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Nextech Venture closes world’s first oncology-focused fund – sees second exit

25 September 2008 - Zurich, Switzerland

Nextech Venture, a Swiss-based private equity firm operating in the life sciences space, recently announced the closing of its third fund, the worldís first cancer-focused investment fund, and is pleased to announce the exit of the fundís second investment. The USD 65 million fund aims to capitalize on the rapidly expanding cancer marketplace and the increasing demand for new and innovative cancer therapies. The fundís investment model is designed to deliver fast exits with quick distributions to its investors. Risks are mitigated by a well-defined and disciplined due diligence process developed by Nextech Venture management and the fundís Scientific Advisory Board.

Launched in November 2006, Nextech Ventureís oncology-focused fund has made four investments to date. The fundís first investment, Agensys, Inc. (USA), was acquired in December 2007 by Astellas (Japan), for USD 537 million. The fundís second investment, Ganymed Pharmaceuticals AG (Germany), was acquired last month by ATS (Germany). Both exits have delivered significant returns to Nextech Venture investors. The fundís two recently invested portfolio companies include Telormedix SA (Switzerland) and MacroGenics, Inc. (USA). Nextech Venture led the USD 25 million financing round of MacroGenics, Inc. The fund is presently performing due diligence on several additional investment opportunities in the cancer space.

Cancer is a huge and mounting medical problem worldwide. With over 200 types of cancers and no effective, life-saving drugs, the cancer burden is expected to increase by more than 50% in the next 20 years. At the same time, cancer research has entered an explosive phase, delivering an emergent pipeline of new and validated cancer drug targets. With more than 300 companies around the world active in oncology, cancer drug development is expected to become a $55 billion market by 2010 with a CAGR of more than 13%. It is anticipated the cancer market will deliver 50 new products within 5 years and 10 blockbusters within 10 years. New companies continue to enter the market at an unprecedented pace.

Nextech Venture was founded in 1999 and currently manages three funds, including its new cancer fund. Its management team brings to bear more than 40 years experience in pharma and more than 50 years experience in the investment services industry. The firm is led by its founder and CEO Alfred Scheidegger. Myoung-Ok Kwon is a partner and Rudolf Gygax, formerly managing director of Novartis Venture Fund, recently joined the firm as venture partner. In addition, the firmís oncology fund is supported by a Scientific Advisory Board comprising five of the worldís most identifiable cancer experts, including: David Livingston (Chair), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School; Karl-Heinz Altmann, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH); William Kaelin, Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Harvard Medical School; Sir Bruce A. J. Ponder, Cambridge University (Hutchison) Cancer Research UK Institute; and Paul Workman, Cancer Research UK Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, The Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, UK.

Contact: Dr. Alfred Scheidegger, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Nextech Venture, Ltd.,
Scheuchzerstrasse 35, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 (0)44 366 66 12, Fax: + 41 (0)443 366 66 10,,

Publisher Contact Information:

Nextech Venture
+41 (0)44 366 66 12

Company profile of Nextech Venture
Past press releases of Nextech Venture.


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