Life science investor Novo Holdings to open Asia office in Singapore

LIFE science investor Novo Holdings on Thursday said it is set to open a Singapore office in August this year, and has appointed Amit Kakar as its head of Asia. 

The company expects to focus on three of its investment areas: Novo Growth, which provides expansion capital to high-growth life sciences companies; Principal Investments, which invests in well-established life sciences companies; and Novo Ventures, which invests in venture-stage biotech and medical technology companies.

Kasim Kutay, Novo Holdings chief executive officer, said: "We have followed the life sciences markets in Asia closely, and the growth, the demographics and the increased focus on innovation and research and development make the region a compelling area for us to explore investment opportunities.

"The industry is young and dynamic, with an underlying investment ecosystem that is rapidly developing and we believe that our long-term approach and partnering mindset is well suited to the region."

To be based in Singapore, Dr Kakar will lead investments and partnerships across the region, focusing primarily on the markets in Singapore, China, Japan and South-east Asia. 

He was most recently head of business development and mergers and acquisitions at Everlife Asia, a buy-and-build platform providing solutions for the healthcare and research industries in South-east Asia and India.

Dr Kakar will report to Mr Kutay and will start his new role on Aug 1 in Singapore.

Denmark-headquartered Novo Holdings has some US$62 billion in assets, and is the venture capital arm of Novo Nordisk Foundation.