£50m fund for university-based life sciences start-ups secures investment

Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh pledge £6m to Scotland-based fund

Three Scottish universities have pledged a combined investment to a new £50m fund, designed to support early-stage life sciences firms that are started at university.

The universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh have agreed to invest a total of £6m into the Edinburgh-based venture capital fund, which is run by Rock Spring Ventures.

The new backing for the scheme takes the fund’s current total to £26m, following pledges from investors including European Investment Fund, Scottish Enterprise and the Strathclyde Pension Fund.

Rock Spring Ventures is currently in talks with a London university about securing its support for the scheme, which is looking to invest between £2m and £5m in early-stage companies specialising in medical devices and biotechnology.

It is hoped that investees will be able to secure matched investment, in addition to the backing from the fund, which is looking to focus especially on those developing treatments for cancer and central nervous system, cardiovascular, auto-immune and metabolic diseases.

Sinclair Dunlop, managing partner of Rock Spring Ventures, which has previously run similar ventures in the US commented: “We are particularly excited to be partnering with a unique investor group that includes three of Scotland’s world-class universities to provide the capital needed to realise the full potential of their spin-out companies.

“The incredible strength of the research base across the UK, and in Scotland in particular, makes it a natural location for us.”

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