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17 March 2017

Nan Fung puts $300m into Pivotal fund

The property developer has backed the $300m first fund for Pivotal BioVenture Partners, a biotech venture firm formed by an ex-Roche Venture Fund investment director.

Author: Robert Lavine, News Editor

US-based venture capital firm Pivotal BioVenture Partners closed its first fund at $300m yesterday, securing the capital from China-headquartered property developer Nan Fung Group.

The fund, Pivotal BioVenture Partners Fund I, will make early-stage investments in biotechnology developers, and is focusing on those looking to advance innovative technology to the clinical stage with a view to creating transformative therapeutics.

The firm was co-founded by Tracy Saxton, formerly an investment director at pharmaceutical company Roche’s corporate venturing unit, Roche Venture Fund and last year's Global Corporate Venturing Rising Star, and who is leading it as managing partner.

Karoly Nikolich, chairman and CEO of anti-ageing therapy developer Alkahest, is an advisor and venture partner for the firm. Vincent Cheung, managing director of Nan Fung, is also listed as managing partner on the firm's website.

Saxton said in a statement: “Pivotal will invest in biotechnology companies with strong teams and differentiated science that can be mined to develop therapeutics to improve human health.

“There are many funds focused on de-risked clinical assets rather than early-stage therapeutics, however, we plan to be an active investor in the early-stage arena and look forward to partnering with leading-edge, science-based companies to achieve this goal.”

Saxton told Fierce Biotech the company is considering investments in the areas of infectious diseases, immunology, oncology, ophthalmology and orphan diseases, and is chiefly seeking deals where the science connects to disease areas were there is an unmet medical need.

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