Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund has invested in a life sciences company in a commitment that will see the creation of a research centre and 150 local jobs.
The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund’s (ISIF) investment in Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI) alongside ARCH Venture Partners, Polaris Partners and GV – worth a total of €40m – was hailed as an “exciting endeavour” by Enda Kenny, Ireland’s Taoiseach, or prime minister.
“When the government established the ISIF,” Kenny added, “we wanted to encourage new investment and job creation across Ireland in ground-breaking new sectors such as next-generation healthcare solutions.”
The ISIF’s head of innovation, Paul Kenny, said the fund looked forward to developing the year-old company into one of international significance and boosting Ireland’s place in developing healthcare solutions.
“GMI has the potential to play a significant role, in collaboration with the Irish healthcare system, in the identification of transformative treatments for a range of diseases that have eluded effective treatment to date,” he said.
The research and development centre funded by the ISIF-backed investment will help GMI examine the human genome and develop cures for rare diseases, the company said.
The stake in GMI is not the ISIF’s first exposure to the healthcare sector.
It has also invested in Centric Health, a provider of diagnostic imaging, and 3D4 Medical, which develops medical and fitness apps.
The €8bn sovereign fund has a double bottom line, aiming for both financial returns and stimulating Ireland’s economic growth.