As a key component of LifeArc’s strategy to develop the most innovative approaches to combat major human disease challenges, the LifeArc Seed Fund is now operational. LifeArc has allocated an initial £25m to be invested over a four-year period.
The Fund will focus on patient impact whilst also seeking financial returns. Together with the resources already within LifeArc, including deep expertise in technology transfer, business development and wet lab diligence, the Seed Fund will optimise the chances of bringing transformative science to the clinic and thereby address the demands of the venture and corporate communities.
The Fund will seek opportunities within the UK initially, focusing on those with strong intellectual property positions and a proposition which it deems deliverable to market. It is not afraid to take risk, providing that there is sufficient specialist endorsement and verifiable clinical demand. Funded plans need to demonstrate the ability to attract follow-on investment on achievements of their milestones.
Whilst the Fund will be mindful of LifeArc’s strategic disease area priorities it will be opportunistic in terms of both therapy area and modality. The Fund will mainly focus on therapeutics. Diagnostics that prove to be compelling in the clinical setting may also be considered.
The Fund will generally commit up to £2m into nascent or early stage spin-out companies, reserving the ability to top up if required to reach first venture investment (Series A). The Fund will invest either alone or in syndication with other investors in the seed space.
The Seed Fund will work in close conjunction with LifeArc’s Philanthropic Fund, catalysing translational activity in the rare diseases space. Together, these funds represent a new and integrated funding model for biomedical innovation in the UK ecosystem and beyond.
The Seed Fund aims to make between 3 and 4 investments annually and will adopt a proactive approach to seeking opportunities. However, if you have a project which fulfils the criteria outlined here, please contact David Holbrook or Pauline Stasiak using the form below.