13 September 2007
Ysios Capital Partners Starts Registration as an Independent Biotech Venture Capital Firm in Spain
Ysios Capital Partners will be raising EUR 65 million for their first fund, Ysios BioFund I, the largest biotechnology venture capital fund ever launched in Spain.
Ysios Capital Partners has an experienced and dedicated hands‐on team whose members have proven individual track records and bring a wealth of industry‐specific experience and knowledge in finance, venture capital and Science.
Headquartered in Barcelona, Ysios envisions investments of EUR 500,000 to 4 million in companies seeking first‐round funding, later‐stage enterprises and pharmaceutical spin‐offs.
Barcelona, 13 September 2007 – Ysios Capital Partners has begun the process of registration with the Spanish Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) as an independent venture capital firm. As soon as we receive CNMV authorization, we will promptly close Ysios BioFund I, our first fund, with a target size of EUR 65 million. Ysios’s investment strategy allows for investments in projects ranging from early‐stage companies looking for first‐round funding through to later‐stage or pharmaceutical spin‐off companies. Our investments will target companies focusing on product development in the biotechnology, emerging pharmaceuticals, healthcare and medical technology sectors.
Our team includes experienced professionals with extensive and complementary expertise in investing and building healthcare and biotechnology companies. Our Managing Partner, Joël Jean‐Mairet, was co‐founder and CEO of GLYCART Biotechnology AG (Zurich, Switzerland) from 2001 to 2005. He was the architect of the GLYCART‐Roche transaction named by European Venture Capital as “Venture Deal of the Year” (2005) in the healthcare field. Cristina Garmendia is President and CEO of the Genetrix Group and President of the Spanish Association of Biotechnology Companies (ASEBIO). Julia Salaverría comes from Talde, where she was Director of Funds. A fourth Partner with experience in the financial and healthcare sectors will join the management company in October.
Ysios has its headquarters in Barcelona. We plan to make investments of 500,000 to 4 million euros in projects involving the development of innovative human healthcare products in Spain. However, we may invest up to 30% of the fund size outside Spain. We will always set aside resources for follow‐on investments in our companies.
Joël Jean‐Mairet, CEO, maintains that
“the principal assets of Ysios are specialization in biotechnology, the operational and financial experience of our Partners, and the vision and know‐how that will enable us to create the largest independent biotechnological venture capital fund in Spain. We aim to create value by providing talented entrepreneurs with the resources and tools to achieve success in transforming intellectual capital and scientific knowledge into successful companies”.
Spain’s biotechnology industry has grown by 350% in the last four years and the number of biotech firms has doubled since 2001. Seasoned, highly qualified scientific human capital has nurtured this growth. In 2006, Spain was second only to China in new patent applications, with an increase of 30%. As this trend toward developing a robust biotechnology industry continues to mature, biotechnology is expected to significantly enhance economic innovation and overall competitiveness in Spain.
“Conditions are favorable for nurturing the full cycle of generation, development and consolidation of biotechnology firms over years, which makes Spain a singular opportunity for venture capitalists in the sector”, adds Jean‐Mairet.
“The central government and many regional executives of Spain are committed to developing a fertile environment for innovation. Scientific and technological parks are being aggressively funded and a growing number of qualified professionals and business initiatives are well on the way to reaching critical mass. Specialised venture capital funds are a necessary catalyst for targeting investment opportunities for the financial sector”, comments Cristina Garmendia, Partner of Ysios and President of the Spanish Association of Biotechnology companies in Spain.
Ysios will generally take a board seat in the companies where it invests and it shall actively support the management team in developing strategic plans, setting operating priorities and articulating possible exit scenarios. Ysios usually will seek to exit from its investments via an initial public offering, merger or acquisition within a maximum of 4 to 6 years.
INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY AND CRITERIA
Ysios team members are professionals with expertise in investments and building healthcare and biotechnology companies from the ground up. We generate our own deal flow arising from personal initiative and a solid network in both the public and private sectors. We are supported by scientists and business analysts, as well as a widespread web of relationships in the academic, financial and healthcare/biotechnology communities in Spain and Europe.
Ysios Capital Partners will have a diversified investment portfolio that will aim to balance risk and enhance liquidity against the stage of investment—from seed capital to pre‐IPO—and investing in various subsectors with different time‐to‐market horizons, capital needs and riskto‐return ratios.
