Catapult Ventures appoints Dr Tony Flinn as Venture Partner

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Catapult Ventures has announced that Dr Tony Flinn has been appointed as a Venture Partner with its new GM&C Life Sciences Fund. Dr Flinn, who becomes the Fund’s second Venture Partner, is an authority in contract research organisation (CRO) companies, having founded Onyx Scientific Ltd in 2000 to offer contract chemistry services for many of the world’s leading drug developers.

Speaking on the new appointment, Catapult CEO Nick Wright said: “I am delighted to welcome Tony to Catapult as our second Venture Partner with the GM&C Life Sciences Fund. Tony has in-depth knowledge of the CRO landscape – and the kind of battle-hardened experience which only comes from establishing, growing and then exiting a services company. Tony joins existing Venture Partner Dr David Whitcombe and together they will work to complement Catapult’s investment executives and help our growing portfolio of exciting life sciences businesses. Tony has already spent time assessing several CRO opportunities in our pipeline and we look forward to closing our first CRO investment in due course.”

Commenting on his new appointment, Dr Flinn said: “I am delighted to be joining the GM&C Life Sciences Fund, managed by Catapult Ventures. I have already spent a little time with a selection of companies that provide CRO services and the quality is very high. I look forward to helping the investment executives conclude an investment shortly and working with the wider Catapult team to identify more opportunities. The facilities at Alderley Park cannot be beaten and certainly give the clients of CRO businesses a significant amount of confidence when they visit”.

Dr Flinn co-founded Onyx Scientific Ltd in 2000 to develop chemical scale up processes for the life science industries. In 2003 while training for a triathlon, Tony was involved in a horrific cycling accident which broke his back and left him in a wheelchair. He built the business up again to become one the fastest growing technology companies in the UK, employing more than 60 staff at its peak. In 2007 he managed an MBO which delivered a 10x return to his original angel investor backers and, in 2011 he oversaw a trade sale to IPCA, a large Indian pharmaceuticals service company, which delivered a profitable return for new backers Foresight.

The GM&C Life Sciences Fund is a specialist seed and early stage venture capital fund targeting life sciences businesses with a presence in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire & Warrington region. The Fund was launched with a first close of around £31m in October 2015 and has completed three investments to date, with a number of deals in progress. It is actively seeking high-potential innovative life sciences companies in which to invest.