Biotech entrepreneur Chris Evans to chair BioMalta Foundation

Evans forming €200 million private investment fund to invest in biotechnology companies.

Biotechnology entrepreneur Sir Chris Evans has been appointed chairperson of the BioMalta Foundation, which is set to create Malta’s premier €30 million Life Sciences Park in San Gwann.

Prof. Evans is a medical health professional who founded and spun off around 45 biotechnology companies during his career, being awarded an OBE at the age of 36 and knighted at 42.

“His experience in both business and industry is a key asset for Malta’s economic growth, both in terms of inward investment attraction and also in local enterprise development,” finance minister Tonio Fenech said.

BioMalta Foundation will be responsible to establish and manage the blueprint for the Life Sciences Industry in Malta, as well as oversee the successful development of the BioMalta Campus and establish an angel investor network to secure private funding for local companies to do research and development in biotechnology, medical, health and pharmaceutical industry.

The BioMalta Foundation is being set up by Malta Enterprise and will be chaired by Evans along with representatives from Malta Enterprise, the finance ministry, the Malta Council for Science and Technology and the University of Malta.

The governors for the foundation will be announced in the coming weeks as other high profile local and international experts are expected to be appointed to the team.

Amongst other things, BioMalta Foundation shall be responsible for devising a strategic roadmap for the life sciences and biotechnology industry in Malta, addressing amongst others the potential niches that Malta can attract and support, skills and resources gaps and how these can be addressed, inward investment programmes, as well as regulatory and ethical framework reviews.

Malta’s healthcare industry has grown to employ over 1,000 workers and producing over €208 million worth of exports in 2010, significantly up from the €56 million exported in 2005.

Malta’s next step is to transform these achievements in attracting pharmaceutical manufacturing into securing investment by innovation-led, R&D organisations and enterprises in the healthcare and bio-technology value chain.

“This is a natural evolution which brings about not just industrial value-added, as has been witnessed in other sectors of manufacturing, but also brings new technologies in healthcare to our shores,” Fenech said.

Evans said that one of his companies, Sultan Scientific, will be working on the establishment of a self-managed, Malta-based private investment fund of approximately €200 million to invest in mid-late stage companies that have a strong pipeline of technologies and products which have been developed by management teams with both scientific and commercial credibility. This Fund shall be known as the Global Medi-Science Fund and shall be aimed at attracting foreign investors to Malta.

“Discussions with MFSA and the banks are at a very advanced stage and Sultan Scientific shall be launching the Global Medi-Science Fund in the coming weeks. We are confident that we will manage to raise around €150 million by the end of the year and this is good news for Malta as in my capacity of chairman of the BioMalta Foundation, I will use my best endeavours to use this fund to get new companies to set up their operations in Malta. In doing so, we will be creating the nexus between academia, industry and the research community each of which will increase the value-added to the local economy,” Evans said.

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In case the link below goes offline: Here is what it said: The 51-year-old said: "I am delighted that the SFO has finally accepted what I and my colleagues have been telling them from the outset. There was no wrongdoing. We knew that and just as importantly our investors knew that. Now we have been completely vindicated." In 2005, Sir Chris was accused of paying £1m-£2.5m into a shell company of unknown ownership. His accuser was Andrew Greene, a former Merrill Lynch banker who spent 18 months at Merlin before he resigned in late 2003. The Serious Fraud Office said: "Following a detailed review of the evidence gathered in the course of a thorough investigation it has been concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction." It has been a turbulent five years for Sir Chris, who was cleared of any wrongdoing in the cash-for-honours probe in 2007. Sir Chris set up Merlin in the mid-1990s as a venture capital firm to back medical technology companies. The firm bought Merchant Ventures last year and changed its name to Excalibur Fund Managers, which shifted its focus from start-up to growth companies. Documents from Companies House show that pre-tax profits soared 46pc to £1m in the year to March. The highest paid director at Excalibur, presumably Sir Chris, collected £306,964. Sir Chris has a personal fortune estimated at around £150m
We have seen this before - scam artist flocking to Malta and we are suppose to be so joyous for giving them a pirate base ti operate from. Hey Sir Lacelot - here is your first assignment - graft some brain cells into that retard's brain who goes around saying he is our leader!
Is this the same Mr. Evans??????