Found in translation

Venture backing and infrastructure give Europe's biotech sector a chance to grow

With almost $1 billion in new venture funds in the last year and a half aimed at academic research, Europe is showing signs of a dedicated effort among investors and universities alike to tap into the translational science stemming from its research organizations.

The bulk of that sum comes from U.K.-based funds, reflecting a recent push by the U.K. government, investors and academics to advance the country's biotech ecosystem by promoting the commercialization of its breakthrough research (see Cover Story).

In 2015, more than $500 million in new seed money for academic science was announced, the majority of which was accounted for by the £320 million ($459 million) put into Oxford Sciences Innovation plc, representing the highest amount raised for an academic fund in the last five years. With the exception of 2013, venture funds dedicated to academic science have continued to rise since 2011 (see "<div>Figure: Academic enthusiasm</div>").

The U.K. has dominated the scene, accounting for 8 of the 14 new funds closed since 2011 totaling £782.5 million ($1.1 billion). That included the previous leader of the pack, the £200 million ($287 million) Syncona Partners LLP investment company set

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