Centessa’s founder on the new company’s unique R&D model

Putting together a quarter-billion dollar pharma company from ten mergers in four months is not for the faint-hearted – but that’s what biotech investment guru Francesco de Rubertis has achieved with his latest project Centessa. In an interview with pharmaphorum’s news editor Richard Staines, de Rubertis explained how he did it and how the company is taking a unique approach to R&D.

The idea behind Centessa had been in Francesco de Rubertis’ mind for many years – but the influx of investment into pharma and biotech during the last year is what has allowed it to become a reality.

It was only in September last year that the co-founder and partner at life sciences investment firm Medicxi decided that the time was right to realise his vision, which he describes as an “asset-focused” model.

At its heart are ten biotech startups that Medicxi has already invested in and run the rule over – but the philosophy runs deeper than that, according to de Rubertis.

Each company was selected because they are based around a single asset, which in de Rubertis’ view would be good enough to be a lead drug in the pipeline of any pharma company.

Initially the company, where de Rubertis will serve as chairman, will focus on 15 drugs.

Only four of the drugs are in the clinic, but each biotech will be focused solely on the development of one or two potential medicines.

• Read the full article in pharmaphorum’s Deep Dive digital magazine