Australia’s largest life science fund

Australia’s largest life science fund

13 May 2015

Australia’s life science sector outperforms in research… falls short on commercialisation.


It is no surprise that the life science sector including pharmaceutical, medical devices etc. is one of the hottest investment destinations. Last month, Australian investment company Brandon Capital closed the largest life science fund to date in Australia after raising A$200 million (US$155 million). The fund is set to fill the funding gap of the country’s medical technology commercialisation.

“There are a number of patents filed, yet we fall short on translation,” said Chris Nave, principal executive of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund [MRCF] and managing director of Brandon Capital. “What this fund does is that in addition to providing early stage capital it also provides capability and expertise so the researchers have more access to translational funding.”

The MRCF3 has more than 50 numbers including some of Australia’s leading medical research institutes and research hospitals. Adopting a fail-fast approach that quickly takes out the weak ones, all the investment projects will be filtered before they go through a one-to-two-year incubation. Then MRCF3 will continue to support the promising ones until their products come close to launching, individual investors can then put in additional money to help them with the final stretch.

The capital will be deployed in two stages. First, about A$50 million (US$39 million) will be invested in early stage biotech and medical device technologies from up to 35 projects. The remaining A$150 million (US$116 million) will go to the most successful of these investments and existing MRCF portfolio companies that take these opportunities through to mid-stage clinical trials. Second stage investments will be as high as A$17 million per project. Outstanding assets will huge marketing potential will receive follow-on capital of up to A$30 million in a single opportunity on top of the $200 million to invest in assets.

“We believe that there is significant potential in Australian life sciences, which has always outperformed in terms of research innovation, but has fallen short when it comes to commercializing those discoveries,” said Nave. “This failing has been largely attributed to the lack of sufficient early stage investment capital and access to hands-on investment expertise to guide the development and commercialization of these medical technologies.”

Read the article at BioWorld Today.

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