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Downing FOUR VCT Healthcare Share Class open for tax year-end investments

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The Downing FOUR Venture Capital Trust Healthcare Share Class remains open for end of year tax investments as part of a £10.2m top-up offer.

The VCT, which is managed by investment manager Downing LLP, seeks to offer investors exposure to the specialist healthcare and biotech sector, while taking advantage of VCT tax reliefs.

The offer will support the growth of existing portfolio companies and take advantage of a strong pipeline of new opportunities identified by the management team.

Downing told GBI Magazine that the global healthcare sector is growing, with spending expected to accelerate by an average of 4.1% per year between 2017 and 2021, driven in part by ageing populations, advances in medical treatments and an increase in chronic conditions.

The UK’s healthcare sector shows similar growth potential, with the size of the private and public market expected to increase from a projected £165.8bn in 2016 to £186.1bn in 2020.

The Downing FOUR Healthcare Share Class will focus on development and expansion funding for innovative healthcare and biomedical businesses occupying the intersection between healthcare and technology. Target sectors will include drug discovery, medical devices, diagnostic technologies and e-health technology, targeting returns of at least 4% p.a of NAV from summer 2020.

Existing investments in the portfolio include Destiny Pharma, a biotech company developing treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacteria; Arecor, a leading developer of biopharmaceuticals in the field of diabetes care; and Open Bionics, producer of the world’s first medically approved 3D printed bionic arm.

Kostas Manolis, Partner, Downing said: “Healthcare investing is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as investors look for investments with a social purpose alongside attractive returns and favourable tax treatment. Our experienced healthcare team and our ongoing relationship with BioScience Managers enables us to offer the breadth and depth of expertise to source and work with some of the most dynamic companies in the sector.”

Jeremy Curnock Cook, Managing Director, BioScience Managers added: “British biosciences are going through a sustained growth period, with a strong pipeline of companies producing novel solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing health challenges. VCT structures are an ideal way for managers with the requisite specialist skillset to bring together a portfolio of companies capable of delivering robust risk-adjusted returns to investors.”

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