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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sponsors $60 Million Venture Capital Fund

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Wendy Zellner
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PITTSBURGH, January 21, 1999 — The first SBIC (Small Business Investment Company) to have an academic medical center as its sponsor has been granted a license by the Small Business Administration (SBA). University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh is the principal private investor in a $60 million venture capital fund, Caduceus Capital Health Ventures, L.P., which will give this medical center, affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, a presence in the global market.

In making this announcement today, Jeffrey Romoff, president of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said, "UPMC’s sponsorship gives fund managers access to the expertise of hundreds of internationally recognized academic physicians and researchers. This, in turn, will allow these academicians to participate in collaborative partnerships with commercial companies throughout the world."

Mr. Romoff said that this activity is the natural outgrowth of the successful research enterprise already in existence at the UPMC. Researchers from the Schools of the Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, generate more than $167 million annually in federal funding for research, placing it among the nation’s top 10 medical centers in terms of research funding. In fact, from 1985 to 1995 the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine received the largest market share percentage increase (77 percent) of NIH funding of any medical school in the country. It is internationally recognized for its seminal work in such areas as transplantation, emergency medicine, oncology, behavioral medicine and molecular biology.

"The synergy created by the marriage of venture capital and academic medicine has many exciting possibilities," stated Scott Lammie, executive vice president of Diversified Services, Inc., a division of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center that manages for-profit businesses for the system. Mr. Lammie added that the cross-fertilization of scientific collaboration and capital is unique and will facilitate the development of strategic partnerships with private industry.

Caduceus is capitalized at $60 million to fund bio-medical start-up companies. The SBA, on a two-to-one matching basis, has approved $40 million for Caduceus with $20 million coming from limited partners. Of the limited partners, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is making the largest private investment, $16 million. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University will also be investors in the fund.

Caduceus is also unique in that it is one of three SBICs with a medical-only focus and one of few to have investment participation by other premier national and international venture capital firms. These are Mellon Ventures (Pittsburgh), PNC Equity Management Corporation (Pittsburgh), Sanderling Ventures (Menlo Park, Calif.) and TVM Techno Venture Management (Munich, Germany).

Managers of this fund are William Golden and George Sing, both seasoned investors with strong ties to national and international medical venture networks. Caduceus has offices in Pittsburgh, Boston and New York City.