Achmea and LSP launch LSP-Health Economics Fund


Dutch health care insurer Achmea and investment company Life Sciences Partners (LSP) have set up an investment fund for innovation in health care, the LSP-Health Economics Fund (LSP-HEF). On 5 September 2011, the health care insurer already announced its intention to make € 50 million available for this purpose. As of today, the fund is ‘open for business’ and will seek to invest in international technology companies that may contribute to increased health care quality and better cost control.

The fund will be managed by Life Sciences Partners (LSP) a pan-European investment firm specialized in health care and biotechnology investments. LSP has recruited a dedicated investment team consisting of investment and technology specialists as well as experts for health economics and health care processes.  The team will target European and US-based companies that have products close to or on the market.  The main focus are companies offering promising technologies or products targeting indications such as cardiovascular diseases, lung disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia - diseases that more and more people are afflicted with and for which society pays a high price.

New technologies and products for these indications can lead to better control of health care costs while improve the quality of patient care, for example by using better diagnostics, applying minimally invasive treatments or preventing complications. In spite of this, it is the experience of Achmea and LSP that many of these companies struggle to penetrate the market quickly due to an insufficiently developed health economics case; this is often due to the fact that the technology has not been developed together with health care providers, not all stakeholders have been considered, and that a sales process that requires addressing each individual physician can slow down market take-up.

Through the unique cooperation between an insurance company and an investment firm, Achmea and LSP can efficiently support such companies in bringing their technologies to the market. Achmea will provide access to its know-how, expertise and database to help build the health care economics cases.  Moreover, Achmea will help companies to find their way in the health care market, and will bring new technologies to the attention of health care providers.

Achmea and LSP have jointly developed the fund’s concept, building on their longstanding successful relationship.  In 1998, Achmea was the founding investor of LSP, and has participated in many of LSP’s consecutive funds. Since its initiation, LSP has built over 60 companies, created over 25 successful exits, and raised over € 600 million. For example, with Achmea’s funding, LSP was one of the founding investors of Crucell in 1998, one of the market leaders in vaccinations and antibodies for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Last year, Crucell was acquired by Johnson & Johnson for $ 2.3 billion.

Jeroen van Breda Vriesman, member of the Executive Board of Achmea: “By establishing the LSP-Health Economics Fund Achmea hopes to provide an active contribution to the quality of health care in the Netherlands, while at the same time controlling the associated costs.  Of course, we also hope to achieve a good return on investment; and we are confident of a positive outcome due to our longstanding experience with LSP, the firm’s track record and the experienced team.”

René Kuijten, General Partner LSP: “We see many smart technologies in the market that can play an important role in controlling the costs of health care, while improving its quality at the same time. However, they often do not find their path to market quick enough. With Achmea as a trusted and active partner we are in the unique position to quickly build and strengthen the health economics case for the most promising technologies and support the companies regarding the implementation in the market.”