BioCity Announces New Investment Fund with AstraZeneca

December 14, 2014
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

BioCity has announced a new investment fund, created following a significant contribution by AstraZeneca. The £5 million fund will be managed by BioCity and will make equity investments, typically between £50,000 and £250,000, in life-science companies based at Alderley Park, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

BioCity, the Bioscience incubation specialist with locations in the United Kingdom-East Midlands (BioCity and Medicity  in Nottingham), the North West (BioHub at Alderley Park, and  Scotland (BioCity Scotland at Newhouse)-has announced a new investment fund, created following a significant contribution by AstraZeneca. The £5 million fund will be managed by BioCity and will make equity investments, typically between £50,000 and £250,000, in life-science companies based at Alderley Park, Cheshire, UK.

“We are very pleased that AstraZeneca has chosen BioCity to manage these funds, not only to support the growth of a new generation of life science businesses at Alderley Park  but also to make sound investment decisions that aim to replenish and grow this evergreen fund over time,” commented Dr Louis Nisbet, BioCity chairman, in a press statement.

“We are not being restrictive in the types of companies that we will consider. We shall be agnostic with respect to business model, therapy area and technology. It could be anything from drug discovery to contract research to medical devices or diagnostics, but it does of course need to offer a compelling investment proposition. It is likely that many of the investments will be made in businesses with which the BioCity team and our advisors have worked closely, or are well known through the BioHub. Life sciences companies relocating to the area will also be considered.”

BioCity believes its model provides a strong basis for investment decisions. Net proceeds from investments will be returned to the fund to be used for further investments.

Clive Morris, AstraZeneca Vice President, Research & Development said in the same press release, “We are delighted with the progress of the BioHub at Alderley Park since it was established less than a year and a half ago. It now houses over 300 individuals across around 80 life science businesses. AstraZeneca’s aim in contributing to the Fund is to support the continued and sustainable growth of the BioHub, and the long term future of Alderley Park as a ‘science for life’ park, building on AstraZeneca’s legacy of scientific innovation at the site.”

BioCity specialises in the creation and development of life science businesses. In addition to its business creation work, it provides homes and access to high-end equipment, shared services, training, business support and access to investment for new and growing bioscience businesses.

Nearly 200 companies are based in a BioCity business incubator. The 91% survival rate of companies at BioCity in Nottingham demonstrates one of the benefits to a company of being located within the BioCity network. In 2012, BioCity established BioCity Scotland, near Glasgow and in 2013 BioHub at Alderley Park and later MediCity on the Alliance Boots campus in Nottingham.

According to Dr Glenn Crocker, BioCity CEO, this latest development compliments BioCity’s holistic approach to fostering the creation and development of the next generation of world-class companies. “We are all striving to create the right environment for our companies to have the strongest chance of success and funding plays a major role in that. With this approach, we can make a major contribution to the life sciences sector – the jewel in the UK economic crown - and hope to make our first investments in the first half of 2015.”

The Incubation Fund announced today is the first in a series of activities planned to enable the growth of companies at the Alderley Park BioHub and to secure a vibrant future for the BioHub as a life sciences cluster.

Alderley Park is now owned by Manchester Science Partnerships, which has a vision to create a nationally significant Bioscience park built on the world class former AstraZeneca assets. At the heart of this will be the BioHub, focussing on incubation and early stage companies, managed by Biocity, with larger companies and national science assets being attracted to the other core assets of the site.

For further information on the fund criteria and the process of applying, businesses are advised to email AlderleyParkVentures@biocity.co.uk or visit www.biocity.co.uk/alderley-park-ventures.