AlbionVC's UCL Technology Fund 2 holds first close

Communications technology

AlbionVC managed UCL Technology Fund, in collaboration with UCL Business, has held the first close of Fund 2, with a GBP100 million target.

UCL Business is the university’s commercialisation company and part of UCL Innovation & Enterprise.

The new fund’s investors include existing and new LPs, with participation from British Patient Capital, as well as UCL. Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Patient Capital, commented that her firm's investment is a key part of its strategy to invest in best in class funds.

Fund 2 will aim to bring forward UCL’s academic research into life, computer and physical sciences to commercial reality. “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”, said Dr Celia Caulcott, Vice-Provost. 

In life sciences these include preclinical and clinical projects and spinouts. Based on 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.

The first fund made 45 investments including 27 that became spinout companies intended for licensing that have subsequently raised external funding exceeding GBP1 billion.
 
Fund 1 has completed two Nasdaq IPOs: Orchard Therapeutics, a company that develops rare disease gene therapies and MeiraGTx, that deals with eye, salivary gland and CNS disease gene therapies. There is also a potential upcoming IPO in Freeline Therapeutics (liver directed gene therapies). Moreover, Bloomsbury AI joined Facebook’s London research team in 2018.

“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,” said Dr Andrew Elder, AlbionVC.