Taxpayer money to be spent seeking biotech dividends

Peter Martin Dan Foreman

Kent County Council is buying into the world of biotech by securing equity in some of the county’s most cutting edge firms, giving taxpayers a stake in these companies.

The £5million Discovery Park Technology Investment Fund has seen the council invest directly into a range of different firms, such as a £1million cash injection into Centauri Therapeutics, a developer of anti-bacterial drugs.

Money from KCC is invested under the advice of venture capitalist firm NCL, which has offices in Kent and specialises in getting biotech companies from the idea stage to making money.

So far, NCL has advised on the investment of almost half of the fund, which has drawn an additional £6.8million from other backers.

Thanks to the council’s financing, Centauri Therapeutics was able to secure a further £5.3million from investment firm Horizon two weeks later.

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