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Jan 14, 2013
 |  BioCentury  |  Finance

Evergreen seedlings

Wellcome Trust's evergreen Syncona life science fund can stretch VC timeline

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.

Syncona launched this month with £200 million ($323.3 million). When Wellcome announced the evergreen fund last March, the foundation said the fund would be a long-term investor in early and late stage companies (see BioCentury, March 26, 2012).

Without the constraints of a finite investment horizon, Syncona partner Chris Hollowood said the fund can start new companies with "the optimal business model and structure the financing around it, rather than do the reverse of structuring the business model around what the financing will allow you to do."

Syncona will invest in diagnostics, therapeutics, medtech, healthcare services and healthcare...

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