Life science trio joins Index Ventures

Index Ventures, the pan-European venture capital fund, has recruited two new senior executives and a venture adviser to its life sciences team.

Three newcomers have joined Swiss-based venture investor Index Ventures as it expands its coverage of the European life science market. 

Kevin Johnson has joined as an executive-in-residence from Cambridge Antibody Technologies (CAT), where he was chief technology officer and a member of the board. Johnson led the team that produced Humira, the first fully human therapeutic antibody, and was also part of the management team that floated CAT on the London Stock Exchange in 1997.

Also joining as an executive-in-residence is Gianni Garotta, who was most recently vice president of academic collaborations at Swiss biotech firm Serono. Prior to that, he was head of the interferon and antibody groups at Roche and head of biology at Human Genome Sciences.

Meanwhile, Ennio Ongini becomes a venture adviser at Index alongside his current role as head of discovery at NicOx, the French pharmaceuticals group. Ongini specialises in drug discovery in the cardiovascular and central nervous system (CNS) fields and has contributed to the identification and development of marketed drugs such as Claritin, Doral and Feltabol.

Index Ventures, which has offices in Geneva and London, seeks to assist entrepreneurial teams in growing their businesses globally. Its investments in the life science arena include Danish biotech firm Genmab, German drug discovery company Cellzome and Swiss pharmaceuticals business Addex.

Index Ventures closed its Index Ventures II fund at $300 million (€246 million) in July 2001.