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Ex-CRO boss scores veteran VCs and $59M for his Euro-focused fund

September 22, 2020

Having worked with hundreds of biotechs as a clinical trial service provider, Novotech founder Alek Safarian is pivoting to a new career in venture capital.

His firm, ALSA Ventures, has raised $59 million for the first close of a Europe-focused fund. The final target? $150 million.

With the exception of chief investment officer Graeme Martin, the ALSA team is based in London, scouting discovery stage to late preclinical startups that could use their help speeding up a move into the clinic. Martin, the former CEO of Takeda Ventures, is based in Palo Alto.

So far they have already backed three companies: UK based Epsilogen and Oxford Biotherapeutics, as well as the Belgian startup Montis Biosciences. All are tackling cancer from different angles.

That said, “we’re agnostic to modality or therapeutic area,” Safarian noted in a statement.