Quark Venture Inc., a Canadian based venture firm, and GF Securities Company Limited, a China based investment bank, have recently launched a US$500 million life sciences venture capital fund. The fund will be based out of Vancouver, and is expected to focus on building a diversified portfolio of innovative biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and life sciences companies. It is now the largest life science fund in Canada and has already committed US$100 million into various life sciences companies.
Although the fund is expected to invest globally, the decision to be based out of Vancouver was purposeful, as the fund is projected to invest and support the established and growing life science industry and local technical experts in Vancouver and throughout Canada. The creation of the fund should provide support for current life sciences projects in Canada, and should also provide confidence for the future growth of the industry in Canada.
The establishment of the fund is timely, given the recent flurry of venture capital activity in the life sciences sector in Canada. From 2013 through the first six months of 2016, there was $1.8 billion invested in life sciences through venture funds, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association. In addition to providing considerable validation to the quality of the life science sector within Canada, a life science-dedicated fund of this size contributes to Canada's life science financing ecosystem and may improve Canada's ability to provide financial scale and growth capital to home-grown companies.
Stay tuned for further developments in the life science venture capital markets.
This article was written with the helpful contribution of Michael Garbuz (Articling Student).