcon in 2009.

Swiss Pharma Contract was acquired by Covance, Inc. in 2009.

Visiogen was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2009.

Adenosine Therapeutics was acquired by Clinical Data, Inc. in 2008.

Aeglea Biotherapeutics completed a public offering (NASDAQ: AGLE) in 2016.

Sirtris Pharmaceuticals completed a public offering (NASDAQ: SIRT) in 2007 and was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008.

Speedel Holding completed a public offering (SWX: SPPN) in 2005 and was acquired by Novartis in 2008.

Acorda Therapeutics completed a public offering (NASDAQ: ACOR) in 2006.

Infinity Pharmaceuticals completed a reverse merger into Discovery Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ: INFI) in 2006.

KuDOS Pharmaceuticals was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2006.

Heptares Therapeutics, Ltd was acquired by Sosei Group Corporation in 2015.

Miikana Therapeutics was acquired by EntreMed, Inc. (now CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) in 2006.

Symetis was acquired by Boston Scientific in 2017.

Syrxx was acquired by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. In 2006.

Torrey Pines Therapeutics completed a reverse merger into Axonyx (NASDAQ: TPTX) in 2006.

CombinatorRx completed a public offering (NASDAQ: CRXX) in 2005.

GlycArt Biotechnology was acquired by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. In 2005.

Silence Therapeutics completed a public offering (LON: SLN) in 2005.

Transform Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2005.

Xenoport completed a public offering (NASDAQ: XNPT) in 2005.

Eyetech Pharmaceuticals completed a public offering (NASDAQ: EYET) in 2004.

Idenix Pharmaceuticals completed a public offering (NASDAQ: IDIX) in 2004.

Kinetix Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Amgen in 2004.

Theravance completed a public offering (NASDAQ: THRX) in 2004.

Cytos Biotechnology completed a public offering (SWX: CYTN) in 2002.

IsoTis OrthoBiologics completed a public offering (SWX: ISON) in 2000.

Discovery Technologies was acquired by Discovery Partners in 1999.

Proteostasis Therapeutics completed a public offering (NASDAQ: PTI) in 2016.

Qurient completed a public offering (KOSDAQ: 115180) in 2016.

Altimmune, Inc. completed a reverse merger into listed PharmAthene, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALT) in 2017.

BioNano Genomics completed a public offering (NASDAQ: BNGO) in 2018.

Viamet Clinical-stage antifungal portfolio acquired by NovaQuest Capital Management in 2018.

Contact Us

Evaluation and Investment Process

We are stage agnostic (seed to commercial companies) and invest in multiple therapeutic areas where there is clear unmet medical need. Our first step in the process is to review non-confidential information about the company, team, technology / data, financial and exit plan. The further evaluation of business proposals is then based on confidential presentations by the management team that starts the full due diligence process.

Investments by the Novartis Venture Fund are made as equity participation typically as the lead or co-lead investor in a syndicate with a board seat.

Contact Us

Please contact one of our offices closest to the company site for an initial review. We have offices in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA, USA and entrepreneurs should contact the office closest to their company.

Basel, Switzerland
Grazyna Stawna-Lubiniecki
Office Manager
Novartis Venture Fund
c/o Novartis International AG
Postfach CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 324 37 14
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Claire McNulty
Office Manager
Novartis Venture Fund
100 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Phone: +1 617 871 3536
For Media Inquiries, please contact:
Hannah Miller
Novartis Communications
Postfach CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
Phone: +41 61 324 5123