Uniseed now operating at four of the Group of 8 Universities and CSIRO
Early stage investment in all technology sectors
Uniseed, a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, New South Wales and Queensland, is pleased to announce that the University of Sydney and CSIRO will be joining to launch a new $50 million investment fund to help commercialise ground-breaking research in Australia.
The fund is Uniseed’s third and largest investment fund to date, and follows three high profile exits over the past 14 months.
Alongside existing partners in the Universities of Melbourne, New South Wales and Queensland, the addition of the University of Sydney and CSIRO as contributors to this new fund further validates the innovative approach and success to date which Uniseed has achieved in commercialising Australian research.
Under the new fund, Uniseed will have access to commercial opportunities arising from the research of the fund’s partners and work closely with the commercialisation staff of each organisation. “We want to see research inventions get out there into society and make a difference to people’s lives,” says Uniseed CEO Dr Peter Devine.
The new fund, which will have a 10 year investment horizon, comes as the Australian government seeks to boost the innovation and start-up sectors as growth engines for the economy as it transitions with the end of mining boom.
Recent significant exits for Uniseed include:
- Hatchtech – a company developing a new treatment for human headlice – asset sale to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in September this year in a deal worth $US197 million.
- Spinifex Pharmaceuticals – a pain drug developer – was sold to Novartis in June 2015 in a deal worth a reported $US700 million.
- Fibrotech – a company developing treatments for fibrosis – was acquired by Shire Pharmaceuticals in May 2014 in a deal worth up to $US557 million.
The new fund’s partners collectively account for about $4 billion worth of research conducted each year, representing about 40% of the total research spending at public research organisations in Australia.
“We’re excited about applying this new fund to young companies with great discoveries and
inventions and giving them the best opportunity to fly,” Dr Devine said.
“We think our track record of backing companies with great potential, supporting their growth and
then exiting when they mature will ensure the success of our new fund.”
Uniseed is a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland and New South Wales, with investment capital provided by the three universities and AustralianSuper, a leading industry superannuation fund. Uniseed’s mandate is to facilitate the commercialisation of university-generated intellectual property by targeted investment in highly promising technologies. Uniseed’s investments cover a range of technology sectors. To date, the fund has exited four investments through trade sales; a drug to treat nerve paid (Spinifex Pharmaceuticals acquisition by Novartis for US$200M up-front plus milestone payments); a drug in development to treat fibrosis (Fibrotech Therapeutics sale to Shire plc for US$75M up-front plus milestone payments), an IT security technology (Vintela sale to Quest Software Inc. for US$75M) and a semi-conductor technology (Fultec sale to Bourns Semiconductor Inc) and one investment (Hatchtech) through an asset sale to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Uniseed’s biotechnology portfolio is maturing, with a number of companies in clinical development. Other companies have products on the market (Hydrexia, ProGel, BT Imaging, Smart Sparrow) or are collaborating with leading global companies in their respective fields. For more information, go to