Montréal, May 28, 2012--Teralys Capital is pleased to announce an investment of $65 million in TVM Life Science Ventures VII ("TVM LSV VII" or the "Fund"), which closed on an initial size of $150 million. The Fund will focus primarily on early stage drug development and life sciences company opportunities. The investment by Teralys Capital, together with investments by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY; "Lilly") and other partners, enables a new investment model in Québec, which will involve the formation by the Fund of single therapeutic asset companies and benefit the entire local life sciences ecosystem of researchers, entrepreneurs, business partners and service providers.
TVM Capital is a successful international investment group operating since 1983. The new fund is domiciled in Montréal. The Fund meets the three key requirements set by Teralys Capital to successfully invest in the life sciences sector and to better support businesses in Québec: an optimal fund size of at least $150 million, the reach of a proven international network and the participation of key strategic partners. Teralys Capital and Lilly are joined in the fund by leading institutional investors including BDC Venture Capital, Fondaction and Advantus Capital Management, a subsidiary of the Minnesota Life Insurance Company.
As part of the arrangement, Lilly will establish a Canadian unit of Chorus in Montréal. Chorus, an autonomous unit of Lilly, is a global-early-phase drug development network that focuses on designing and executing lean and highly-focused development plans that cost-effectively progress potential medicines from candidate selection to clinical proof-of-concept. Chorus draws on internal Lilly skills, contract research organizations, and external consultants with very specific areas of expertise. Chorus Canada will work with development service providers across the province and elsewhere to offer development services to project-focused companies based primarily in Québec.
Jacques Bernier, Managing Partner of Teralys Capital, said: "TVM Life Science and Chorus Canada, both headquartered in Montréal, will strongly enhance the entire life sciences ecosystem in Québec. TVM Capital offers a specialized team surrounded with over 25 years of international experience investing in this sector. Along with our recent investments in Lumira Capital, this announcement further strengthens Québec's position as a leader in life sciences and signals our desire to pioneer new investment models for sustainable value creation."
"We are pleased to join Teralys Capital and TVM Capital to support the growth of the life sciences industry in Canada," said Michael Mason, president and general manager, Eli Lilly Canada. "This new investment will support a more efficient way to develop innovation in Canada and will hopefully lead to improved outcomes for individual patients around the world. Establishing a Chorus division in Montréal illustrates Lilly's commitment to 'research without walls' and to investing in research and development in Canada. We are proud that Chorus Canada will employ scientific experts in Montréal, and contribute to job creation and ongoing employment within this industry in the province and Canada."
Darren Carroll, vice president of corporate business development for Eli Lilly and Company, added: "There are many challenges today in financing early-stage life sciences innovation. We are hopeful that the project-focused company model will allow for greater cost efficiency, thus focusing development efforts on the most promising therapeutic products. We are excited about the role that Chorus can play with our partners, as they independently shape new life sciences opportunities."
"BDC is very pleased and proud to be a co-investor in TVM Life Science Ventures VII, and we congratulate Teralys Capital for leading this important investment", said Paul Kirkconnell, Executive Vice-President, Venture Capital at BDC. "We have worked closely with Teralys in several recent funds, and share a common goal of energizing and enhancing the venture capital ecosystem in Québec and Canada. The establishment in Canada of a significant global fund such as TVM LSV VII, with its innovative investing model, is a significant step towards achieving that goal."
"We value TVM Capital's ability to work with local entrepreneurs and the entire ecosystem to source the best assets available from strategic partners such as Lilly, as well as universities, development corporations ("sociétés de valorisation"), centres of excellence, and existing biotech companies", concluded Mr. Bernier.
About Teralys Capital
Teralys Capital is a fund of funds created to finance private venture capital funds focused on investing in life sciences, information technology and cleantech companies. The fund has over $700 million in capital commitments from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Solidarity Fund QFL and Investissement Québec. Teralys Capital is also managing two existing portfolios of venture capital funds with additional assets under management of over $600 million. It is currently the largest fund of funds in Canada. Visit www.teralyscapital.com for more information.
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Eli Lilly Canada, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, employs more than 500 people across the country. Additional information about Eli Lilly Canada can be found at www.lilly.ca.