Brandon Capital Partners, the manager of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), has announced the closing of a $200 million life science venture capital fund. It is the third MCRF fund to be raised by the company and will be Australia’s largest ever life science venture fund.
Over 50 medical research institutes and research hospitals are members of the MRCF Collaboration, providing investors with access to Australia’s latest medical discoveries and the expertise and infrastructure to help develop them. The new fund is supported by existing MRCF investors AustralianSuper and Statewide Super, which are joined by HESTA and Hostplus.
Around $50 million of the new fund will be reserved for 20-30 very early seed stage investments in promising biotech or medical device technologies. The remaining $150 million will be reserved for supporting the most successful of these and existing MRCF portfolio companies take these opportunities through to mid-stage clinical trials in patients. Each superannuation investor will have the opportunity to invest much larger amounts of capital into the most promising assets as they mature.
Dr Chris Nave, principal executive of the MRCF and managing director of Brandon Capital, stated that the Australian life science industry has “always outperformed in terms of research innovation, but has fallen short when it comes to commercialising those discoveries” . He claimed this failing is “largely attributed to the lack of sufficient early-stage investment capital and access to hands-on investment expertise to guide the development and commercialisation of these medical technologies”.
Since its founding in 2007, the MRCF has been working to overcome these deficiencies. Its funds have assisted promising life sciences companies such as Fibrotech Therapeutics, Global Kinetics Corporation, Osprey Medical, PolyActiva, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals and Vaxxas. The latest fund brings the total MRCF funds to $251 million.