Fountain Healthcare Partners ("Fountain") today launches and announces the first close of its inaugural fund, Fountain Healthcare Partners I, with EUR75 ($117) million of committed capital.
The fund is the largest dedicated life science (specialty pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics) venture capital ("VC") firm based in Ireland. It is also one of the largest emerging manager VC funds raised in the life science sector globally in the past 2 years.
Fountain will invest the majority of its capital in Europe and will have a strong emphasis on the life science sector in Ireland. The first close significantly exceeded initial expectations and Fountain is now targeting approximately EUR100 million in commitments at its final close.
Over 90% of the capital invested in the fund was sourced from institutional investors of which 75% are Irish based. Institutional investors include the European Investment Fund, the National Pension Reserve Fund and Enterprise Ireland. A select number of high net worth individual investors also participated. "We have been very pleased with the level and quality of investor participation in the first close. There was clear support for our investment strategy, and we significantly exceeded our original first close target," said Dr Manus Rogan, a founding partner at Fountain.
Fountain is a bi-located fund with a main office in Dublin and a second office in New York. "The purpose of our New York office is to maintain on-the-ground connectivity with the US life-science sector. Specifically this office will provide our firm and our investee companies access to people, intellectual property, partnering and exit opportunities, syndication capital and deal flow," said Aidan King, Fountain's New York based partner.
Speaking at the launch of the fund, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, MicheÃƒÂ¡l Martin T.D, said " A dynamic and healthy venture capital market is a prerequisite for the growth and development of high potential start-up companies in Ireland. I am delighted to announce the establishment of Fountain Healthcare Partners I, the fourth fund to be established under the Enterprise Ireland Seed and Venture Capital Scheme 2007-2012."
"The life science, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors are key sectors in the Irish economy employing over 40,000 people in Ireland. The Fountain Fund is therefore very significant given its size and its focus on the life sciences sector." he added.
Fountain is a product-focused VC fund and will invest in companies with product development programmes that have a defined pathway to commercialisation, value enhancement and exit. The principals will take an active role with investees and will bring considerable industry expertise and a deep network of contacts in the US, Europe and Asia to investee companies.
The Fund will invest EUR0.5m to EUR7.0 million per company and will have an emphasis on the following sub-sectors: specialty pharmaceuticals , biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics. Fountain will invest this capital over multiple funding rounds alongside international and domestic life science focused VC firms.
Fountain's investment premise holds that the global lifescience sector dynamics are currently very favourable for smaller venture backed private companies. Fountain also maintains that the Irish life science industry is at a turning point and has been underserved from a VC perspective.
- Ireland is Europe's most established location for global life science companies with over 40,000 people employed in the sector generating exports of over EUR27 billion. Thirteen of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies and 15 of the largest 25 medical device companies in the world have substantial operations in Ireland.
- The Irish government, over the period from 2000 to 2008, will have invested over EUR8 billion to accelerate the development of an indigenous science and technology base. A further EUR8.2 billion will be invested between 2006 and 2013.
- In the past five years a significant number of life science companies have been formed in Ireland and many are actively seeking capital to advance product development.
- Venture investing in the life science sector in Ireland has lagged behind other life science clusters in the US or Europe. Fountain is being established to fill this gap and capitalise on this opportunity.
About Fountain Healthcare Partners
Headquartered in Dublin, Fountain Healthcare Partners is Ireland's largest dedicated life science venture capital fund. A spin-out investment team from Elan Corporation's corporate venture capital group, Fountain launched its inaugural fund in 2008. Fountain will invest the majority of its capital in Europe with a primary focus on Ireland. Specific areas of interest to Fountain are specialty pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics. For more information please visit http://www.fh-partners.com.
The principals in Fountain are Dr Manus Rogan (Elan Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline), Aidan King (Bio-IB, Elan Corporation), Dr Ena Prosser (Enterprise Ireland, Elan Corporation) and Justin Lynch (LegendCare, Fyffes, Jones Group and NCB). The core team is also supported by world class Business and Scientific Advisory Boards.
Fountain's core team have over 60 years of venture investment and operational experience in the life sciences industry, making the firm the most experienced life science VC firm based in Ireland. As former members of Elan Corporation's corporate VC group, Fountain's principals have invested in 25 life science companies prior to setting up Fountain. These include Acusphere, Allergy Therapeutics, Idun Therapeutics (acquired by Pfizer), Atrix Laboratories (acquired by QLT Inc.) and Sirna Therapeutics (acquired by Merck & Co.).
The EIF's investment in Fountain is though the European Union's Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme ("CIP")
SOURCE Fountain Healthcare Partners