The venture capital firm has its second fund ready to invest in health sciencie companies
Valencia, Spain, January 2019-
The venture capital company Columbus Venture Partners has already its second fund ready to invest in companies related to the health sciences. It is in the registration phase at the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and will be operative shortly with €70M target.
According to the managers of Columbus, this new fund has been planned to give continuity to the previous fund, which has five companies in its portfolio, all of them dedicated to innovation in health sciences, but with an activity not only of research, but also industrial, that is, dedicated to production, once the chemical tests are passed, as well as the commercial part.
A sample is the factory that was inaugurated in September 2018 in the Miramón Technology Park, in San Sebastián, Viralgen Vector Core, created by Columbus together with the American multinational AskBio, dedicated to virus therapies.
In addition, its portfolio is completed by Aura Bioscience, Polypeptide Therapeutic Solutions, Proton Radiotherapy and Vivet Therapeutics. These were undertaken with the first fund, which had 41 million euros. The founders and managers of Columbus Venture Capital are Damià Tormo and Javier García Cogorro, founders of biotechnology Bioncotech and Artax. It has offices in Valencia, Madrid and San Sebastián.
With the new investment fund, the managers plan to build two new plants in San Sebastian -which will take around 30% of the investments, according to the managers estimation-. One of them will be to continue the development of the commercial plant ofViralgen, together with AskBio. “It is the logical step, after clinical trials”, explains Javier García. With this, an ecosystem linked to the sector is created.
It also foresees a new plant in the same area, for which it will have other partners, and will be announced in the coming months.
Columbus also plans to enter other advanced therapies companies, which are already being analyzed in the Basque Country and the Valencian Community, as well as in the United States.
“In gene therapy, the bottleneck is manufacturing,” explain the managers, who argue that most of the funds in Spain invest in research, but not in the industrial part, which is their bet.