The company intends to use the €110m (£92m) procured to buy assets in private biotech businesses involved in the early clinical development of novel therapeutics targeting orphan and rare diseases.
The funds will also “facilitate cross-Atlantic exchange of innovation, sector knowledge and capital”, with a portion specifically earmarked to leverage Scandinavian science to strengthen homegrown innovation.
Saminvest is one of four private investment companies involved in the funding round. Chief Executive Officer, Peder Hassley commented: “We are very pleased to support the creation of a new life science specialised fund to develop the growing Scandinavian biotech sector. It increases the possibilities for Swedish start-ups to get access to much needed capital.”
The funding source comprises two Danish and two Swedish private investment companies (Novo Holdings, Vaekstfonden, Saminvest and Ramsbury Invest, respectively) and the European Investment Fund (EIF). Sound Bioventures founding members, Casper Breum, Johan Kördel, and Bibhash Mukhopadhyay, have also contributed to the funding stream and will manage it distribution.
All three founders have experience in either venture capital investment or drug development. Breum has previously worked for healthcare investment companies Novo Nordisk, Lundbeck and Lundbeckfonden Ventures, along with Kördel, who also has a background in pharmaceuticals (with Pharmacia and Biovitrum). Meanwhile, Mukhopadhyay has both pharmaceutical experience (J&J and AstraZeneca) and a capital investment background (New Enterprise Associates (NEA)).
Vaekstfonden Senior Vice President, Mikkel Hesselgren said the accumulated experience of the team was an asset and instilled confidence: “With its very experienced management team, we believe Sound is well positioned to invest and help advance young Danish life science companies and new medical solutions.”
He adds: “We want to support innovation and growth in the Danish life science industry. Denmark has a strong global position within this sector and further potential to unlock.”
The EIF asset release was authorised under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF) set up by the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group to support companies affected by the Covid-19 crisis, with contributions from member states (including Sweden).
The fund of nearly €25bn (£21bn) enables the EIB and the EIF to make loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities and equities to support growth and development of SMEs in the medium to long-term. The EGF is part of the European Union’s recovery package aiming to provide a total of €540bn (£451bn) to boost those parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst by the Covid-19 pandemic.
EIF Chief Executive, Alain Godard explains: “This EIF investment reflects the importance of supporting innovative players in this sector. Sound Bioventures has a strong founding team, and the fund will be well-positioned to find and further develop companies that solve tomorrow’s health challenges.”
About Sound Bioventures
Sound Bioventures is a registered alternative investment fund, under the Swedish Alternative Investment Funds Managers Act, and has a target fund size of €150m (£125m). The main area of focus is speciality therapeutics and particularly in the private sector, with a view to support and finance research & development programmes all the way through to new drug application (NDA).