British Patient Capital launches Life Sciences Investment Programme

The Life Sciences Investment Programme, previously announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has opened for applications from fund managers. To be delivered by British Patient Capital, a commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank, the programme will bring more large-scale specialist UK focused fund managers to market, increasing the supply of venture growth finance to UK life sciences companies.

At the forefront of breakthrough treatments of disease, the UK is a world leader in life sciences. The discovery and development of new drugs, vaccines and cell/gene therapies have placed the UK at the frontier of responses to global challenges. These include the Covid-19 pandemic, ageing populations and the provision of sustainable healthcare. There is a lack of later-stage funds investing consistently at scale into the life sciences sector in the UK, meaning that many promising life sciences companies may not be able to fulfil their potential within the UK.

Through the Life Sciences Investment Programme, British Patient Capital has been allocated an additional GBP200 million to make cornerstone commitments to later stage venture growth funds which are focussed upon the UK’s life sciences sector. This GBP200 million is expected to attract at least a further GBP400 million of private investment to be invested alongside British Patient Capital, helping to ensure the UK continues to be a world leader in health and life sciences innovation.

In addition to applications from life sciences fund managers already located in the UK, British Patient Capital also welcomes applications from experienced international life sciences fund managers, with the appetite to build a sustainable presence and deep network within the UK. 

Applicants should be targeting a total fund size of minimum GBP250 million. British Patient Capital will make commitments of between GBP50 million and GBP100 million per fund, investing on at least as favourable terms as other investors.

Judith Hartley, CEO, British Patient Capital, says: “The UK has one of the world’s strongest and most productive health and life sciences industries. The lack of later stage funding for our high-potential, innovative life sciences companies means they are often likely to be sold early or relocate to another country. British Patient Capital is already one of the most active domestic investors in the UK’s life sciences sector. With this additional GBP200 million, we will continue our work to bring more, later stage dedicated life sciences funds to market, helping to ensure our most promising life sciences companies are able to fulfil their potential within the UK.” 

Launched in 2018, British Patient Capital manages a GBP2.5 billion investment programme through which it has already made over GBP150 million of commitments to five UK life science focused funds, making it one of the most active fund of funds investors in the sector.

The Life Sciences Investment Programme will have access to a scientific advisory panel composed of leading industry figures, chaired by Life Sciences Champion Professor Sir John Bell. The panel will share insight on key scientific trends.

To further enhance the potential impact of the Life Sciences Investment Programme, British Patient Capital has entered into a collaboration agreement with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company to work together on potential investment opportunities into later stage funds focussed upon UK life sciences companies.

The new collaboration agreement provides an additional channel for fund investments under Mubadala’s GBP800 million initial commitment to invest in UK life sciences as part of the UAE UK Sovereign Investment Partnership established in March of this year.

Lord Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment, says: "Our life sciences sector is world leading and this investment programme will boost innovation, jobs and help the sector to develop cutting-edge technologies and research. The Office for Investment has played a crucial role in securing even more investment into UK life sciences enabling more businesses to scale and grow as we build back better from the pandemic.”

Mubadala is already a long-term investor in UK innovation and growth and will seek to create opportunities for UK life sciences companies across its global portfolio spanning 50 countries.