Technology

31
Oct

New $200 million Biotechnology Venture Capital Fund secured in Melbourne

Technology Portfolio
New $200 million Biotechnology Venture Capital Fund secured in Melbourne

Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips today announced the establishment of the $200 million Biotechnology Translation Fund in conjunction with fund manager Brandon Capital Partners, the manager of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF).

Minister Rich-Phillips said the Victorian Coalition Government has secured the fund’s headquarters for Melbourne with a contribution of $5.6 million over seven years.

“This will be the largest-ever life sciences venture fund in Australia and will well and truly cement Victoria as the Asia-Pacific hub for medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical translational research and commercialisation,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“The MRCF Biotechnology Translation Fund is set to raise a total of $200 million in funding and is seeking to finalise contributions from other leading Australian superannuation funds,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“Securing the head office of this new Fund in Melbourne reinforces the state’s position as one of the most globally competitive biotechnology sectors,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

Mr Rich-Phillips also said that hundreds of high value jobs could be created over five years from a life sciences fund with an investment pool of $200 million.

“This is only the beginning of the impact of such a Fund, which will also increase research and development activity in Victoria through clinical trials – meaning Victorians will have access to new ground-breaking treatments sooner," Mr Rich-Phillips said.

The MRCF was established in late-2007 as a collaboration between major Australian superannuation funds and Australia’s leading medical research institutes and research hospitals.

To date, the MRCF has supported 18 early-stage companies developing breakthrough treatments for patients suffering from diseases ranging from cancer, diabetes, arthritis and chronic pain, through to novel medical devices for managing Parkinson’s disease and for treating heart and kidney conditions.

Principal Executive of the MRCF Dr Chris Nave said the new MRCF Biotechnology Translation Fund will build on the success of the MRCF, which has demonstrated it is a highly-effective model for identifying and developing Australia’s best medical innovations - guiding them from the laboratory bench to the clinic.

“The increased capital we hope to have available to the MRCF Biotechnology Translation Fund will continue to allow new companies to be seeded, as well as now providing the capacity to support the successful technologies through to advanced clinical development and commercialisation of their products,” Dr Nave said.

Liberal Candidate for Albert Park Shannon Eeles welcomed the announcement and said support from the Victorian Government has been crucial in establishing the new fund.

“The Coalition Government’s support for the MRCF operations ensures that the investment funds are focused on developing promising medical discoveries and delivering commercial and social benefit,” Ms Eales said.

The MRCF Biotechnology Translation Fund is in advanced discussions with leading Australian superannuation funds and is on track to complete fundraising by the end of this year, with operations to commence in early-2015.

For more information on the MRCF Biotechnology Translation Fund, contact Chris Nave at the MRCF’s Melbourne office (www.mrcf.com.au).

Information on the Victorian Government’s support for the life science industries is available at www.biotechnology.vic.gov.au

Media contact: Andrew Drever  0409 580 996 andrew.drever@minstaff.vic.gov.au 
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