Finance · 8 March 2018

Life sciences entrepreneurs targeted with new £50m venture capital fund

The fund will target “game-changing” medical technologies

Britain’s life sciences entrepreneurs are the target of a new £50m venture capital fund aimed at boosting the nation’s health.

Launched today NCL Technology Ventures’ fund, which is backed by Kent County Council, will invest in high-growth small and medium-sized firms with a focus on game-changing medical technologies and advanced therapeutics.

The Kent Life Science Fund is NCL’s second investment scheme. It said it is aiming to attract companies looking to establish a UK operating base as part of global expansion plans.

“Britain is an innovation nation; supporting and growing the UK life sciences sector is vital if we want to thrive after Brexit. This will give a shot in the arm to the sector,” said Jonathan Synett, investment director.

“We are at the forefront of a radical change in new medical technologies and therapeutics, from robotics to revolutionary cancer treatments.

“These advances will benefit millions of people and we’re looking to invest in start-ups and SMEs, so they can scale up and reach the NHS and other markets with their cutting-edge innovations.”.

The group’s first Discovery Park Fund invested £5m into eight small UK-based firms which now have operations at NCL’s pharmaceutical facility at Discovery Park, Kent, a 1.4m square foot complex. New firms brought in by the fund will be given space to work at the complex.

Promising life sciences entrepreneurs

Previous NCL investments have included putting £700,000 into a startup firm out of the University of Hertfordshire called Alert Technology which has created a device targeting real-time detection of airborne asbestos.

Another example is investing £500,000 into Scottish based firm TC BioPharm, which is developing treatments for a variety of cancers and severe viral infections via an innovative immunotherapy process. This is where the body’s immune system is utilised to fight the disease.

According to the government in 2016 the life sciences sector had 5,142 companies and generated approximately £63.5bn in turnover – up by 6.2 per cent on the previous year. It supported 233,000 jobs with 98 per cent of med-tech firms in the UK being SMEs.

The Kent Life Science Fund will work in partnership with the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London and the University of Kent alongside the NHS and private Healthcare Trusts.

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