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Endeavour Capital invests in WaikatoLink biotech

Endeavour Capital invests in WaikatoLink biotech technologies

HAMILTON, Wednesday 9 April, 2008 - Endeavour Capital, one of New Zealand’s leading venture capital firms, has invested into four biotech pre-seed technologies from The University of Waikato. The technologies cover medical devices, bio-plastics from animal waste, high value digestion processes and very advanced antibody-like compounds for treating a wide range of human diseases.

The investment was matched by WaikatoLink, The University of Waikato’s commercial arm.

WaikatoLink’s chief executive Mark Stuart says, “It is fantastic to gain such significant early stage investment for these high growth potential technologies. Biotech represents a huge opportunity for New Zealand. The key is to be able to commercialise publicly funded research by bridging the funding gap.”

“The Endeavour Capital investment will help each of these newly formed stand-alone commercial entities work towards key milestones relatively rapidly. The aim is to transform technologies into products with global application that have the potential to succeed in international markets”.

Endeavour Capital’s Neville Jordan, said he has been impressed not only by WaikatoLink’s technology strengths but also by their track record in commercialising technologies.

“This is the third investment Endeavour has made with WaikatoLink. We invested in WaikatoLink spin off Ectus, a software developer, in 2004 and we had a very successful exit in October 2005. We also invested in ZyGEM a rapidly growing biotechnology company with innovative enzyme-based products and technologies.”

“Our earlier and trusted relationship allowed a rapid convergence towards mutually agreed terms and conditions. We have a good understanding of one another’s respective goals and values. We look forward to committing our resources, both financial and commercial, to help these exciting new ventures.”

Mark Stuart from WaikatoLink says “This investment and previous investments by Endeavour show how science and technology being developed at The University of Waikato - with the assistance of early stage funding - can be spun out into the commercial world with benefits to all.”

ENDS


About Endeavour Capital
Endeavour Capital is a leading New Zealand venture capital company, investing into New Zealand science and technology. Established in 1999, Endeavour Capital has a focus on developing globally competitive companies based on science and technology innovations. To date Endeavour has made investments across biotechnology, software and medical sectors. The Endeavour Capital Management Team is comprised of experienced entrepreneurs, each having key involvement in building and exiting at least one significant company in New Zealand or USA. Their model is to provide portfolio companies with significant operational, commercial and technical resources, complemented with capital. In order to assist with international growth plans, the Endeavour Capital managers form a partnership with the founders and key staff to maximize a company's worldwide opportunities.

www.ecap.co.nz


About WaikatoLink
WaikatoLink Limited is a world class technology development and investment company, with a strong track record in translating research outcomes into commercial technologies. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Waikato, it achieves this by identifying, managing and commercialising the University’s intellectual property. WaikatoLink works closely with industry, investors and researchers to identify and develop market opportunities for new technologies, and plays a key role in University knowledge transfer for economic transformation. Since its establishment in 2002, WaikatoLink has completed numerous licensing deals and established more than 12 start-up companies and joint ventures, which have collectively created more than 138 full-time equivalent jobs and achieved market capitalisation nearing NZ$200 million. Three of its start-ups have already been successfully exited. WaikatoLink’s impressive performance is reflected in its Top 3% rating when benchmarked against US university technology transfer offices (AUTM survey data).
www.waikatolink.co.nz

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