Singapore bio fund seeks European deals

Singapore’s Economic Development Board’s Biomedical Sciences Investment Fund has opened a London office from which to invest in Europe. No specific amount has been allocated to European investments but the London office will be drawing from the Singapore Economic Development Board’s $1 billion Biomedical Sciences Investment Fund, a dedicated fund for investment in biomedical science projects.

The London office has been set up to foster closer links between European biomedical companies and Singapore. John Diekman has been appointed executive chairman of the Biomedical Sciences Investment Fund (BMSIF) Management Company. Diekman is a managing partner of Bay City Capital, a life sciences merchant bank. He will provide investment advice and direction for BMSIF to achieve its strategic objectives. He will also guide the investment team in expanding its industry network, relationships and reputation.

Diekman said: “I am very impressed by the high level of commitment from the Singapore Government for the biomedical sciences field, and I am delighted to be part of the development of this industry through the Biomedical Sciences Investment Fund.”

Size of investments from the fund will depend on a number of factors including a company’s stage of development and its connections with Singapore. The fund will invest on an opportunistic basis. Koh Song of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, said: “There will be a mix of strategic projects in which the links with Singapore are strong and venture investments in which the companies are involved in cutting-edge technology investment.”

The fund has already made five investments in Europe including ML Laboratories, Cyclacel, Oxford Glycosciences and Xenova Group and is seeking investment opportunities within the human healthcare sectors to enhance the development of the biomedical sciences industry in Singapore. This includes human therapeutics development (small molecule to protein therapeutics) and related enabling technologies, drug delivery and medical devices.

The fund is already active in the US with an office in Redwood City, California and over 50 per cent of the companies in its portfolio are US-based. When asked what attractions the European market holds for the fund, Song said: “Outside of the US, Europe presents attractive investment opportunities. We would like to tap into the opportunities and resources there, create greater links between the Singapore and European biomedical sciences industry, as well as to balance our portfolio.”