€85m VC fund to support Irish life sciences sector

Enterprise Ireland has invested €15m in a new life sciences venture capital fund that has the potential to create 1,000 Irish jobs.

Ireland’s largest life science venture capital fund, Fountain Healthcare Partners yesterday announced the initial closing of an €85m fund — the second such fund it has raised.

The Department of Jobs, through Enterprise Ireland has committed €15m to the fund with the remainder raised from institutional investors including the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and the European Investment Fund.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton said the 70% of the fund will be invested in Ireland with the remainder largely based in the US.

Mr Bruton added that he expects the fund has the potential to create 1,000 jobs in Ireland in the coming years.

“On the record of these funds, about 70% is in Ireland and on a fund of this size we could expect that would have an impact of 1,000 jobs extra in Ireland. [Venture capital funding] has been a very important element of the Enterprise Ireland offering now to start-up companies.

“There’s a resurgence in start-up companies [and] we’ve targeted the whole medical devices, biotech, pharma sector. It’s an area doing very well and this is a very important instrument to allow these dynamic companies to grow,” Mr Bruton told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

The fund which is aimed specifically at companies operating in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices and diagnostics sectors is expected to make between 10 and 15 investments over its lifetime.

The fund is the first to be announced as part of the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2013-2018 launched last May.

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