U.S. venture capital can be a good source of funds for Canadian life sciences companies, says Cheryl Reicin in Law Times

Lawyers, U.S. Firms Filling Canada's Biotech Void

June 14, 2010

According to BIOTECanada, a national non-profit association dedicated to building the bio-based economy, the country is home to 668 core biotechnology firms, the second-highest such concentration in the world.

After considering the application of biotechnology to traditional industries, the sector accounts for 6.4% of the country's GDP.

Domestic life sciences venture capital activity fell by 41% in 2009 to just C$215 million, invested through 39 transactions. That’s where lawyers come in.

"The added value our life sciences group brings to clients is an industry expertise that allows us to help them structure and strategize in a way that makes them attractive to investors," says Cheryl Reicin.

Cheryl, who spent two decades practising in the United States before moving to Torys in 2005, believes U.S. venture capital groups can be a good source of funds for Canadian life sciences companies. She points to the interest displayed by her client, OrbiMed Healthcare Fund Management, Canada's life sciences sector. The company, with more than US$7 billion in assets, has made its single-largest life sciences venture capital investment in Montreal-based Enobia Pharma Inc., which develops therapies to treat serious genetic bone disorders.

"OrbiMed is considered a thought leader in life sciences investing, so when they invest, other venture capitalists are likely to follow," says Cheryl.

Read the full article here.

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