Funding Research & Development with AbbVie Ventures

Funding Research & Development with AbbVie Ventures

Seeking Out New Science

AbbVie Ventures—also known as AbbVie Biotech Venture—is a venture capital firm focused on investing in groundbreaking scientific research. By collaborating with leading scientists, it seeks to gain access to the next generation of scientific advancements.

The firm was founded in 2009 in North Chicago, Illinois as a subsidiary of AbbVie Inc. Until 2012 AbbVie Inc. was a business running under Abbott Laboratories. However, in 2013 it launched itself as a new biopharmaceutical company and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange as ABBV.

Since its establishment, the company has invested around $50 billion in early-stage pharma and life sciences startups for the discovery, development, and commercialization of new therapies and medicines — especially in areas with unmet medical needs.

With its 48,000 employees worldwide, the firm is striving to innovate and invest in entrepreneurs with novel solutions for the world’s critical health challenges. Its current development efforts are focused on the following key therapeutic areas:

  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Neuroscience
  • Eyecare
  • Virology
  • Women’s health

AbbVie Ventures has its offices across three major locations in the United States:

  • Chicago: The office is led by the managing director, Margarita Chavez.
  • Boston/Cambridge: The office at this location is managed by two managing directors, John Gustofson and Charles Kunsch, and a director, Jasmina Marjanovic.
  • San Francisco: This office is managed by the director Anthony Melendez, who has experience in biopharma corporate strategy and academic research

In this article, we will review the innovation and investment interests of AbbVie Ventures, its partnerships, and the companies that gained the venture investments.

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AbbVie’s Approach to R&D: Focus Areas

AbbVie Ventures funds the development and delivery of innovative medicines and therapeutics that have the potential to improve patients’ lives. The 75% of medicines in its pipelines are the first of their kind. Moreover, it supports R&D for the most pressing healthcare issues in 20 countries worldwide.

Its innovation and investments have saved the lives of around 57 million people in more than 60 countries with a plethora of critical disease conditions. Below is a brief summary on AbbVie’s focus areas and its contribution in those fields.


The AbbVie oncology team combines biology knowledge with cutting-edge technologies, such as cellular therapies, antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), and targeted protein degradation, to treat and manage multiple cancer types.

Its focused areas in cancer treatment include:

  • Blood cancer
  • Solid tumors (mainly lung and breast cancer)


AbbVie has developed several immunology centers around the world to help patients with immune-mediated diseases. Currently, it’s focused on developing therapeutics for the following immunology areas:

  • Rheumatology
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology


AbbVie Ventures is committed to bringing innovative, disease-modifying solutions to treat the most challenging neurologic diseases. It strives to improve patients’ lives by removing barriers to their care and developing research that provides access to better treatments.

For now, its labs are focused on developing therapeutics in the following neurologic disease areas:

  • Neurologic diseases
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Bipolar depression
  • Migraines
  • Parkinson’s
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-stroke spasticity


AbbVie considers itself responsible for removing the hurdles to hepatitis C care and freeing the world from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Since 2017, the company has been a part of projects related to the global elimination of HPV.

Below is the timeline and the efforts made by AbbVie in HPV elimination:

  • 2017: AbbVie launched MappingHepC.com to feature HCV screening, diagnosis, and treatment data in the U.S at the national and state level.
  • 2018: AbbVie and Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) signed an agreement to provide HCV treatment in low- and middle-income countries.
  • 2019: AbbVie joined the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination.
  • 2020: Approximately 300 micro elimination projects (including 53 studies) are being funded by AbbVie. Some of these projects are running in Japan, Israel, and Australia.

Eye Care

Abbvie acquired Allergana company developing eye care solutions for 70 years — and combined their expertise to restore patients’ vision by building innovative products and therapies.

The company holds its reputation worldwide for its innovation in the following eye care areas:

  • Ocular surface disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal disease
  • Presbyopia  

AbbVie’s Biotechnology & Innovation Partnerships

AbbVie is on the lookout for partners who can help them deliver innovative medicines and improve patients’ lives. Currently, the company has research partnerships with more than 220 biotech companies, universities, nonprofits, and government agencies.

The firm is mainly interested in partnering with companies that share similar interests in R&D areas like neuroscience, hepatology, neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, cystic fibrosis, and women’s health.

Partnership & Investment Approach


  • Search and Evaluation (S&E): The company strives to identify and evaluate possibilities for complementing and enhancing its existing internal innovation programs.
  • Business Development and Acquisitions (BD&A): AbbVie’s BD&A works in close partnership with S&E, R&D, and commercial organizations to evaluate various partnership opportunities, meeting the needs of both parties.
  • Alliance Management: From the contracting process to marketing, a dedicated team handles every aspect of AbbVie’s working relationships with its partners to help achieve deliverable results.
  • AbbVie Ventures: AbbVie Ventures looks for early-stage companies it can offer expertise and resources in drug discovery and commercialization to, and expedites advancements in life sciences and medical areas through strategic investments.

AbbVie Ventures Portfolio

Each year, AbbVie Ventures targets six to eight new investments, primarily at the seed and series A stage. Its current investment portfolio comprises around 20 companies that are based in Europe and the U.S., and work in oncology, immunology, and neuroscience.

A few examples of AbbVie’s portfolio companies are:

  • Enthera: a biotech company with a focused interest in developing a pipeline of therapeutics for several critical autoimmune disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and type 1 diabetes (T1D).  
  • Carisma Therapeutics: a biotech company dedicated to curing cancer by using its proprietary chimeric antigen receptor macrophage (CAR-M) technology.
  • Jnana Therapeutics: a biotech company specializing in drug discovery. It aims to discover new small molecule medicines by using its next-generation chemoproteomic platform against currently/previously undruggable targets.
  • Ribometrix: a platform therapeutic company that develops small molecule medicine, targeting disease-causing RNA to treat severe disease conditions.
  • Tizona Therapeutics: an immunology company striving to treat cancers by developing a pipeline of novel immunomodulatory therapeutics.
  • Caribou Biosciences: a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to treating diseases like cancer by harnessing the power of CRISPR genome editing technology.

How Excedr Can Help Your Research Lab Attract Investors

AbbVie Ventures is a corporate venture capital arm of AbbVie Inc. dedicated to funding emerging biotech, life science, and pharmaceutical companies that work on the world’s most pressing healthcare issues. Among its primary areas of focus are oncology, immunology, virology, and neurodegenerative diseases.

The company has invested about $50 billion in transformative research and is committed to improving patients’ lives through partnerships with companies and organizations with similar visions.

Obtaining venture capital is often a battle for biotech companies because of the risks involved and the time it takes to develop a new product.

However, it becomes easier if you have a motivated team and convincing experimental credentials to get the investors’ attention. Here, cutting-edge equipment and lab tools play a major role to produce clean, reliable and validated data.

But, what if you’re short on funds to acquire high-tech lab equipment?

Excedr’s leasing program can be your best alternative in such a case. It helps companies lease all their desired equipment rather than purchase and spend huge amounts of their budget on upfront costs.

Our leasing program offers flexible terms that can be customized to fit your financial and operational needs, significantly reduces upfront costs, and includes comprehensive repair and maintenance coverage.

We have a wide range of equipment available, including biotech equipment, analytical instruments, and clinical tools, which can enhance your research experience and bring you the peace of mind you need to turn your lab ideas into reality.  

Don’t have the budget to purchase lab equipment outright? Consider leasing through Excedr to save your lab time and money. Browse your leasing options today!