MONTRÉAL–AmorChem II Ventures inc. is pleased to announce the launch of AmorChem II Fund L.P. (AmorChem II), a life sciences venture capital fund specialized in seed-stage biotechnology investing, with an initial capitalization of $44,200,000. AmorChem II is backed by the following limited partners: the Québec government, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Merck and other qualified investors.
Located in Montreal, AmorChem II will focus on investing in promising life sciences projects originating from Québec-based universities and research centres. Its innovative business model involves financing and actively managing these projects in order to build attractive biotechnology start-ups able to attract financial investors and pharmaceutical partners.
“We appreciate the support shown to us by our Limited Partners since the early days of AmorChem I. The closing of the second AmorChem fund is the validation of the quality of the work that is being done by our team,” says Elizabeth Douville, PhD, founder and managing partner. “We look forward to collaborating with our academic partners in order to build a portfolio of new opportunities,” adds Inès Holzbaur, PhD, founder and managing partner.
“Access to funding is a critical issue for innovating life sciences start-ups. Our government is proud to participate in the establishment of the AmorChem II fund, a financial tool which will certainly contribute to these companies’ growth and to the actualization of important projects originating from Québec-based universities and research centres. Furthermore, this new fund meets one of the objectives of the Québec 2017-2027 Lifescience Strategy, which aims to promote the creation and the development of innovating life sciences companies, while reinforcing certain critical phases in the funding of these companies,” states Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy.
“The life sciences industry is flourishing in Québec. It supports over 30,000 highly qualified jobs, to which are added as many jobs in public research centres and various related service companies. By investing in the AmorChem II fund and by implementing the Québec 2017-2027 Lifescience Strategy, the Québec government offers a tangible and unequivocal support to this key sector of our economy, which will allow it to fully develop its tremendous potential,” mentions Carlos Leitão, Minister of Finance.
“AmorChem II will stimulate the development of new therapies originating from Québec-based universities and research centres. Its contribution is essential for the life sciences industry, as the recent funding announcement of the company SpecificiT Pharma has shown,” declares Didier Leconte, Vice-President, Investments, Life Sciences, Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
“Merck continues to support AmorChem with this new biotechnology start-up fund. Since our initial contribution to the AmorChem I fund in 2011, and with the Québec government’s support, we are seeing the successes of Québec-based university researchers in growing the value of their innovations, which is a gain for the entire ecosystem. It represents another example of the new R&D model that Merck is pursuing in Québec and in Canada,” declares Jennifer Chan, Vice-President, Policy and External Affairs, Merck Canada Inc.
Elizabeth Douville and Inès Holzbaur are leading AmorChem II’s team, composed of seasoned venture capital and lifescience professionals. The two founding partners have been involved in life sciences investing since the late 1990s, through their involvement in the GeneChem funds, and together, they established the first AmorChem fund. With the launch of AmorChem II, they have the pleasure of welcoming Maxime Ranger, PhD, MBA, a seasoned biotechnology entrepreneur, as a General Partner.
Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as legal advisor to the fund, its general partner and other qualified investors; McCarthy Tétrault LLP acted as legal advisor to Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ; and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP acted as legal advisor to Merck & Co.
The AmorChem Group (www.amorchem.com) is comprised of two venture capital funds located in Montréal. With $86M under management, the funds invest primarily in assets originating from Québec-based universities and research centres. The team validates these early-stage projects to build attractive opportunities for pharmaceutical companies and other venture capital funds. To date, two projects have been the subject of successful transactions with pharma, most notably the sale of a cystic fibrosis project to Vertex Pharmaceuticals. In addition, five spin-off companies have been created (Mperia Therapeutics inc., SemaThera inc., Corbin Therapeutics inc., SpecificiT Pharma inc. and Eosinate Therapeutics inc.).
The funds’ principal limited partners are the government of Québec, through Investissement Québec and FIER Partenaires, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Merck.
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