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Cigna launches $250M venture fund

BY Joe Cooper

9/12/2018
HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Cigna headquarters in Bloomfield.
Bloomfield health insurer Cigna announced Wednesday it has committed $250 million to a corporate venture fund meant to spur healthcare startup growth.

Named Cigna Ventures, the fund is aimed at investing in new, innovative healthcare companies focused on improving care quality, affordability, choice and more.

Cigna said it will use the venture fund to identify early stage companies specializing in several areas: digital health and retail; insights and analytics; and care delivery/management. These groups will warrant further testing to realize their full business value, the insurer said.

The fund adds to Cigna's current venture activity that includes collaborations with five venture partners and five direct investments.

"The venture fund will enable us to drive innovation beyond our existing core business operations, and incubate new ideas, opportunities and relationships that have the potential for long-term business growth and to help our customers," said Tom Richards, senior vice president and global lead, strategy and business development at Cigna.

Meantime, Cigna is waiting for regulatory approval for its proposed $67 billion purchase of pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts.

At least 14 of 29 states have approved Cigna's Express Scripts buyout. About 90 percent of Cigna shareholders recently approved the proposed deal.