London, UK – ALSA Ventures today announced first closing of its European biotechnology investment fund with commitments of US$59M. Established in 2019 by Alek Safarian, founder and ex-CEO of clinical CRO Novotech, the ALSA team has already made three European biotech investments which will now become portfolio companies in ALSA Ventures.
The fund is targeting raising $150M in total, and has seen strong support from strategic investors.
“We see tremendous opportunity across the European biotech space. Our London based team comes with a great deal of industry experience, and we aim to leverage this where possible, by helping preclinical biotechs accelerate their R&D into the clinic,” said Safarian. This industry background is further exemplified by the firm’s Chief Investment Officer, Dr Graeme Martin, who was previously CEO of Takeda Ventures, Inc. based in Palo Alto.
To date, the ALSA team has invested in UK based companies Epsilogen Ltd and Oxford Biotherapeutics, as well as the Belgian startup Montis Biosciences.
Safarian further commented that the focus of the fund is novel therapeutics. “We’re agnostic to modality or therapeutic area, but are targeting genuine breakthrough potential from discovery stage to late preclinical development."
June 14, 2021