SWEDEN- Sweden’s sixth AP fund and Danske Bank are launching a new SEK2bn (e220m) life sciences fund aimed at the Nordic Region. Scandinavian Life Science Venture (SLSV), as the fund will be known, will bring together AP 6 and Danske’s existing life science projects.

The pair first collaborated in 1999 with the launch of Medicon Valley Capital (MVC), a life science scheme now managing Sek700m. AP 6’s own unit, run by Lars Ingelmark, will be incorporated by the new venture whose portfolio will contain 25 companies at the outset.

SLSV will invest in small and medium-sized pharmaceutical development, biotech and medical technology companies. Operating out of offices in Copenhagen, Lund and Gothenburg, it will target the entire Nordic region

Novo, Denmark’s largest pharmaceutical company, and Sparbanken Finn, a local savings bank, were original minority investors in Medicon Valley Capital (MVC) and automatically become investors in the new fund.

At Sek2bn, it is one of Scandinavia’s largest investment funds in the life science sector.

As for the new venture's structure, Ingelmark becomes chairman while Jan Sundqvist, senior manager of AP 6’s life science unit, becomes chief executive. Henrik Lawaetz, managing director of MVC, is a founding partner and will be responsible for investments in the Oresund region, Sweden’s biotech equivalent of silicon valley.

Lawaetz says activities in the Oresund region are still expanding. “Since a corresponding level of activity can also be seen around several other research centres for biomedicine and medical technology, the initiative has come at precisely the right time.”

Says Ingelmark: “in recent years, the life science sector has provided a higher return than the market average and taking advantage of this and initiating new forms for further development of the industry are in the interest of both us and our principals.”