HS LifeSciences AG Creates Bio-Tech Investment Fund

HS LifeSciences, a Swiss independent advisory group, has launched a new fund callde QureInvest AG to invest in start-up biotech companies. The fund has collected CHF27.5 million ($24.5 million) in commitments to date.

Press release:

New approach to finance start-up biotechnology companies Zürich, Switzerland, January 12, 2009. HS LifeSciences AG, today announced the establishment of its new investment fund QureInvest AG, dedicated to new start-up biotech companies. So far, QureInvest AG has attracted CHF27.5MM from an international group of private investors. HS LifeSciences AG will manage the fund.
The QureInvest/HS LifeSciences business model is a strictly market-driven approach to value creation in biotechnology by closely linking science and business development from the very beginning. Its concept is based on experience with prior successful investments and transactions completed by the HS LifeSciences team, including U3 Pharma AG and Neurimmune Therapeutics AG.
QureInvest’s goal is to provide its portfolio companies with funding independently from traditional venture capital, while helping the management teams to find optimum commercialization opportunities for their technologies and products by tailoring their programs to the needs of their pharma partners.
QureInvest anticipates to make multi-million dollar investments in highly innovative, novel technologies or research stage products, enabling the portfolio companies to reach a stage that allows for the signing of a contract with Big Pharma. At the same time, HS LifeSciences will provide business development and deal making experience to the companies. Backed by the initial investment, QureInvest’s portfolio companies will focus on advancing their early assets while seeking to identify the pharma or biotech partner that is most likely to be able to bring a product to market. Entering into a partnership early on will ensure that maximum resources and capabilities are invested in the product’s development. Moreover, all activities are tailored from the onset to comply with pharma standards, coherent intellectual property strategies, life-cycle management etc. For the start-up, the deal structure allows for a high reliability of financial resources without additional rounds of VC-financing.
CT Atlantic AG, a Zurich-based oncology company focusing on human-derived antibodies, is QureInvest’s first investment.
“We are very excited that we have been able to establish QureInvest AG in these turbulent times”, stated Dr Karsten Henco, Chairman and President of HS LifeSciences AG. “We are particularly happy to have attracted significant investments from experienced private investors who have a realistic view on the risk and time associated with achieving high level returns from biotechnology. The HS LifeSciences model holds tremendous promise for some new enterprises.” Dr. Edward Stuart, CEO of HS LifeSciences AG commented: “Since 2000, the limits of the traditional venture capital model with serial financing rounds involving multiple partners have become obvious in the biotech sector. From an operational perspective, it has become increasingly difficult for biotech companies to manage their businesses and focus on rapid, high quality product development while HSLifeSciences trying to engineer an exit for their investors. Therefore, we are convinced that QureInvest, a semievergreen fund with a clear focus on long-term value creation and a view to benefitting from product sales, is much better suited to tap the full potential of the biotech industry.” About HS LifeSciences AG HS LifeSciences AG is a business development, finance and strategy consultancy based in Zürich, Switzerland. HS LifeSciences AG was founded in 2008 by Dr Karsten Henco, Dr Edward Stuart and Dr Christian Wenger. The founders are experienced entrepreneurs and seasoned biotech executives.
Dr Henco was a co-founder, CEO or founding investor of Qiagen NV, Evotec AG, Coley Pharmaceuticals Inc, U3 Pharma AG and Neurimmune Therapeutics AG, amongst others. Dr Stuart held various management positions in European biotech companies, including U3 Pharma AG and Neurimmune Therapeutics AG. Dr Wenger is a partner at Wenger & Vieli, a Zürich-based law firm and is Chairman of CTI Invest.