The Medical Research Council this week became the first of the UK research councils to launch a venture capital fund to help commercialise basic research. The UK Medical Ventures Fund, which has so far raised Pounds 30 million, will establish and invest in new and recentlyformed companies to exploit biotechnologies resulting mostly from MRC fundamental research.
It will have exclusive rights for six months to review and select biotechnology for commercialisation. The fund, which is seeking up to Pounds 40 million, will be led by Stephen Reeders, a physician with research and investment experience. Investors so far include a small group of international pharmaceutical companies and UK financial institutions, with the largest single commitment, Pounds 11 million, received from investment capital group 3i.