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MVM closes fund 2

MVM, the life science specialist has closed its second fund at GBP100 million. MVM International Life Sciences Fund II originally set its target at GBP75 million and has exceeded expectations. New investors include Goldman Sachs Private Equity Group, the European Investment Fund, Hamburgische Landesbank, Swiss Re, Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and the Wallace H Coulter Foundation. Original investors 3i, Friends Provident, Shell Pension Fund, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Pfizer have also invested in the second fund.

“It is gratifying to raise such a substantial fund in the current tough environment,” said David Brister, MVM director. “Investors were attracted by our focus on start-up and early stage companies and the expertise we can bring to help such companies successfully develop.”

Unlike MVM’s first fund, the UK Medical Ventures Fund, which raised GBP40 million in 1998 and had an exclusively UK focus, the new fund will have an international scope. Around 75 per cent of the portfolio will be UK companies with the US and Northern Europe, particularly Scandinavia, also featuring strongly.

Around half MVM’s deal flow is generated through its relationship with the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the fund has the investment rights to technology owned by the MRC. This has produced investment opportunities in sectors such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and health information technologies. So far MVM has invested in five start-ups based on MRC technologies including Ardana Bioscience, a developer of products for women’s health; Domantis, an antibody and protein engineering company; and Oxxo Pharmaccines, a developer of therapeutic vaccines for cancer and chronic infectious diseases.

Stephen Reeders, CEO, said: “The calibre of the new investors is a clear validation of our focused investment approach and underlines the value of our agreement with the MRC.”