Kirkland, QC – Pharmaceutical company Merck has launched a new investment fund, called the Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund. The fund, which is being established in collaboration with Lumira Capital, Teralys Capital and other partners, will support early stage life science innovation in Québec.
“The Merck Lumira Biosciences Fund represents a collaborative approach to research between government, academia and industry that builds upon the strong foundation of innovation in Québec,” said Cyril Schiever, president and managing director of Merck in Canada. “Through this fund, we are committed to supporting Québec-based researchers to help stimulate R&D productivity and early stage innovation in particular.”
The fund will focus on early-stage biotechnology companies with operations in Québec. It is designed to provide capital to fuel innovation as well as attract life science entrepreneurs to the province. The partners say it provides a novel collaboration between a pharmaceutical company, a specialized venture capital firm and a Canadian technology fund of funds as well as other limited partners. Merck invested $35 million to the first closing, which totalled $43 million.
The fund is targeting $50 million upon final closing. Lumira Capital, which has also made an investment commitment to the Fund, will serve as fund manager.
“Building transformational healthcare and life science companies across North America, including in Québec, has been a key part of Lumira’s strategy for many years,” said Daniel Hétu, managing director of Lumira Capital. “We look forward to benefiting from Merck’s guidance and expertise as we look to build innovative Québec companies that generate strong returns for investors.”