David Grainger

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David Grainger
Born (1966-10-12) October 12, 1966 (age 54)
Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Alma mater Cambridge University
Occupation venture capitalist, Index Ventures, consultant, blogger

David Grainger is a partner at Index Ventures, a global venture capital firm with offices in London, Geneva and San Francisco, in the firm’s life sciences practice. He is also a partner at TCP Innovations, a life sciences consultancy, and a blogger on topics related to the pharmaceutical industry under the pen name “DrugBaron”.[1] Grainger lives in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.[2]

Early Life and Education

Grainger was born in Lincolnshire, UK and raised in Stamford, Lincolnshire, where he attended Stamford School, until the age of 11 and thereafter in Barnard Castle, County Durham, attending Barnard Castle School.[1] He graduated with degree in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) from Cambridge University in 1989, and a PhD in Vascular Cell Biology from the same institution in 1992. He was a scholar and Bye-Fellow at Magdalene College.[3]


After receiving his PhD, Grainger undertook post-doctoral research in the British Heart Foundation Smooth Muscle Cell laboratory at Cambridge University, under the direction of Professors Jim Metcalfe and Peter Weissberg, as a Wellcome Trust Prize Fellow. He was a Research Fellow at Magdalene College between 1992 and 2001.[3] In 1994, he was appointed a University Research Fellow by the Royal Society, initially in the Biochemistry Department at Cambridge.[3] Following publications in Nature, Science and Nature Medicine, setting out his Protective Cytokine Hypothesis explaining the role of the cytokine TGF-beta 1 in the cardiovascular system,[4] Grainger was appointed principal investigator in the Department of Medicine at his alma mater, Cambridge University, in 1997.[3] While there he established the Inflammation Research and Therapy Laboratory, and his team researched the molecular basis of chronic inflammation. He was awarded a British Heart Foundation Senior Fellowship in 2002.[1]

While at Cambridge University, Grainger also founded several life sciences companies, including FingerPrint Diagnostics (2001), Funxional Therapeutics (2005) and Total Scientific (2006).[1] FingerPrint Diagnostics merged with SmartBead Technologies to form Pronostics, a molecular diagnostics company, in 2006.[5] Funxional Therapeutics, based on an anti-inflammatory drug candidate spun-out from his Cambridge University lab, became an Index Ventures portfolio company where Grainger also served as chief scientific officer, until it was sold to Boehringer Ingelheim in 2012.[6]

Grainger joined Index Ventures in 2012 as a partner on the life sciences team.[1] At Index Ventures he has been involved with funding and advising a variety of companies, including XO1, a biotech company developing an anticoagulant, where he served as interim chief executive and currently serves as chairman.[7][8] Grainger is also a director at nine life sciences companies in the Cambridge region, including RxCelerate, Total Scientific, and Epsilon-3 Bio.[9]

Publications and Patents

Grainger has authored or co-authored a number of papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including Nature, Science and Nature Medicine.[1] While Grainger frequently blogs under the pen name “DrugBaron” on a range of topics related to the pharmaceutical industry, he is particularly known for his views on lean start-ups.[10] A DrugBaron post on 10 December 2013 [11] was subsequently discussed in a Forbes.com article, “To Save Pharma R&D, David Grainger Says Drug Developers Must Think Like CEOs of Lean Startups”.[12] Grainger is listed as an inventor on a number of patents in the US, UK and elsewhere.[1][13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Index Ventures partner bio: David Grainger". http://www.indexventures.com/team#profile_id_73. 
  2. "To Save Pharma R&D, David Grainger Says Drug Developers Must Think Like CEOs Of Lean Startups". Forbes.com. December 14, 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidshaywitz/2013/12/14/to-save-pharma-rd-david-grainger-says-drug-developers-must-think-like-ceos-of-lean-startups/. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "BusinessWeek profile: David Grainger". http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=28066856&privcapId=28033081&previousCapId=241734400&previousTitle=XO1+Ltd. 
  4. Grainger DJ (2005). "Transforming growth factor beta and atherosclerosis: so far, so good for the protective cytokine hypothesis". Arterioscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol. 24 (3): 399–404. Template:Citation error. PMID 14699019. 
  5. "press release (PDF): Cambridge merger creates ‘Pronostics’ to enable the next generation of medical diagnostic solutions". http://www.mosedale.f2s.com/Merger%20Press%20Release%20060706.pdf. 
  6. "press release: Boehringer Ingelheim and Funxional Therapeutics announce acquisition of Funxional’s FX125L and the somatotaxin portfolio to treat inflammation". http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/news/news_releases/press_releases/2012/23_july_2012_fxt.html. 
  7. "press release: XO1 Ltd raises $11million from Index Ventures to develop the ‘holy grail’ of anticoagulant drugs". http://www.fiercebiotech.com/press-releases/xo1-ltd-raises-11-million-index-ventures-develop-holy-grail-anticoagulant-d. 
  8. "press release: XO1 Raises $11M From Index Ventures to Develop Anticoagulant Drug". https://pevc.dowjones.com/Article?an=DJFVW00020130617e96harase&cid=32135016&ctype=ts&pid=32&ReturnUrl=https%3a%2f%2fpevc.dowjones.com%2fArticle%3fan%3dDJFVW00020130617e96harase%26cid%3d32135016%26ctype%3dts%26pid%3d32. 
  9. "LinkedIn profile: David Grainger". http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidjgrainger. 
  10. "DrugBaron blog". http://www.tcpinnovations.com/drugbaron/. 
  11. "Monte Carlo models of drug R&D focus attention on cutting costs". http://www.tcpinnovations.com/drugbaron/monte-carlo-models-of-drug-rd-focus-attention-on-cutting-costs-part-1/. 
  12. "To Save Pharma R&D, David Grainger Says Drug Developers Must Think Like CEOs of Lean Startups". Forbes.com. December 14, 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidshaywitz/2013/12/14/to-save-pharma-rd-david-grainger-says-drug-developers-must-think-like-ceos-of-lean-startups/. 
  13. "Google patent search: David Grainger". https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=pts&hl=en&q=ininventor:Grainger+ininventor:David&num=100&qscrl=1. 

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