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Covid tech

UCL Technology Fund, managed by AlbionVC in collaboration with UCL Business, the university’s commercialisation company and part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise, has announced the first close of a £100m target Fund 2.

The new fund will continue to support UCL in achieving the full potential of innovations that have prospects for outstanding societal impact and commercial return.

The fund’s purpose is to bring UCL’s academic research in life, computer and physical sciences to commercial reality. The second fund has an immediate pipeline of opportunities with world-renowned UCL academic researchers. In the life sciences these include innovative preclinical and clinical projects and spinouts.

Based on pioneering gene therapy, cell therapy and drug discovery approaches, they are targeting a variety of indications with a global unmet need, including rare diseases, cancer and ophthalmology. Fund 2 follows the successes of the first fund, which made 45 investments including 27 that became spinout companies and programmes intended for licensing that have subsequently raised external funding exceeding £1bn and creating over 570 jobs.

Dr Celia Caulcott, Vice-Provost said: “UCL’s first Technology Fund is playing a vital role in our drive to translate the breakthrough ideas developed by UCL’s talented researchers into applications and products to benefit society and the economy.  It’s a great step that we can announce the first close of the second fund.

“We look forward to this fund investing in intellectual property arising from UCL’s world-class research, taking technologies all the way from proof of concept to commercialisation through licensing and company creation.”

Dr Andrew Elder, AlbionVC, said: “UCL is one of the finest research institutions in the world. We have been enormously impressed with the quality and variety of investment opportunities presented by its academics over the past four years and the high number of world class opportunities continues.

“It’s exciting to invest in the ideas and teams with potential to develop new treatments for debilitating diseases or completely change the way we live and work through breakthrough innovations in computer and physical sciences.”

Dr Anne Lane, Chief Executive, UCLB, added, “We’re now looking to build on the success of the first fund and invest in the best and brightest ideas within UCL’s extensive research base and realise its innovative potential. During what is a testing time for the global economy, we must look to universities to foster new research and provide them with the right resources to succeed, from proof-of-concept to commercial application.”

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO British Patient Capital said: “Our cornerstone commitment to UCLTF’s second fund is a key part of our strategy to invest in best in class fund managers that can leverage the world-leading science conducted in universities across the UK.

“Long-term patient capital can support the commercialisation of such research, helping address some of the most pressing challenges faced by modern society, and deliver compelling returns.”