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BGF announces £100m milestone in life sciences investment

BGF News 06.15.2021

BGF has broken the £100 million investment milestone, backing more than 30 businesses across the fields of diagnostics, medtech and digital health, as well as services, software and tools supporting therapeutic development.

To support the organisation’s continued drive into the industry, BGF has now created a specialist advisory board in order to solidify its position in the life sciences space.

The board’s appointments bring a wealth of experience to BGF’s offering in the sector and will support its ambitions to be at the forefront of innovation at a critical time for the UK & Ireland.

The life sciences board will be comprised of:

  • Chairman Sir Andrew Dillon, founding Chief Executive of NICE
  • Dr Dame Barbara Hakin, former Deputy Chief Executive of NHS England
  • Eric Low, former CEO of Myeloma UK
  • Dr Jane Adam, Consultant Radiologist and Chair of the NICE Technology Appraisal Committee
  • Professor Karen Facey, evidence-based health policy consultant working internationally in the field of health technology assessment (HTA)
  • Mike Thompson MBE, former Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

Tim Rea, investor at BGF, said: “The creation of this board and the calibre of the individuals who will sit on it is a testament to BGF’s long-term commitment to the life sciences sector. The focus of the board will be to ensure that we are making a meaningful contribution to the ecosystem. The unrivalled experience of the board members will complement BGF’s market leading investment teams which are supporting these innovative businesses as they position themselves for rapid growth.”

Sir Andrew Dillon, Chair of the BGF life sciences board, said: “I’m delighted to be joining an inspiring group of individuals with significant experience in the fields of medicine, medical technology and pharmaceutical R&D. We look forward to using this expertise to support BGF’s investment strategy. The opportunity to work with BGF to unlock innovation that will have a real impact on outcomes for patients is very exciting.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the focus on life sciences and the importance of a robust R&D sector that benefits public health and the economy more widely. Life sciences is an emerging area of high potential and with a big concentration of growth economy businesses looking for patient capital.

Recent BGF deals in the sector include leading a £7 million investment round in Phico Therapeutics, a biotechnology platform for a new generation of antibiotics to overcome antibacterial resistance; leading an oversubscribed £33 million investment round in Phoremost – a Cambridge-based drug discovery company; and investing £1.5 million as part of a £3.8m investment into North West-based proteomic-data science and diagnostics company, Kinomica.

BGF also recently announced the successful exit of its first investment in the life sciences space, after Arcinova, the Alnwick-based pharmaceutical firm, was acquired by drug development and manufacturing accelerator, Quotient Sciences. BGF invested £5 million into Arcinova in 2018. The funding was used to accelerate growth by increasing production capacity and recruiting more staff.

BGF is a long-term patient investor, making initial investments between £1 million to £15 million for a minority equity stake. It backs ambitious teams at different growth stages, from early-stage spinouts through to established quoted businesses.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, BGF has invested £2.5bn in growth businesses across the UK & Ireland through a combination of its evergreen balance sheet and third-party funds, as well as its network of 16 offices. It is now the most active growth investor globally by number of transactions and helped to establish BGF Canada in 2018 and BGF Australia in 2020.