Hot Investor Mandate 5: Cancer-Focused Foundation Supports Early-Stage Innovations with Grants and Multiple Fund Vehicles

23 Nov

A foundation that focuses on funding for core, academic research in oncology is actively seeking opportunities in the early stage landscape. As one of the leading funders of academic oncology research in the United States, it has funded 60 scientists, generating 57 scientific innovation and invention disclosures, 16 spinoff companies of which 1) five were acquired, 2) one went public, and 3) five licensed their technologies to larger companies – an outstanding track record at the very earliest stages of investment.

The foundation also operates a $25 million fund focused on capitalizing translational opportunities – that is, the commercialization of academic technologies / financing the first round of commercialization. The fund provides funding to early-stage translational companies via $1M – $5M recoverable grants which are essentially structured as convertible notes with 1) no expiration date and 2) no liquidity preference. Such grants do not reflect as debt on the investee’s balance sheet, and are converted to equity at very reasonable terms only in the event the valuation of the company increases about a pre-determined level.

The foundation has also helped to organize, and is a General Partner of a $350 million fund focused on pre-clinical, Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III investments. The foundation expects to execute a first close by June 2018, and a second close by early 2019.

The foundation issues grants primarily within the United States, and via another subsidiary fund throughout Asia. The aforementioned funding vehicles invest primarily within the United States, but have a small allocation for foreign investments.

Sector interests include drugs, medical devices, and novel approaches. The firm is also open to funding technologies designed to accelerate cancer research and drug development, such as novel drug discovery tools or algorithms. By using its 3 funding vehicles, the firm finances projects from the early discovery stage through to Phase III clinical trials. The foundation considers projects in any type of cancer.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

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