Australia’s largest life science venture fund with $200 million is looking for the next big thing

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Brandon Capital Partners has created Australia’s largest venture fund for investing in life sciences, dedicating $200 million for startups to create the next wonder drug or build amazing medical devices.

About $50 million will go toward up to 30 early seed stage investments in promising biotech or medical device technologies.

The rest is for supporting the most successful of these as well as companies already in the Brandon Capital Partners’ Medical Research Commercialisation Fund.

The new fund is supported by existing investors AustralianSuper and Statewide Super, and is now joined by HESTA and Hostplus.

Medicinal and pharmaceutical products are now Australia’s largest manufactured export industry, as this chart shows:

Successful local manufacturers include drug companies CSL, Sigma, Mayne Pharma, and the device businesses Cochlear, ResMed and Sirtex.

The new fund is the third from Brandon Capital, bringing total funds to $251 million. Since 2007, the funds have invested in some of the most promising companies in life sciences including Fibrotech Therapeutics, Global Kinetics Corporation, Osprey Medical, PolyActiva, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals and Vaxxas.

Chris Nave, managing director of Brandon Capital, says there’s significant potential in Australian life sciences which outperform in terms of research innovation but fallen short when it comes to commercialising discoveries.

“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 commercialisation of these medical technologies,” Dr Nave says.

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