The latest available figures for venture capital activity in Ireland show that for the first half of 2005 there was an increase
of 25.7% in comparison with the same period in 2004, despite a decrease of 11.5% in the total amount invested across Europe.
The European Venture Capital Report, recently released by Dow Jones VentureOne and Ernst & Young, reveals that Ireland has continued to buck the European trend
of declining venture capital investment. According to Garry O'Rourke, Senior Manager, Ernst & Young Corporate Services Department,
"Ireland continues to perform well against a backdrop of overall decline across Europe. Also, in terms of overall investment
into businesses in Ireland, venture capital is only one source, with many companies also receiving corporate and private equity
Enterprise Ireland, through its "Seed and Venture Capital" program, has been instrumental in stimulating the development of
seed funds to address gaps in the financing of business start-ups. A number of new life-sciences venture capital funds have
been established and a number of existing firms have ramped up their activity in that sector. The funds active in life sciences
investment are Seroba Bioventures, Growcorp, Kernel Capital Partners, 4th Level Ventures, Delta Partners, and ACT Venture
Capital. There is also another large fund being mooted for 2006. Listed below is a sampling of the types of companies that
are attracting investment. More information also is available at the Irish Venture Capital Association's website at
AGI THERAPEUTICS LIMITED
AGI Therapeutics Limited, based in Dublin and Athlone, is a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of
innovative therapeutic products to treat a variety of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders including irritable bowel syndrome,
non-ulcer dyspepsia, functional diarrhea, gastroparesis, acid disorders, and inflammatory bowel disorders.
Investment: €9.5 million ($11 million)
Source: Seroba BioVentures and a syndicate of Irish and US investors.
ALIMENTARY HEALTH LIMITED
Alimentary Health Limited, based in Cork, is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization
of therapeutics derived from human probiotics for gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and C. difficile diarrhea.
Investment: €1.3 million ($1.5 million)
Source: Seroba BioVentures and Enterprise Ireland
Celtic Catalysts' focus is on the niche area of chiral chemistry. The company works with chemical catalysts and processes
of significant commercial potential to the fine chemical, agrochemical, and pharmaceutical industries to produce products
of enhanced therapeutic activity while at the same time allowing innovator companies to extend product life cycles and stave
off generic competition.
Investment: €650,000 ($760,500)
Source: 4th Level Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.
DEERAC FLUIDICS LIMITED
Deerac Fluidics is a bioinstrumentation company providing low-volume dispensing solutions for the life sciences industry.
The company's first product, a bench-top liquid dispensing device, has been launched in Europe and the United States.
Investment: €1.8 million ($2.1 million)
Source: Seroba BioVentures, 4th Level Ventures, Enterprise Ireland, and a syndicate of Irish investors.