Specialist life sciences investor BioScience Managers has announced invested $15 million to purchase stakes in two ASX-listed life science companies.
The firm said the investments form part of its BioScience Managers’ Biomedical Translation Fund 1 (BMTF1), a Commonwealth-backed fund aimed at supporting innovation in the Australian life sciences sector.
It said the new investments in Cynata Therapeutics and Acrux take the BMTF1’s portfolio of investments to nine, with one successful exit.
In March last year, the fund divested its position in the ASX-listed Avita Medical, which developed an innovative ‘spray-on skin’ for burns and wound care.
"The divestment represented an eight-fold return on BioScience Manager’s original $6.5 million BMTF1 investment in 2017," said BioScience Manager.
Cynata is an emerging regenerative medicine company, deploying a patented platform technology to address the complexities and challenges of manufacturing stem cells at a commercial scale without requiring multiple bone marrow donors.
In December, BioScience Managers invested $10 million to lead a placement and rights issue that raised $18.3 million for Cynata.
Cynata Chief Executive Ross Macdonald said the funds would help the company further its clinical program in several under-served disease indications.
“The endorsement from BioScience Managers, an experienced and highly successful healthcare investor provides a great validation of our platform,” said Dr Macdonald.
The fund followed up with a $5 million investment in Acrux, as part of a very successful $17.7 million fundraising including a $9.9 million share purchase plan (SPP).
Acrux Managing Director Michael Kotsanis said the investment endorsed the company’s growth strategy based on expanding its portfolio of topical specialty and generic medicines.
“We are very pleased with the support we have received from BioScience Managers, as well as from existing shareholders,” said Mr Kotsanis.
“The fund is tracking very well,” said Dr Amanda Gillon PhD, senior partner of BioScience Managers. “We are continuing to work closely with our portfolio companies to add value for our investors, and evaluating new opportunities, particularly in digital health.”