Montreal’s CTI Life Sciences is announcing the first portion of its new fund, the third in the firm’s history. At the moment, $100 million has been raised, but CTI’s Managing Partner, Youssef Bennani, told MTLinTECH that the target of the fund will be $175 million to $200 million.
The new fund includes cash from CTI’s existing investors, including the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Investissement Québec (IQ) and Teralys Capital. Meanwhile, BDC Capital’s Fund Investments team is also joining in the first close of CTI LSF III alongside existing LPs.
Bennani told MTLinTECH that CTI will invest in new companies to more advanced clinical stage organizations, mostly in biotherapeutics, medical technologies and healthcare IT. Each investment will come out to between $5 million and $15 million per round.
It also said it will invest two thirds of the fund in Canadian companies with the remaining funds allocated to companies in the U.S. and Europe.
“Never has the life sciences industry been more critical to the health of both people and economies around the world; and as a result, we are seeing a real renaissance in investments in the space,” said Bennani.
Some of CTI’s successful portfolio companies include Enobia Pharma, Zymeworks and GlyPharma.
Life sciences has earned more popularity and activity over the past year, likely a result of the pandemic and how it has changed priorities. In fact, Canadian life sciences companies raised $1.1 billion in venture capital spread over 89 deals in 2020.
Evidently for Bennani and company, now is the time to pour fuel on the fire for Canadian life sciences companies.
“Health matters are even more important post-COVID, we have untapped talent in Canada and valuations are lower than the US,” Bennani told us. “
“We believe that collectively, with other VC groups in Canada or elsewhere, we have a grand opportunity to revive the biotechnology and health sectors to a better outcome. If you can imagine how one virus put a halt into the world, imagine how much healthy individuals can advance our societies. We aim to contribute to better health outcomes.”
CTI Life Sciences Fund L.P. was created in 2006. The firm makes venture capital investments mostly in innovative high-quality biotech companies at the pre-clinical and clinical development stages, in North America, and primarily in Canada. It now manages $345 million of assets as a result of the new close of the third fund.