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PureTech floats away

The healthcare firm PureTech went public in June raising about $195 million, noteworthy in particular because Boston-based PureTech eschewed NASDAQ in its home country and chose to list on the London Stock Exchange's (LSE's) main market. The reasoning, the company said, was because investors on the London market were already familiar with the company-creation concept behind PureTech. PureTech's initial public offering is also interesting for the company's business model. Similar to biotech venture capitalists (VCs), PureTech focuses on creating startups, except that VCs generally choose from the myriad proposals pitched their way, whereas PureTech builds companies toward a preselected unmet medical need. It evaluates about 650 ideas a year and its list of advisors includes Christopher Viehbacher, former CEO of Paris-based Sanofi; and Robert Langer, PureTech co-founder, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and serial entrepreneur. Run by CEO and co-founder Daphne Zohar, PureTech also differs from VCs in that it usually retains around 80% ownership in its companies. That makes PureTech's goal, Zohar says, the same as a typical biotech's—get products to market. Although PureTech could sell a company or push it public in the manner of a VC, by retaining majority ownership of its projects, PureTech's bottom line benefits directly from its products through revenues, royalties or licensing income. This bottom line is what PureTech's new shareholders will now be watching.

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PureTech floats away. Nat Biotechnol 33, 792 (2015).

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