Advent Ventures forms company for pharmaceutical acquisitions

Advent Venture Partners, a European venture capital firm, has formed a new company to acquire speciality pharmaceutical prescription products, headed by former Roche, Elan and Xenova veteran Geoff McMillan.

Advent Venture Partners, a UK-based venture capital firm, has formed Speciality European Pharma, a company focused on acquiring speciality pharmaceutical prescription products.
 
Speciality European Pharma will acquire, develop and market specialist driven therapeutics in Europe and will be headed by chief executive and founder Geoff McMillan.
 
McMillan has over twenty years’ experience of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, having previously been chief executive of Biofocus, a UK drug discovery company, until October 2005 when the business merged with Galapagos, a Dutch biotechnology group.
 
McMillan has also held senior positions at Roche, Elan and Xenova and began his career in marketing and sales at Smith and Nephew. He is a non-executive director of Galapagos, non-executive chairman of Maelor and a consultant to Advent Ventures.
 
As part of the move, Advent Ventures has also appointed Tony Playle on the board of Speciality European Pharma. Playle is a director of Labopharm, a Nasdaq-listed drug delivery company, and a managing director of its wholly-owned European subsidiary. He is also a director of Acpharma, a healthcare consultancy company, and non-executive director of AIM-listed Phoqus Group. Most recently, he was vice president European co-ordination, commercial operations at Aventis.
 
Raj Parekh, general partner at Advent Ventures, said in a statement: “The European market for regulatory approval, marketing and distribution of speciality pharmaceutical products is a complex one. Many useful speciality products are simply not broadly approved or available within Europe today and we see a considerable business opportunity for a company focused on acquiring products in one territory and accelerating their approval and distribution into others.”
 
Founded in 1981, Advent Venture Partners has 14 investment professionals and funds under management of over £500 million (€739 million). The firm closed its fourth fund with €185 million of commitments in 2005.