AmorChem launches $44.2 million seed-stage biotech investment fund


It’s a good day for Quebec’s biotech industry.

Today AmorChem launched a seed-stage biotechnology investment fund, AmorChem II, at an initial capitalization of $44.2 million. That brings the total amount under management to $86 million.

The fund secured commitments from the Québec government, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck and other limited partners.

AmorChem invests in promising life sciences projects originating in Quebec universities and research centres and helps build them into startups able to attract investors and pharmaceutical partners.

The VC firm separately funded both Corbin Therapeutics and SemaThera to the tune of $1 million seed cash each.

READ ALSO: Life science VC firm Amorchem spins out two new startups

Corbin is a drug discovery platform that identifies and develops novel “USP15 inhibitors” for treatment of inflammation diseases such as multiple sclerosis. SemaThera is a Montréal biotechnology company focused on the development of novel “SEMA 3A TRAP” inhibitors for the treatment of ocular diseases such as diabetic macular edema.

“We appreciate the support shown to us by our Limited Partners since the early days of AmorChem I. The closing of the second AmorChem fund is the validation of the quality of the work that is being done by our team,” said Elizabeth Douville, PhD, founder and managing partner.

“We look forward to collaborating with our academic partners in order to build a portfolio of new opportunities,” added Inès Holzbaur, PhD, founder and managing partner.

Elizabeth Douville and Inès Holzbaur are leading AmorChem II’s team, composed of seasoned venture capital and lifescience professionals. The two founding partners have been involved in life sciences investing since the late 1990s, through their involvement in the GeneChem funds, and together, they established the first AmorChem fund. With the launch of AmorChem II, they will also welcome Maxime Ranger, PhD, MBA, a seasoned biotechnology entrepreneur, as a General Partner.

“Access to funding is a critical issue for innovating life sciences start-ups. Our government is proud to participate in the establishment of the AmorChem II fund, a financial tool which will certainly contribute to these companies’ growth and to the actualization of important projects originating from Québec-based universities and research centres. Furthermore, this new fund meets one of the objectives of the Québec 2017-2027 Lifescience Strategy, which aims to promote the creation and the development of innovating life sciences companies, while reinforcing certain critical phases in the funding of these companies,” said Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy.

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