Quark Venture, with help from China, sets up $500M life sciences fund in Canada

Investment co Quark Venture and China’s GF Securities are setting up a global $500 million life sciences fund in what the pair are describing as the largest of its kind in the country.

The venture fund, which will be based in Vancouver, is designed to inject the cash pot across the globe into a “diversified portfolio of innovative biotechnology and health sciences companies,” according to the Vancouver Sun.  Investments have already started, with the first close of $100 million.

“This partnership will capitalize on Quark Venture’s strong, experienced, globally connected team with its track-record in technology sourcing, screening and commercialization, as well as on GF Securities’ integrated strengths in investment, capital solutions, biotechnology IPO listing and expertise in China’s biomedical industry,” said Zhihai Lin, CEO of GF Securities, in a statement.

Karimah Es Sabar, the recently appointed CEO at one-year-old Quark Venture, added: “Our goal is to build a diversified portfolio by investing in the best in the world biotechnology and health sciences companies that are driving game changing innovations in drug development, medical devices, health IT and emerging convergent technologies.

“The decision to make Vancouver the headquarters for Quark Venture and the Global Health Sciences Venture Fund, validates Canadian innovation, the strength of the life science industry here and the quality of its technologies. We anticipate that internationally competitive Canadian companies will do well having a fund of this size and calibre at their doorstep, and we believe such a fund will energize the sector and be a magnet for further capital.”