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30 January 2014

Wellcome Trust’s £200m evergreen fund comes to life

The Wellcome Trust’s previously announced £200m evergreen fund launches as Syncona Partners.

Author: Gregg Bayes-Brown, editor

Charity investor the Wellcome Trust has launched Syncona Partners, an investment subsidiary managing a £200m ($329m) evergreen fund.

Previously announced as Project Sigma by the Trust in March 2012, Syncona will be focused on supporting development of sustainable healthcare businesses. The UK-based fund will invest globally, with investments ranging from between £1m to £20m. Syncona will invest at both early and late stage, and as a lead investor or as part of a syndicate.

The company has already added two university-linked businesses to its portfolio: life sciences firm Cambridge Epigenetix and Oxford spin-out NightstaRx, which is focused on the development of treatments for degenerative eye conditions.

Martin Murphy, chief executive at Syncona, said: “We expect to play our part in building successful businesses based upon innovation within the life science and healthcare industry.  We very much look forward to working with entrepreneurs, leading academics and inventors to build success stories in the UK, Europe and beyond.”

At the time of the initial announcement, Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, said: “The Wellcome Trust is known as an investor that takes a long-term view. Sigma will extend this successful approach to direct investments in emerging healthcare technologies, to give small and medium-sized companies the support they require to fulfil their potential. This important investment opportunity will help the Trust to fulfil its vision of achieving extraordinary improvements in health, by generating returns that can be used to fund the work of outstanding researchers in the biomedical sciences and the medical humanities.”

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