Biovance Capital Partners announces first closing of its new biotech fund at € 51 million

– Biovance Capital Fund I is one of the largest Iberian funds dedicated to early-stage biotech, and the first healthcare-specialized fund in Portugal, marking the first-ever investment by the European Investment Fund (EIF) in a Portuguese health fund.

– Strong first closing confirms the fund’s strategy to invest in the booming early-stage drug development sector across Europe, with a special focus on Southern Europe. 

Biovance Capital Partners, Portugal’s leading life sciences venture capital (VC) firm, has announced the first closing of its new biotech fund, Biovance Capital Fund I, at € 51 million. Being one of the few Iberian funds exclusively focused on early-stage biotech, Biovance Capital will invest in disruptive drug development companies across Europe. The fund has a special focus on Portugal and Southern Europe, where the exceptional quality of biomedical research, following large public investments, has generated a wealth of technologies ready to be spun-out into new ventures. The investment team will target seed and Series A rounds, with ticket sizes ranging from € 1.5 to 6 million. The fund will provide crucial capital and support for the development of novel transformational therapies addressing unmet medical needs across all disease areas.

Key investors in the fund include the EIF, the national promotional bank Banco Português de Fomento (BPF), and the European Commission, through the Portugal Tech and InvestEU programmes. Additional investors include Caixa Capital (Caixa Geral de Depósitos Group), Ageas Pensions, EDP Pension Fund, and private investors from the USA and Europe. Given the strong interest from additional investors seeking to capitalize on this largely untapped market opportunity, the team expects to expand the fund until it reaches its final close over the coming months.

The fund’s investment team is made up of two biomedical scientists and one medical doctor educated at world-renowned institutions such as Harvard Medical School, MIT, and Imperial College. They bring exceptional track records in both the pharmaceutical and VC industries, including a recent successful exit in the cancer space with potential returns exceeding € 1 billion. Ricardo Perdigão Henriques, PhD, Managing Partner, stated “As the first-ever biotech dedicated fund, Biovance Capital Fund I marks a significant milestone in the development of Portugal’s biomedical ecosystem. We are thrilled to launch this fund and support innovative biotech companies across Europe. We are deeply grateful to our investors for their trust and ongoing support”. João Incio, MD/PhD, General Partner, said: “At Biovance, we believe the future of medicine lies in the hands of visionary scientists and groundbreaking innovations. Our mission is to empower pioneers with the resources to transform lives and redefine the boundaries of what’s possible”. André Albergaria, PhD, Principal, remarked: “With over twenty years fostering collaborations between industry and academia in Portugal’s largest health research institute, I am thrilled to contribute to propel exceptional biomedical research from Europe onto the global stage”.

Marjut Falkstedt, EIF’s Chief Executive, said: “Life sciences and health innovation are an important area of investment focus for the EU, with breakthrough technologies offering the potential to have a positive impact on us all. The InvestEU programme provides funding for this important sector and we’re happy to partner with Biovance Capital to help tackle the financing gap for biotech companies in Southern Europe”.

Ana Carvalho, BPF’s President of the Executive Committee, highlights: “We are very pleased to participate in Biovance Capital Fund I, a fund that represents another important step in supporting innovation in Portugal, by providing essential capital to biotechnology companies that are developing disruptive medicines and therapies in key therapeutic areas. By boosting biomedical research, we are contributing to transforming scientific potential into solutions that respond to global health challenges, with a very significant impact on the well-being of society and the economy of our country”.

About Biovance Capital Partners
Biovance Capital Partners is Portugal’s leading life sciences venture capital firm. The company manages Biovance Capital Fund I FCRF, a new venture capital fund with a total of € 51 million from the European Investment Fund, the national promotional bank Banco Português de Fomento, the European Commission through the Portugal Tech and InvestEU programs, and private investors from the USA and Europe. The fund invests in early-stage drug development companies across Europe, with a special focus on Southern Europe
Read the full press release here.


July 10, 2024

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