o2h Ventures Limited has launched the o2h therapeutics and AI fund which is the first S/EIS fund in the UK solely focused on early stage biotech therapeutics and related AI opportunities. The geographic scope shall be UK wide including Oxford and London but will target the growing Cambridge biotech cluster. The Fund is structured to be S/EIS compliant providing tax breaks for UK taxpayers.
The biotech sector is one of the leading sectors in the UK economy. The large pharma companies now rely on the small innovative biotech companies for new ideas in disease areas such as cancer, genomics, anti-ageing and neurosciences amongst others which has led to higher potential exit valuations. The Fund will widen the community of investors that will help expand early stage research in the UK.
The o2h group team are leaders in the biotech community and have been actively involved as investors, holding various board/industry positions as well as being engaged in grassroots scientific activity for over 20 years. o2h group operate from their proprietary 2.7 acre Mill SciTech Park where they are developing a unique model for incubating small life science companies.
Key Personnel Or Fund Manager
Sunil Shah, CEO of o2h ventures, manages the fund alongside brother Prashant Shah. Both have been working in the biotech/pharma space most of their careers and have invested personally in around 20 biotech companies, mainly in the Cambridge area. Sunil Shah, Fund Manager 48 GB Investment Yearbook · March 2020 Sunil Shah is a serial entrepreneur having begun his career in the Life Sciences team at PA Consulting group followed by co-founding two companies in the information technology and life sciences sector. The second of these companies, Oxygen Healthcare Ltd was acquired by Piramal Enterprises Ltd (BSE: PEL). Sunil has exited investments with ~10X returns in Acacia Pharma and Privitar.
Sunil was awarded Angel of the Year 2019 by UKBAA and the Oxford Biotechnology Network Special Recognition Award for his active participation in backing high growth potential startups and early-stage businesses in the UK. He is a Board Director of Cambridge Angels, the Biotech Industry Association and also is a member of the Advisory Panel of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) which is the UK’s largest cancer research charity.
The investment focus of the Fund will be therapeutic drug opportunities or technologies that enable drug discovery with an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The geographic scope shall be UK wide but will target the growing Cambridge biotech cluster which is now the global headquarters of AstraZeneca, and is home to many biotech companies some of which have subsequently been snapped up by large pharmaceutical companies.
One of the first investments made by the Fund in 2018, Exonate Ltd (Nottingham University spinout), has recently signed a collaboration with the world’s largest pharma Johnson & Johnson to develop a new eye drop for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular oedema (DMO). Although the numbers of the deal are not disclosed, they do reflect the disruptive nature of the Exonate technology. It is a significant deal and demonstrates the fund hypothesis to invest into the best science in the UK and develop with a view to collaborate with big pharma. Sunil was the first investor in the business and Chairman of the Board.
• Engaged in grassroots scientific activity for over 20 years mainly in Cambridge, UK.
• Built an ecosystem in UK and India to support early stage biotech companies.
• Previously exited entrepreneurs; when engaging with academics and early stage businesses, we believe being entrepreneurs gives us an advantage of traditional fund manager.
• Large network in biotech industry and therefore earlier access to best science/companies.
• In-house developed On-boarding and Portfolio Management technology Key Services And Funds
• We have single S/EIS fund focused on Biotech Therapeutics and AI.