When evaluating investment projects, Ysios will weigh the track record of the management team, the product pipeline, and the company’s business plan, ability to follow through, and intellectual property position.
When we decide to invest in a company in Spain, we will typically play the lead or co‐lead investor role in structuring the transaction, always syndicating with other venture capital firms. In major financing operations, especially in circumstances where we can leverage on our national networks, we will seek to invest in international syndicates with other dedicated Life Sciences and Healthcare investors that share with our vision and commitment to the business.
From the evaluation of late‐stage preclinical or early‐stage clinical trials to the financial and legal assessment of licensing agreements, the exceptional management team of Ysios Capital Partners brings a wealth of industry‐specific experience and knowledge.
Joël oversees all operations at Ysios Capital Partners, including management, strategy and standard operations.
Joël co‐founded GLYCART Biotechnology AG (Zürich, Switzerland) in March 2001 and was Chief Executive since inception. He raised €15 million in three rounds of financing for GLYCART before the company was sold to F.Hoffmann–La Roche Ltd in July 2005. As CEO of GLYCART, he led all the fund‐raising efforts, established a pan‐European investment syndicate with leading venture capital firms and structured, negotiated and executed several key in‐ and out‐licensing agreements with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and key technology transfer agreements.
Joël holds a master’s degree in Biochemistry, specializing in Biotechnology, and a doctorate in the fields of cell biology and immunotherapeutics, both from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. He was elected one of the 50 key players in biotechnology in Switzerland in 2003 and earned several innovation awards for GLYCART, including the Wall Street Journal Europe Innovation Award in 2001. The GLYCART‐Roche transaction was lauded by European Venture Capital magazine as the “Venture Deal of the Year” (2005) in the Healthcare category.
Cristina shall contribute to the generation of investment opportunities throughout Spain. She will join the company’s operations in the future.
Cristina has more than 15 years of management experience. From 1989 to 2001 she held different positions in the business development area of Grupo Amasua. Before leaving Grupo Amasua, she was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial officer. In 2002, Cristina cofounded the Genetrix Group. Since its inception, she has been President of Genetrix and is a board member of subsidiaries of the Group, including Cellerix, Biotherapix, Sensia, Imbiosis, Biobide, BioAlma, Coretherapix and Fenix Biotech. After completing her PhD in 1989 at Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) under the supervision of Dr. Margarita Salas, Cristina completed the Executive MBA program at IESE (Universidad de Navarra).
Cristina is a member of the Board of Directors of Everis, President of the Inbiomed Foundation, a non‐profit research center focused on technology transfer and research services in the field of regenerative medicine, and is a member of the Advisory Committee of Barcelona’s Blood and Tissue Bank. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Epidermolysis Bullosa Patient Association.
Her support for innovation and the example set by her own projects was recognized in 2006 by the “Fermín de la Sierra” Award of the Industrial Organization School (EOI) of the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Her interest in the biopharmaceutical sector has encouraged her to promote and participate in various initiatives aiming at stimulating and improving the creation of biotechnology‐related companies. She is a member of Bankinter’s Innovation Foundation trust, forms part of the CEOE’s (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations) Board of Directors and is a Representative Counsellor of innovative companies at the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science. She is also a member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Observatory (OCiT, attached to the Spanish Presidency), member of Genoma España’s Business Committee and President of the Association of Spanish Biotechnology Companies (ASEBIO).
Julia is in charge of financial and legal due diligence activities and negotiation of term sheets and investment agreements.
Julia has over 17 years’ experience in executive positions in the financial sector. From 2000 to date, she was Director of Funds in Talde, the venture capital group that pioneered venture capital management in Spain, with EUR 140 million under management and 40 portfolio companies. As a member of the Board and the Investment Committee of Talde, she was responsible for fund‐raising and investor relations. She led the team that closed a EUR 40 million fund in 2000, and in 2006 she was responsible for raising another Talde fund of EUR 60 million. Julia was responsible for the biotechnology investments of the group and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the Spanish biotech landscape. Within Talde, she was in charge of looking for investment opportunities in the Spanish biotech sector. She has been a pro‐active board member of 15 portfolio companies, including several biotech companies.
Prior to joining Talde, Julia was Principal Economist of the Research Department of the Bank of Spain. She has long experience as a high‐level committee member in the European Commission, European Central Bank and OCDE.
Julia holds a degree in Economics from the University of Madrid, an MBA from Deusto University and a Senior Management Program (PADE) degree from IESE (Universidad de Navarra).