The European Investment Bank, which usually provides loans for major infrastructure projects, has taken its first punt in a fully fledged life sciences fund. EIB announced on Friday that it is committing up to E50 million ($53.5 million) in two tranches to the Merlin Biosciences Fund.

The bank, funded by European Union state governments, has made funds available in two tranches; the first E37.5 million was conditional on the fund meeting its first closing target of E112.5 million. The final E12.5 million installment will be invested once the fund has raised a total of E187.5 million ($200.5 million). Merlin also has attracted E39 million from West LB, and money from 17 other undisclosed European investors.