Syncona Partners' first deal is an example of exactly what The Wellcome Trust said its new venture fund would do - exploit its freedom from traditional VC time horizons to invest in early stage companies.

The investment is an undisclosed seed round in Cambridge Epigenetix Ltd., a diagnostics spinout from the University of Cambridge. The newco will develop kits to sequence and distinguish between methylated and hydroxymethylated base pairs at single-base resolution.