March 26, 2018

Bringing new drugs and medical devices to patients

NOVO VENTURES | The profitable sale of 14 companies made 2017 a good year for Novo Ventures. Investments in 12 new companies during the year will pave the way for future profitable exits. Novo Ventures expects to invest even more in the coming years.

In 2017, Novo Ventures sold its stakes in 14 companies and earned DKK 4.1 billion and invested DKK 1.7 billion in 12 new companies. For a business based on buying and selling biotech and medtech companies, these transactions are the keys to success.

“In 2017, we had high transaction activity, and our divestments were profitable in most cases. 2017 was one of our best years,” explains Thomas Dyrberg, Managing Partner, Novo Ventures, adding:

“We look for high-quality research that addresses unmet medical needs, and we work with the company to make it successful and eventually profitable. We typically serve on the boards of these companies and bring both capital and experience.”

A series of healthy exits

CoLucid Pharmaceuticals is one of the companies Novo Ventures sold in 2017. As an unlisted company, it purchased the rights to a drug to treat migraine from a major pharmaceutical company to continue developing the drug and eventually went public though an IPO in 2015. Based on positive Phase 3 data, the company was sold to the same pharmaceutical company from which the compound drug originated.

Spectranetics is a medtech company Novo Ventures had invested in based on expecting that a new product for treating peripheral vascular ischaemia would pave the way to a successful sale. Based on positive data for the new product, Philips acquired the company in 2017.

“It is important for us that our strong performance in 2017 did not result from one single sale. We have had a series of good exits that add up,” said Thomas Dyrberg.

Novo Ventures analyses 600–800 companies each year and typically invests in 10–12 of them. The level of investment is expected to remain high in the coming years at about DKK 2–3 billion per year.

Novo Ventures invests in early-stage life science companies, including in biotech companies developing novel important medicines addressing unmet medical needs, and in medtech companies in their early commercial stage.

At the end of 2017, Novo Ventures had a total book value of DKK 4.4 billion compared with DKK 5.9 billion on 1 January 2017.