Wed, Jul 23, 2014 - Page 13 News List

Biotech fund sets NT$10 billion target

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Diamond Biofund Inc (鑽石生技), the nation’s largest investment fund focusing on the biomedical industry, is seeking global investment funds to increase its capital to NT$10 billion (US$333.55 million) from NT$8 billion by the end of this year.

The venture capital firm hopes the extra cash will help it find good investment targets in the biomedical sector, an executive said yesterday at an investment forum in Taipei.

“The energetic biotechnology industry in Taiwan indicates that the nation not only has the ability to make academic breakthroughs, but also to commercialize the results — which surprises foreign investors,” Diamond Biofund vice president Winston Town (湯竣鈞) said at the forum, which was organized with the government-funded Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry (IBMI).

Morgan Stanley Asia, McKinsey and Co, China-based CITIC Private Equity Funds Management Co (中信產業基金) and Credit Suisse Group AG also participated.

“They are all interested in the Taiwanese biotechnology industry and looking for possible investment targets,” IBMI chief executive Allen Wu (吳明發) said.

Established in 2011, Diamond Biofund has invested NT$1.8 billion, mostly in local companies. The market value of the invested firms’ shares that the venture capitalist purchased has increased to about NT$3.4 billion, based on current share prices, Town said.

Microbio Group (中天生技集團) is the fund’s largest investor, while Taishin Financial Holding Co (台新金控), Fubon Financial Holding Co (富邦金控) and Ruentex Industries Ltd (潤泰全球) have shares, he said.

Minister Without Portfolio Chiang Been-huang (蔣丙煌) said the nation has 26 biomedical firms on the Taiwan Stock Exchange and 57 in the over-the-counter GRETAI Securities Market, up from 30 in both two to three years ago.

There are 100 clinical trial projects in the nation, with about half under phase-two and phase-three trials, Chiang said.

The biotechnology industry has replaced the semiconductor and petrochemical industries to be the main target of the National Development Fund, Chiang said, which he said invested about NT$12.5 billion in the biomedical sector, in its NT$30 billion total investment.

Diamond Biofund and IBMI yesterday introduced 11 biomedical companies to investors, such as CHO Pharma Inc (醣基生醫), Crown Bioscience Inc (中美冠科生技), St Shine Optical Co (精華光學), Inno Pharmax Inc (因華生技), Original BioMedicals Co (原創生醫), Swissray Global Healthcare Holding (環瑞醫), Enimmune Corp (安特羅生技), Taiwan Advance Bio-Pharmaceutical Inc (台灣尖端先進), StemCyte Inc (永生生技) and Genomics BioSci & Tech Co (基龍米克斯).

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