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Calling all investors

The Government is keen to partner with the private sector to both support biomedical innovation and improve health outcomes for Australians. The BTF is a key initiative of the National Innovation and Science Agenda that seeks to close the gap between early and late stage research — often called the ‘valley of death’ — that holds back the commercialisation process.

The BTF is a for-profit venture capital fund targeting investments in companies with projects at advanced pre-clinical and Phase I and Phase II stages of development. The fund is a pooling of public and private capital (at least $500 million) that will be managed by competitively selected private sector fund managers and used to invest in biomedical start-ups with commercialisation potential.

Early stage innovative biomedical businesses are facing declining venture capital equity investment. Start-up ventures in many digital and web-based business models typically require relatively small amounts of capital and time with which to confirm viability. However biomedical ventures are normally very capital and time intensive, with few early stage investors willing to wait the decades or provide the funds required to realise a return.

The potential for returns, however, are significant for those investors keen to make a difference by bridging the ‘valley of death’ to help translate promising biomedical discoveries into tangible products and better long term health and economic outcomes.