20.03.2012 - While on a trip to strengthen economic ties between Ireland and California, Ireland's minister for jobs, enterprise and innovation, Richard Bruton, revealed on 15 March that two Irish government organisations have provided roughly one tenth of a life science-focused venture capital fund.
The Sofinnova Ventures Partners VIII from Sofinnova Ventures Menlo Park, California, is worth $440 million. One organisation, Enterprise Ireland, invested $25 million from its €250 million Innovation Fund Ireland. Enterprise Ireland's aim is to help Irish companies in international markets. In return for the investment, Sofinnova is expected to establish operations in Ireland. The first efforts by the Innovation Fund Ireland to attract VC firms stem back to 2010. Back then it solicited the first proposals from VC firms that promised to invest in Irish companies. The other organisation is the Irish National Pensions Reserve Fund (NPRF). It contributed half the amount, $12.5 million, to the Sofinnova fund. So far, three other investments by the NPRF are known: with Polaris Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Network Funds (DFJ) and DFJ Esprit. The 8th fund raised by Sofinnova has a life science focus only - with an emphasis on Phase 2 and 3 drug development and was closed on 17 October 2011. With $440 million, it again continues to grow (2007 Sofinnova Ventures VII: $375 million). Already included in Sofinnova's portfolio is one Irish biotech firm. Amarin is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company from Dublin. It focuses on improving the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Bruton stressed the importance of VC funds for mentoring young companies: "That is why the Programme for Government tries to support the development of a more dynamic venture capital industry in Ireland by seeking to attract top tier venture capitalists to invest in Ireland."
31.05.2016 The European Medicines Agency (EMA) means to increase first-in-man trial safety. Following the death of a volunteer in a Phase I trial earlier this year, the European Medicines Agency has started a review of the guidelines for first-in-man studies.
26.05.2016 BigDNA relaunches as Iceni Pharmaceuticals with the aim to develop repurposed and reformulated cancer therapies. First order of business: repurpose Merck Serono’s cilengitide as a multiple myeloma treatment.
24.05.2016 One of the pioneering companies developing pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, Enterome Bioscience, has raised €14.5m in a Series C financing round. Among the investors were Seventure and Lundbeckfond as well as Nestlé.
20.05.2016 The long awaited global review on antimicrobial resistance by economist Lord Jim O’Neill has been published. It sets out an action plan to defeat superbugs with a huge awareness campaign and rapid diagnostics to be used before antibiotics are prescribed.
18.05.2016 Bayer is deepening its involvement in CRISPR with a licensing agreement for genome editing patents. Irish partner ERS Genomics holds the rights to the CRISPR/Cas9 tech from Emmanuelle Charpentier, one of the inventors.
11.05.2016 Newly spun out company OxStem has raised £16.9m (€21.5m) to develop regenerative meds for the treatment of age-related disease. It is the largest financing for an Oxford spin-out – or any UK academic spin-out – to date.
09.05.2016 Swiss Genentech partner AC Immune has raised CHF42.7m (€38.6m) in order to advance its therapeutic and diagnostic product pipeline in Alzheimer’s disease. The news follows a recently announced R&D collaboration with Biogen.
04.05.2016 Barcelona-based epigenetics expert Oryzon Genomics has closed a debt funding round of €10.5m, bringing the total money raised since last year to €27m. The funds will serve to advance the company’s two LSD1 inhibitors in cancer and neurodegeneration.