By Mike Ward
Editor, Europe

OXFORD - Chris Evans, chairman of Merlin Ventures Ltd., is planning to raise a new £60-£100 million ($100-$160 million) fund to plug an equity gap that he believes threatens the sustainability of Europe's burgeoning life sciences sector. While a whole raft of seed and venture schemes, many with government backing, has provided funds for start-up European life science companies in the past few years, Evans warns that it is no longer clear where these companies will get the subsequent finance to develop into sustainable businesses.