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Two former directors, Howard Jenkins and Trevor Tanner, have returned to Simbec backed by the new Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund managed by Arthurian.

This new team has acquired the company from its former parent the Canadian Altasciences Group, to make it once more a totally independent Welsh company.

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This is the initial investment for Wales’ first-ever dedicated Life Sciences Fund whose launch was announced by Professor Sir Chris Evans at BioWales in March.  It marks a momentous stage in Simbec’s history spanning almost four decades. Merthyr Tydfil-based Simbec Research employs around 90 staff.

With the backing of the Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund and commercial support from Sir Chris’ Arthurian team and networks, Simbec hopes to expand to employ over 100 skilled staff. In particular, the fund intends to invest in a range of clinical stage opportunities and believes these will create great synergies with Simbec. Professor Trevor Jones, board director of Arthurian and former head of research and development at Wellcome Plc, will become chairman of Simbec.

Jenkins, chief executive, says: “We will continue to work with the world’s leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies specialising in the early clinical development of new pharmaceuticals. This new partnership with the Wales Life Sciences Fund is a major step towards creating an invigorated and more dynamic company and we look forward to a highly stimulating period of growth for Wales and for all involved.”

Sir Chris, who will join the board of Simbec, says: “We had been watching developments at Simbec very closely and had to move fast to secure this deal once the Canadian owners had decided to sell.  We are pleased we were able to anchor this company in Wales and preserve this very significant number of skilled jobs.  This is a good Welsh-based clinicals business and the extensive Arthurian networks should be able to contribute significantly to the growth of Simbec’s commercial activities in the near future.”

Marc Davies, PwC Corporate Finance, says: “Simbec has been a client of PwC for many years and is a high quality business. We were delighted to bring together and work with the returning management and WLSIF on this deal. WLSIF is an excellent partner for Simbec and we look forward to seeing the continued development of the business and the benefits the partnership will have for Wales and the life sciences sector.”