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Wellington Partners Announces First Closing of New Life Science Fund

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Wellington Partners has announced the successful first closing of its new Wellington Partners IV Life Science Fund which has attracted commitments from investors of € 70 million.

With a target size of € 120 million, this new fund is expected to be significantly larger than the previous Wellington Partners III Life Science Fund, which raised € 78 million.

The Wellington Partners life science team comprising the General Partners Rainer Strohmenger, Erich Schlick, Regina Hodits, Harald Keller, Ernst Mannheimer and Rolf Dienst will focus on investing these funds in innovative companies in the areas of medical devices, diagnostics and biotechnology on a pan-European basis.

The new fund has attracted investors from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, France, the UK, the US and the Middle East.

Among the main investors in Wellington Partners IV Life Science are the European Investment Fund (EIF), LfA Foerderbank Bayern, Austria Wirtschaftsservice GmbH and several large family offices.

Despite the challenging financial environment, investors have been convinced by the opportunity to benefit from participation in companies developing highly innovative products in a major growth market as well as by the excellent track record of the Wellington Partners life science investment team.

Wellington Partners was an early investor in Swiss-based listed pharma player Actelion and in mtm laboratories, a German diagnostics company focusing on cervical cancer screening, which was acquired by Roche in 2011 for up to € 190 million.

The active portfolio comprises a number of highly promising life science companies, including: immatics, a leading therapeutic cancer vaccines company with a broad clinical pipeline, including a renal cell cancer vaccine already in phase III clinical development; invendo medical, which received FDA approval for its disposable colonoscope earlier this year; Oxford Immunotec, a diagnostics company marketing its blood test for latent TB infection globally, thereby addressing a blockbuster market; and Symetis, which is currently launching a highly innovative second-generation minimally invasive heart valve. In light of these success stories many existing investors also participated in the new fund and increased their commitments.

Dr. Rainer Strohmenger, General Partner at Wellington Partners, explains: “This first closing of our new, larger fund in a challenging financial environment is a big success and reflects the strength of our team and our approach to investment in this complex market. Numerous renowned investors are trusting in our ability to create value by selectively investing in the most promising and innovative private life science companies in Europe. The market environment is highly favorable because a majority of investors are currently neglecting this segment despite the fact that the life science market will be one of the most important growth drivers in the coming years. This has led to a scarcity of capital, moderate entry valuations and hence the opportunity to generate outstanding returns for those investors who are willing to act anti-cyclically. This strategy has been pursued by Wellington Partners highly successfully for many years.”