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Travers Smith advises Medicxi on Centessa Pharmaceuticals


Travers Smith LLP has advised long-standing client Medicxi on the formation of Centessa Pharmaceuticals, a new kind of pharmaceutical company founded by Medicxi to improve R&D productivity by delivering asset-centric drug development at scale.

Travers Smith provided UK funds and tax advice in connection with the launch of Centessa Pharmaceuticals, which included the simultaneous merger of 10 private biotech companies from Medicxi’s portfolio and the completion of a $250 million Series A financing round.

Since first advising Medicxi (formerly Index Ventures Life Sciences) on its establishment as an independent venture capital firm, Travers Smith has recently advised Medicxi on a series of high-profile fund transactions. 

In July 2019, the firm advised on the fundraising for Medicxi III LP, a new fund for creating and investing in European and US biotechnology companies. The fund reached its hard-cap by raising €400m of commitments and held a single closing to admit all investors within a six week timeframe.

In August 2020, the firm advised Medicxi on a ground-breaking €200 million structured secondary transaction, in which the interests in six clinical and preclinical stage companies held by Index Ventures Life VI, a dedicated life sciences fund advised by Medicxi, were acquired by a newly formed fund, Medicxi Secondary I LP.

Now, in February 2021, the firm has provided strategic funds and tax advice to Medicxi on the launch of Centessa Pharmaceuticals, the third example in the last 18 months of supporting Medicxi with its long-term value creation strategies.

The Travers Smith team advising Medicxi was led by Funds Partner, Sam Kay, with support from Funds Associate Hannah MacDonald. The team also included Head of Tax, Emily Clark, and Tax Senior Associate, Sarah Roman.

Funds Partner, Sam Kay, commented:

"We are delighted to be able to support Medicxi as it continues to innovatively create value for its funds and asset-centric portfolio in the life sciences sector.  In addition to advising on fundraising mandates, Travers Smith's multi-disciplinary team provides holistic support to private capital clients on their most important transactions.  The work for Medicxi over a number of years is a good example of the sophisticated advice the team provides, from primary fundraisings, to structured secondary transactions and liquidity solutions, through to novel and exciting corporate transactions."

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