Capital Ideas: Pharma and Biotech Continue to Draw SWF Investment, 2020 Data Show

by: Mary Menzemer

Sovereign wealth funds were active investors in the technology and life sciences sectors between July 2019 – September 2020 with 25% and 17.6% of total deal volume going to each sector respectively according to The Sovereign Wealth Funds 2020 Report. In total, there were 11 deals made in pharma and 10 deals made in biotech.

One of the most notable deals was Temasek’s lead in a June 2020 round of $250 million in BioNTech, the German biotechnology company aimed at funding accelerated vaccine development.  In July 2020, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) invested in German biotechnology company CureVac, known for developing vaccines and antibodies for infectious diseases. Mubadala also invested $235 million into German biotechnology company Evotec SE, which specializes in drug discovery and development.

The pharmaceuticals sector, on the other hand, is an expanding industry for both China and Russia. The Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) was established in 2012 by the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the China Investment Corporation (CIC). In October 2019, the RCIF and several Middle Eastern funds coordinated the launch of Alium Pharmaceutical Holding, the end result of a merger between Binnopharm and OBL Pharm. With a product portfolio of over 200 pharmaceuticals, the holding has emerged as one of Russia’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

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