The Federal Government has appointed three venture capital fund managers to help turn Australia’s biomedical discoveries into high growth companies under its $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF).
The BTF will offer a significant onshore funding boost to help develop and commercialise new medical therapies, allowing more of Australia’s world-class medical research to be commercialised at home.
Currently, a lack of early stage investment capital often means promising Australian medical discoveries need to go offshore to continue their development. The BTF has been designed to address this funding gap.
Fund managers Brandon Capital Partners, OneVentures Management and BioScience Managers have been selected to manage $250 million in government capital, which is to be matched by at least $250 million from the private sector.
“This is a bold and visionary initiative by the Australian Government to ensure the country reaps the benefits from our world-class medical research,” says Dr Chris Nave, Managing Director of Brandon Capital.
“On all measures, Australia has one of the world’s leading biomedical research industries, but unfortunately, too often, we see promising discoveries leave our shores early in development, with little value returned to the country.”
The size of the BTF provides the opportunity for these technologies to be developed to much later stages in Australia, and in some cases through to the market and patients, Dr Nave said.
“The BTF program will be transformative for our local industry, providing the ability for research discoveries to be developed from concept to commercialisation right here in Australia.”
The BTF was first announced a year ago as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda. It is to be a for-profit venture capital fund which will pool public and private capital for investments in companies with medical research projects at advanced pre-clinical, Phase I and Phase II stages of development.
CSL Limited will be the only biopharmaceutical investor in the largest BTF fund led by Brandon Capital, and will provide both investment capital and later-stage development and commercialisation expertise.
“CSL is a strong supporter of the need for a greater focus on translational research in Australia. The opportunity for the BTF to support the development of promising discoveries, onshore, is very exciting,” says Dr Andrew Cuthbertson, Head of Research and Development, CSL.
Further information on the BTF is available here.