Peter Keen joins DFJ Esprit as life sciences, medical tech expert


European venture firm DFJ Esprit has hired former Merlin Biosciences investor Peter Keen as partner specialising in medical technology and life sciences.

Keen has 28 years of experience in financing and managing life sciences companies including Ark Therapeutics, Cyclacel and Arakis, where he led a £29m fundraise and subsequent trade sale as CEO.

DFJ said Keen would help them build their medtech portfolio, which already includes medical diagnostics company Oxford Immunotec and personalised medicine tools provider Horizon Discovery.

Last year DFJ successfully exited Antula Healthcare to Meda AB for about £140m.

DFJ Esprit CEO Simon Cook said, “Medtech continues to be an exciting space with many investment opportunities that align well with DFJ Esprit’s existing portfolio and strengths.

“Bringing Peter onboard provides an added level of expertise as we look to drive growth and value across our medtech portfolio.”

The firm has more than $1.1bn of institutional funds under management, mainly focused on European high-growth companies.

Last month DFJ Esprit announced it was preparing to launch an Angel Co-Investment Fund to allow business angels, entrepreneurs and qualifying individuals to invest in funds managed by the firm alongside its institutional funds.

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