9 June 2016
Catapult Ventures appoints Dr David Whitcombe as Venture Partner
Catapult Ventures has announced that Dr David Whitcombe has become a Venture Partner with its new GM&C Life Sciences Fund. Dr Whitcombe, who has worked alongside Catapult and its portfolio companies for a number of years informally, is best known as a co-founder of DxS Diagnostics which was bought by Qiagen for in excess of £100m.
Speaking on the new appointment, Catapult CEO Nick Wright said: “I am delighted to welcome David to Catapult as our first Venture Partner of the GM&C Life Sciences Fund. Catapult has known David for many years as a consultant and non-executive director and we have asked his advice on many occasions. David understands what it takes to grow a successful life science business and our portfolio companies will benefit immensely from his experience and knowledge. Although David is an obvious expert in diagnostics and molecular biology, he has a keen interest in helping young companies across a range of life science disciplines, and he makes a great addition to our Alderley Park team.”
Commenting on his new appointment, Dr Whitcombe said: “I am delighted to be joining Catapult’s GM&C Life Sciences Fund. The Fund is a welcome boost to the local life sciences scene. The ‘overnight success’ of DxS actually took nine years to achieve (and countless business plans!) so I know first-hand how important it is to have experienced knowledgeable venture capital investors to help navigate the ups and downs of establishing and growing a successful life science business.”
David co-founded DxS in 2000 to exploit a personalised medicine technology he had invented while with AstraZeneca Diagnostics. He built the scientific team to consolidate and further develop the technology, set up the testing services and oversaw manufacturing and regulatory processes. He also built relationships with several pharmaceutical companies whose products could be candidates for targeted therapies. Qiagen bought DxS in September 2009 largely due to the success of its cancer diagnostic products.
The GM&C Life Sciences Fund is a specialist seed and early stage venture capital fund targeting life sciences businesses with a presence in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire & Warrington region. The Fund was launched with a first close of around £31m in October 2015 and has completed three investments to date, with a number of deals in progress. It is actively seeking high-potential innovative life sciences companies to invest in.