Esprit Capital Partners, a European technology venture capital firms, has appointed Peter Keen, Merlin Biosciences’s co-founder as a partner.
Keen, who left Merlin 2004, will be responsible for the Esprit’s financial and fund raising activity, and will support its investment activity, particularly in the healthcare sector.
Keen co-founded the life sciences venture capital firm Merlin Biosciences in 1996, where he was UK managing director until early 2003.
More recently, he was chief financial officer of Arakis, a subsidiary of Sosei, a Japanese bio-pharmaceutical company, where he led a refinancing and successful £106 million trade sale, having been responsible at Merlin in 2000 for the original seed investment.
Keen is a director of Ark Therapeutics Group, a healthcare group, which focuses on cancer therapy; Abcam, an antibodies supplier; and the Finsbury Emerging Biotechnology Trust; an investor in biotechnology companies. He is also an advisor to Imperial Innovations Group, the technology transfer arm of Imperial College London.
Yesterday Esprit backed Lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman in an $11 million funding of Where Are You Now?, a travel and lifestyle social network.
Esprit Capital Partners was created by the merger of the Prelude Ventures and Cazenove Private Equity teams in June 2006. The firm has $500 million of assets under management.