The investment fund Columbus Venture Patners and Asklepios will invest up to €9M in the bio sector in Gipuzkoa.

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BY : Diego GutiérrezSeptember Mon, 2017
The venture capital fund Columbus and the US company Asklepios set up the joint venture Viralgen to invest in the opening of a viral vector plant in San Sebastian.

Columbus Venture Partners is a Valencian venture capital fund specialising in high-growth investments in the Spanish bio-based industry. The fund had been involved for several years with AsklepiosThe aim of the meeting was to identify ways of carrying out joint projects.

In this new project Columbus provides the investment, between €7M and €9M, and Asklepios the know-how, forming a 50/50 joint venture. This has given rise to the Viralgen joint venture, with the aim of investing in a new plant for the production of adeno-associated viral vectors in the Mlramon Parkin San Sebastian. These vectors, used in rare diseases of genetic origin, carry the correct gene that is integrated into the diseased cell, correcting its malfunction.

The investment of this new joint venture could turn the Miramón Park in Gipuzkoa into a leading biotech hub. The aim of the new plant is to reduce the need for European biotechs for these viral vectors, the production of which is a very complex and time-consuming process. In fact, there is a waiting list of up to two years for some products required in clinical trials. When fully operational, the plant will have three production lines, plus laboratories, and will employ between 40 and 50 people.

Columbus has announced its intention to hold for no more than ten years, with a three-fold return for its investors. The fund, led by Javier García and Damiá Tormo (creators of Bioncotech and Artax), has portfolio companies such as Aura Bioscience, Polypeptide Therapeutic and VivetTherapeutics, among others.

Funding rounds in the biotech sector in Spain 2016-17

The investment fund Columbus Venture Patners and Asklepios will invest up to €9M in the bio sector in Gipuzkoa.

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