Leo Pharma will invest 60 million euros in its innovation lab in 2016-2018, aiming to find new ways to improve lives of people with skin conditions like psoriasis.

The sum is partly used for internal innovation, but it will also used for early stage investments in eHealth startups through LEO Ventures into startups that can contribute to finding and developing new and innovative solutions in order to improve life of people living with psoriasis.

The Lab on all the areas of peoples’ everyday lives that can impact their wellbeing and their psoriasis such as stress, diet, family, fitness, beauty and patient-doctor relations. The project scope is to engage with startups in the Nordics and mid-Europe to support them directly with either equity investments focusing on pre-seed to A round, or the possibility to provide a 30,000-50,000 euro grants.

“It is in our interest to recognize emerging entrepreneurial companies very early and to engage with them in a positive way. To provide them with 6-8 months runway for free I believe is a good way to open a dialogue. Afterwards the relationship can lead to an actual investment for equity stakes or a partnership in another form,” said Lars Buch, former head of Startupbootcamp Mobile, who started as Investment Partner at LEO Innovation Lab at start of 2016.

Compared to many publicly listed pharmaceutical firms Leo Pharma stands out with its ownership structure, the fund owning the company works on a mission to help psoriasis patients around the world – hence extra profits are invested back into community and into innovation on a continuous basis.

“I cannot see anything like this happening outside Scandinavia,” Buch said. We have to agree. And it definitely sounds like a backer we would like to have for our healthcare startup, if we’d ever launch one.