Desjardins Venture Capital and BioScience Managers Limited: Major Global Partnership targets international networks for Quebec Life Science Industry

    MONTREAL, March 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Venture Capital, a
subsidiary of Desjardins Group, announced today it has appointed BioScience
Managers Limited (BML), through BML's Canadian office, to manage a portion of
its life science portfolio. BML is an international private equity firm
specializing in the life science sector. The partnership involves 8 companies
in the Desjardins Venture Capital portfolio which are primarily focused on the
development of pharmaceutical products. In addition, Desjardins has also
earmarked a significant amount of capital for BML to invest in the portfolio
companies to support their continued development and success.
    The life sciences industry has evolved dramatically over the last few
years. Financing is a primary concern, but access to an international network
and strategic partners becomes critical in an environment where high potential
companies must be leveraged to their fullest. In this context, and to help its
portfolio companies develop internationally and with the capital they need,
Desjardins Venture Capital wished to adopt a proactive strategy. This resulted
in the international partnership with BML.
    Founded in 2001, BML has built a solid reputation and a global network in
the life science industry. With a team of multidisciplinary professionals, BML
offers its broad expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry to
its partners and portfolio companies. With this transaction, BML's team plans
to proactively support the portfolio including working with management teams
and boards to both match and leverage the industry and capital market
experience base of the BML team and network along with the strategic focus and
activities of the companies.
    "We believe these companies represent some of the best late stage company
assets in the Canadian market" said Jeremy Curnock Cook, Chairman of BML. "We
have followed these companies for several years and many are close to value
driving milestones. Our team looks forward to working with the portfolio
companies so they can achieve their ambitions and success on a global stage."
    "We're happy that our portfolio companies have access to this network of
international expertise. With the appointment of BML, we are focussing on
these 8 companies in the short term, but along with the additional capital we
have earmarked, affirm our commitment to the life science sector in the long
term through a global strategy," stated Louis L. Roquet, President and Chief
Operating Officer of Desjardins Venture Capital. "What's more, our decision
has been very favourably received by the portfolio company management who are
part of the agreement who saw, as we did, the opportunity for expanding their
potential" he concluded.

    About Desjardins Venture Capital

    Desjardins Venture Capital manages the assets of seven Desjardins Funds,
Desjardins - Innovatech S.E.C., together with those of Desjardins Capital
régional et coopératif created in 2001. In addition to entering into financial
partnerships and facilitating mergers, acquisitions and initial public
offerings, Desjardins Venture Capital provides network access and management
expertise to businesses and cooperatives during their start-up, growth and
expansion stages. Nearly 300 companies are already associated with Desjardins
Venture Capital. (

    About BioScience Managers Limited

    BioScience Managers Limited (BML) is an international private equity firm
based in the United Kingdom and focused on the life science sector. The firm
brings together diverse backgrounds in science, medicine, business, law and
finance along with senior industry and capital market experience. Founded in
2001, BML is a leading international partner for direct and secondary
investments and also corporate advisor. (

For further information:

For further information: Danièle Routhier, Manager, Public Affairs,
Desjardins Venture Capital, (514) 281-2211,; Michael Midmer, Associate, BML Canada
Limited, (416) 673-8443,

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Desjardins Venture Capital

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