Minister Bruton announces Innovation Fund Ireland investment of $37.5million with Sofinnova Ventures, a leading US healthcare venture capital fund



The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton T.D. today (Thursday) announced the first investment by Enterprise Ireland under the Innovation Fund Ireland programme in Sofinnova Ventures. Sofinnova Ventures is one of the premier US healthcare venture capital funds, recently raising their eighth fund, a $440M vehicle focused solely on life sciences, and the fund will be establishing a presence in the Irish Market.

Enterprise Ireland has committed $25 million to the Fund, alongside a commitment of $12.5 million by the National Pensions Reserve Fund.

Making the announcement in Silicon Valley Minister Bruton said: “Developing a dynamic venture capital industry in Ireland is a key part of this Government’s growth strategy. Venture capital funds provide crucial funding, as well as mentoring and advice, to early-stage high-potential companies in key high-growth sectors. That is why the Programme for Government outlines the Government’s determination to support the development of a more dynamic venture capital industry in Ireland by seeking to attract top tier venture capitalists to invest in Ireland, and why the Action Plan for Jobs commits to delivering a number of key measures to step up our performance in this area”.

“Healthcare and life sciences is a sector which the Government has identified as having potential for high levels of employment growth, and today's announcement will mean that more high-growth Irish companies can meet this leading life sciences fund.

"I am determined that, with implementation of good Government policies, we will see further development of a dynamic venture capital industry in Ireland. In this way, high-growth Irish companies will have access to the funding they need and we can help achieve the levels of growth we so badly need".

"I look forward to welcoming the Sofinnova team to Ireland and connecting them with the best life sciences companies in Ireland.”

Mike Powell, General Partner of Sofinnova said, “We are pleased to welcome Enterprise Ireland and the National Pensions Reserve Board as Limited Partners to our next fund, and they nicely complement the global and strong investor base we have in Sofinnova Ventures VIII.  Ireland has produced several outstanding life science companies, including the Sofinnova portfolio company, Amarin Corporation. We look forward to continuing to build industry leading companies for our investors”.


ENDS

For further information contact:
Conor Quinn, Press Advisor to Minister Bruton, 087-3743783, conor.quinn@djei.ie

Eileen Banks, Press Officer, Enterprise Ireland (EI), 087-2445814, eileen.banks@enterprise-ireland.com

Jennifer James, Sofinnova Ventures, VP of Marketing & Investor Relations 001 (650) 681-8429 Jennifer@sofinnova.com


Sofinnova Ventures

Sofinnova Ventures has over 40 years of experience building start-ups and corporate spin-outs into market leaders. With $1.4 billion under management, the firm applies capital and expertise to guide companies to successful exits. The firm’s investment team of MDs and PhDs has significant scientific, operational and strategic experience, and specializes in financing later stage clinical products. With a focus on product spin-outs, the firm partners with entrepreneurs to address patients’ unmet medical needs. Sofinnova Ventures has offices in Menlo Park and La Jolla, California. For more information, please visit www.sofinnova.com.

Innovation Fund Ireland

The first call for expressions under Innovation Fund Ireland took place in September 2010. The original Exchequer funding commitment, managed by EI, was €125m. VCs receiving a commitment from Enterprise Ireland shall establish a presence in Ireland to invest in Irish companies or companies with significant operations in Ireland. An equivalent amount is managed by the NPRF within their commercial mandate.

To date the NPRF have made three investments. To date Enterprise Ireland has approved a number of commitments (co-investments alongside the NPRF) to international venture fund managers and this is the first announcement of those commitments.

Further information can be found at www.innovationfundireland.com