Australian-based healthcare investment firm BioScience Managers has received the 2020 Best Venture Capital Investment Award at the 2020 Australian Investment Council Investing for Growth Awards.
The Best Venture Capital Investment Award recognises BioScience Managers’ eight-year investment in regenerative medicine company AVITA Therapeutics.
AVITA Therapeutics is commercialising the RECELL technology, initially developed by plastic surgeon Professor Fiona Wood at Royal Perth Hospital, to treat burns patients using their own healthy skin cells.
The technology was approved by the US FDA in September 2018.
BioScience Managers said it first invested in AVITA in September 2012. It completed its exit strategy in March 2020 with a significant return but emphasised its support in building the company for sustained success.
“AVITA is a terrific story of investment in Australian innovation, taking truly revolutionary technology to a global marketplace, making life-changing treatment accessible to a vast number of patients,” says Amanda Gillon, senior partner at BioScience Managers. “By using RECELL, patients can in many cases avoid the scarring that many burn victims suffer.”
“Our biggest achievement was the reset of the company’s approach to the regulatory pathway that eventually led to the US FDA approval – the first treatment to be approved for severe thermal burns in over 20 years,” said Ms Gillon.
Yasser El-Ansary, chief executive of the Australian Investment Council, said the Best Venture Capital Award is designed to acknowledge social impact in addition to successful investment.
“In this case that impact is the ability of this biotechnology development to provide great health outcomes for patients that weren’t available before, in a broad range of skin conditions,” said El-Ansary.
“BioScience Managers applied a particular investment thesis at the outset, but also contributed significant support, mentoring, board membership and non-financial support to AVITA to contribute to the company’s success.”