Quebec’s Charest administration has reportedly launched the third of three new venture capital funds to provide more than $41 million for investment in biotechnology research. Following a new funding model, AmorChem will, according to manager Louis Lacasse, invest “in technologies, rather than companies, in order to avoid investing in expensive infrastructure and having to hire managers. We’ll fund them to the point when they can be tested on animals or humans, and then we’ll sell it, or license it to a pharmaceutical company.”
Lacasse has indicated that the projects will involve shared research facilities, and new companies will be created by pooling promising and related projects. “For example, if we have four different molecules that can be used to treat migraines, then we could put together a migraine company, so that if one fails, you have the others to work on. It diminishes the risk.”
Funded with both public and private money, AmorChem is viewed as an innovative approach to boost the province’s venture capital industry and is expected to provide a benefit for Quebec’s universities as well. Other funds recently established are investing in high-tech startups and the clean-tech sector. See The (Montreal) Gazette, February 19, 2011.