PRESS RELEASE


BACIT seeks shareholder approval to commit £20m and join CRT Pioneer Fund as a limited partner

2014-11-26 00:00:00

Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), The European Investment Fund (EIF) and BACIT Limited (BACIT) today announced that BACIT is seeking shareholder approval to permit an investment into the CRT Pioneer Fund (CPF). BACIT would invest alongside CPF’s two existing investors, taking the total capital committed to the Fund to £70m.

BACIT’s commitment is subject to obtaining the approval of its shareholders at a shareholder meeting which is scheduled for 15 December 2014.

The CPF was established in 2012 by the EIF and CRT as a specialist fund focused on investing in oncology assets to take them from late discovery through to entry to Phase II clinical trials thereby plugging a gap in the UK funding of drug discovery.  Through its relationship with CRT, the Fund has access to drug discovery and development programmes supported by Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest independent funder of oncology research.

BACIT’s potential commitment follows a decision earlier in the year by EIF and CRT to commit a further £25m to double the size of the Fund from its initial first close of £25m.

To date the CPF has invested in four novel cancer projects, comprising early stage lead optimisation and later stage pre-clinical assets.  The Fund is managed by Sixth Element Capital LLP (6EC), an FCA authorised fund manager set up to implement novel solutions to bring finance and innovation together within the healthcare sector.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Dr Robert James, Managing Partner of 6EC, said: “We are delighted that BACIT has chosen the CPF as the vehicle through which it can best manage its investments in oncology drug discovery.  This decision validates the approach that we have been adopting to identify investment opportunities in the oncology sector.  By increasing the size of the CPF to £70m we will be able to further diversify the portfolio of investments made by the Fund thereby increasing the chances of benefiting the cancer patient and maximising the chances of a successful outcome for all of our investors”.

Dr Piyush Unalkat, Principal – Equity Investments, commented: "Since its inception the CPF has met its milestones for establishing what is becoming an increasingly diversified and commercially attractive portfolio with CRT continuing to deliver a pipeline of outstanding projects. The EIF will be very pleased to welcome BACIT as a like-minded, long-term investor committed to bring oncology treatments to the market faster for the benefit of patients."

Dr Keith Blundy, CEO of Cancer Research Technology, said: “This additional investment in the CPF will enable us to fund more projects in drug discovery and early development to bring potential new treatments to patients as quickly as possible.  Through our research, Cancer Research UK has contributed to the discovery or development of nearly 50 drugs now being tested in clinical trials. These drugs could, if successful, save many thousands of lives in the future.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:

6EC and CPF: Robert James (rob@sixthelementcapital.com) or Ian Miscampbell (ian@sixthelementcapital.com)
CRT: Ailsa Stevens (ailsa.stevens@cancer.org.uk, 020 3469 8300 or out-of-hours 07050 264 059)
EIF: Joëlle Harvey (Communications), j.harvey@eif.org or Dr Piyush Unalkat (Principal – Equity Investments), p.unalkat@eif.org

Notes to editors

About BACIT
BACIT Limited is a self-managed closed-ended investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange (Ticker: BACT.L).  Its investment objective is to deliver superior returns from investments in leading long-only and alternative investment funds with proven managers and across multiple asset classes. BACIT makes an annual donation of 1 % of its net asset value to charity, half of which is donated to the ICR and half to the BACIT Foundation, which grants that half (net of the BACIT Foundation’s expenses) to charities in a list proposed annually by the BACIT Foundation (including the ICR) in proportions determined by BACIT’s investors.

About the CRT Pioneer Fund
The CRT Pioneer Fund is a £70m Fund dedicated to investment in oncology development programmes in Europe.  The sweet spot for investment is pre-lead optimisation through to early clinical trials in man.  The Fund is dedicated to asset financing projects emanating from Europe and expects to commit two-thirds of its investment to projects derived from Cancer Research UKs oncology drug discovery portfolio with the remainder being invested in projects from outside Cancer Research UK.

About Sixth Element Capital LLP
Sixth Element Capital is a fund manager, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  The partnership is managed by Dr Robert James, Ian Miscampbell and Ralph Villiger, each of whom is highly experienced in the financing and commercialisation of research and development projects.  Further information can be found on their web site www.sixthelementcapital.com.

About EIF
EIF’s central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium sized enterprises by helping them to access finance.  EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital and guarantees instruments which specifically target this market segment. EIF has a crucial role to play throughout the value chain of enterprise creation, from the earliest stages of intellectual property development to mid and later stages SMEs. EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and regional development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. At end 2013, EIF had committed EUR 7.9bn in over 480 venture and growth capital funds. www.eif.org

About Cancer Research Technology
Cancer Research Technology (CRT) is a specialist commercialisation and development company, which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. CRT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research in the world. Further information about CRT can be found at commercial.cancerresearchuk.org

About Cancer Research UK

 

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.