The British Business Bank is committing £50 million through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) program to a new fund: Epidarex Capital III UK LP. The fund, which totals £102 million, will invest in new life science companies from emerging research hubs across the UK. Epidarex Capital is a transatlantic life science venture firm. Epidarex is based in Edinburgh but also has a US location in Bethesda, Maryland.
The program is said to combine private and public money to enable equity investments in high-growth businesses. Since its inception, it has committed over £1.36 billion to facilitate finance to 540 smaller UK high growth businesses. The British Business Bank’s investment in Epidarex Capital III UK makes it the largest ECF commitment to date and the first to specialize in life science.
Additionally, the Universities of Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, alongside Strathclyde Pension Fund and several global investors have committed capital to the new Fund.
Sinclair Dunlop, the Managing Partner at Epidarex, issued the following statement:
“We are grateful for the tremendous support from the British Business Bank and from returning investors, which has allowed us to close this significant new UK fund. Epidarex’s differentiated approach to life science investing draws from our global network of experts and long-standing relationships with multiple highly regarded universities and research institutions. Epidarex can now significantly expand and support its portfolio of UK life science start-ups with the potential to both transform patient outcomes and generate competitive investor returns.”
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Capital Solutions at the British Business Bank, added:
“We know that equity finance is crucial for innovative life science and health technology businesses. The Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is a key tool in helping to develop and maintain an effective venture capital provision in the UK. By supporting Epidarex Capital III UK, we are looking to ensure the successful financing of early stage, high-potential businesses that are built upon cutting-edge UK life science research. We are very pleased to be backing this new UK fund, which itself represents an important milestone as our largest ECF fund to date and the first dedicated to investment in life science.”
UK Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi said it is their ambition to make the “UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business, and that means backing innovation as we rebuild and revitalize the UK economy.”