Oskare Capital and Sapphire Capital Partners LLP Launch First Ever UK SEIS/EIS Fund Targeting Medical & Pharma Cannabis Sector

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Oliver Lamb

LONDON– Óskare Capital is proud to announce the launch of the first ever SEIS and EIS fund targeting the Medical and Pharmaceutical Cannabis sector. Óskare Capital UK will advise the Fund which is managed by Sapphire Capital Partners LLP.

The MEDCAN Fund is the first fund of its kind and will invest in both early-stage UK companies and global companies that have the requisite operations within the UK. The Fund aims to provide UK retail investors with access to a diversified portfolio of companies in this rapidly growing sector.

The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) are UK government initiative schemes which encourage growth and development by granting private UK investors significant tax breaks when investing in qualifying early- stage companies.

Óskare Capital UK Director Oliver Lamb, notes, “We were motivated to set up the MEDCAN fund with Sapphire Capital Partners LLP given that around 40% of our European dealflow is coming from the UK, and the tax breaks investors can gain through the SEIS and EIS schemes are significant.”

The Fund team specifically targets leading companies in the UK that have the potential to become global champions. Examples include life sciences companies, with strong IP, developing novel therapeutics (cannabinoids and other molecules) that target the endocannabinoid system (“ECS”).

Discovered in 1992, ECS is found in humans and all vertebrate species, and is used as the body’s way to maintain homeostasis and adapt to environmental stress and changes. Cannabinoids and other novel molecules can interact with the ECS helping to address a wide range of conditions including cancer, pain management, anxiety, epilepsy, sleep, depression, rare diseases, ADHD and many more.

The MEDCAN Fund will also be investing in the companies that form part of the wider medical and pharmaceutical cannabis ecosystem of services and products that support this fast-growing global market. The Fund already has a strong pipeline of deals and will invest in start-ups across the entire value chain (from Seed to Patient) but will not invest in cannabis production or recreational cannabis.

One notable UK cannabis company that has gone on to become a global success story is GW Pharmaceuticals the producer of the FDA approved cannabis-based medication Epidiolex which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals for $7.2billion.

Óskare Capital UK Director Nicola Broughton, comments, “Whilst GW is clearly an excellent example of a UK success story in the sector, we believe that there are opportunities in the market with stronger intellectual property which address far wider ranges of medical conditions that would result in even greater exits.”

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