The UCL Technology Fund (UCLTF) has announced first close of a £100 million target Fund 2, to take academic research all the way from proof of concept to commercialisation.
The new fund, which is managed by AlbionVC in collaboration with UCL Business Ltd (UCLB), will support University College London (UCL) in achieving the full potential of innovations that have prospects for outstanding societal impact and commercial return.
Fund 2 has commitments from a combination of existing and new limited partners, including cornerstone commitments from British Patient Capital, the largest UK-based LP investor in venture capital, and UCL itself.
WHAT IT DOES
The UCLTF is dedicated to investing in intellectual property and commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The fund’s purpose is to bring UCL’s academic research in life, computer and physical sciences to commercial reality.
In the life sciences these include innovative preclinical and clinical projects and spinouts. Based on pioneering gene therapy, cell therapy and drug discovery approaches, they are targeting a variety of indications including rare diseases, cancer and ophthalmology.
Fund 2 follows the success of the first fund, which made 45 investments, including 27 that became spinout companies and programmes intended for licensing that have subsequently raised external funding exceeding £1 billion.
One success story from the first fund is Bloomsbury AI (NLP technology), which joined Facebook’s London research team in 2018.
ON THE RECORD
Dr Celia Caulcott, vice-provost, (Enterprise) said: “It’s a great step that we can announce the first close of the second fund. We look forward to this fund investing in intellectual property arising from UCL’s world-class research, taking technologies all the way from proof of concept to commercialisation through licensing and company creation.”
Dr Andrew Elder, AlbionVC, said: “It’s exciting to invest in the ideas and teams with potential to develop new treatments for debilitating diseases or completely change the way we live and work through breakthrough innovations in computer and physical sciences.”
Dr Anne Lane, chief executive, UCLB, said: “The UCLTF model has helped progress work in physical and life sciences with a real and positive impact on people’s lives. We’re now looking to build on the success of the first fund and invest in the best and brightest ideas within UCL’s extensive research base and realise its innovative potential.”
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO British Patient Capital said: “Our cornerstone commitment to UCLTF’s second fund is a key part of our strategy to invest in best in class funds that can leverage the world-leading science conducted in universities across the UK.”