SV joins CRUK on a $250M-plus fund with an eye on developing new cancer drugs
With its dementia fund up and running, SV Health Investors is kickstarting a new, specialized $250 million-plus fund to gamble on new cancer biotechs — doubling down on one of the hottest fields in biopharma. And they’re doing it with a big contribution from Cancer Research UK to help seed the effort.
CRUK is contributing $25 million to the cause, and opening some doors for SV along the way. The non-profit research group has a pipeline of 30 drugs it’s collaborating on in preclinical or clinical development, building on the 8 approved therapies that have helped fuel its scientific mission.
One of those therapies is Keytruda, which has paid off handsomely as Merck pushed it to mega-blockbuster status. And CRUK’s extensive connections in the oncology field in the UK make it a good partner for SV, which has a long track record in venture investing. Now a flush CRUK will point out some potential projects for SV to back with the SV7 fund, with plans to invest 60% of its cash into oncology.
This isn’t the first time SV and CRUK have worked together. They collaborated on the launch of Kudos Pharmaceuticals, which invented olaparib, the first PARP — now a major market player for AstraZeneca sold as Lynparza — and Artios. And Kate Bingham, the managing partner at SV, says she expects to find more good drugs within the CRUK network.
CRUK executive director Iain Foulkes had this to say:
We need to encourage more entrepreneurialism if we want to get more medicines to patients to beat cancer. This was recognised in the UK Life Sciences Strategy and this new fund, in partnership with SV, will be a huge boost to advancing cancer research here in the UK. The UK has some of the very best research in the world and partnering with a world leading venture group such as SV will accelerate progress and generate new biotech to be established here.