Swisscanto Growth Fund: Heart and kidney

MedTrace and Memo Therapeutics are permanent constituents of the Swisscanto Growth Fund portfolio. Recently the fund has made follow-up investments in both start-ups.

MedTrace and Memo Therapeutics serve the attractive healthcare market with their solutions. (Picture: MedTrace Pharma A/S).

The Danish medical technology company MedTrace has received investor funds totaling EUR 18.2 million in a further financing round. The medtech start-up has thus clearly exceeded the target of EUR 15 million in this financing round. The Swisscanto Growth Fund has been on board since 2021. Robert Schier, who holds a degree in pharmacy and a doctorate in microbiology and has worked as Senior Investment Director Private Equity in Asset Management at Zürcher Kantonalbank since 2018, is a member of the Board of Directors and is actively supported by Ellen Rietmann-Ahl, Investment Manager. The Swisscanto Growth Fund was once again a co-lead investor in the latest financing round.

Founded in 2015, the company specialises in the diagnosis of heart diseases. It uses positron emission tomography (PET) for this purpose. This is a procedure that uses various radioactive substances (tracers) to visualise metabolic processes in the body.

(Picture: MedTrace Pharma A/S)

MedTrace uses so-called 15O water as a tracer. This is a slightly radioactive substance that is primarily suitable for analysing organs with rapid blood flow - namely the heart. With 15O water, the radioactive substances decay in just two minutes. The radioactive radiation is therefore not only low, but also of extremely short duration.

Turning a short half-life into an advantage

However, the fact that 15O water has a short half-life makes its use in the hospital environment complex. It cannot be produced or stored in large quantities. MedTrace has developed a special process to produce the 15O water on site and inject it directly into the patient while they are lying on the PET scanner.

(Picture: MedTrace Pharma A/S)

The technology is already being used successfully in two Danish hospitals. The start-up has also developed and patented proprietary software called aQuant, which allows the PET scan results to be analysed precisely. The software plays a crucial role in modelling the function of the human heart.

Making kidney transplants more successful

In November, the Swiss biotech company Memo Therapeutics succeeded in securing CHF 25 million in a series C financing round. The Swisscanto Growth Fund, which has been invested in the start-up since 2020, once again participated in this investment package. Robert Schier, Senior Investment Director Private Equity, also serves Memo Therapeutics as a member of the Board of Directors.

According to Memo Therapeutics, the funds will primarily be used to finalise the clinical phase II development of the antibody AntiBKV in the USA. The antibody is designed to neutralise the BK polyomavirus (BKV), which can occur after kidney transplantations.

(Picture: Memo Therapeutics AG)

A BKV infection can lead to transplant failure. The therapy has the potential to improve the lifes of patients by minimising infections and the associated complications. The therapy could also go some way to alleviating the global shortage of donor organs.

The pipeline of the biotech company, which was founded in 2012, also includes antibody therapies to combat the health consequences caused by the cytomegalovirus (CMV).

"Both MedTrace and Memo Therapeutics are regularly scrutinised by us. The milestones achieved so far and their growth plans are convincing. They are well advanced in the development of their medical applications and are among the leading companies in their field worldwide. MedTrace and Memo Therapeutics serve the attractive healthcare market with their solutions. Quality of life and longevity as high-growth megatrends are at the centre of these investments," says Robert Schier.

About the Swisscanto Growth Fund

The Swisscanto Growth Fund has so far invested in 18 promising Swiss and international growth companies. Three of them have achieved a successful exit.

Swisscanto (CH) Private Equity Switzerland Growth I KmGK, or Swisscanto Growth Fund for short, invests in unlisted growth companies. The focus lies on companies with innovative technologies and business models in the areas of information and data services, industry and health. It is envisaged that around 70 to 80 percent of investments will be made within Switzerland. This makes the Swisscanto Growth Fund one of the first investment vehicles under the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act (CISA) to concentrate primarily on financing Swiss growth companies in the expansion phase.

The fund is aimed exclusively at qualified investors with a medium to long-term investment horizon and a suitability for illiquid investments. The target return is 10 to 12 percent per year. The subscription period for the fund is concluded with a total volume of CHF 180 million. Follow-up programmes are being planned. Further information on Zürcher Kantonalbank’s current private equity offering can be found here.

Legal notices: This information is intended exclusively for qualified investors according to CISA, is for information and advertising purposes and does not constitute an offer or a recommendation to acquire, hold or sell financial instruments or to purchase products or services. The subscription period has expired, meaning that this limited partnership is not open to subscription for collective capital investments.


Private Equity