Orange Grove Bio has partnered SV Investment to jointly source therapeutics in South Korea and the US and create spinouts.

Orange Grove Bio, a US-based commercialisation firm, joined forces with South Korea-based venture capital and private equity firm SV Investment yesterday to identify therapeutics suitable for the creation of spinouts.

Orange Grove Bio focuses on commercialising university research emerging out of biotech hubs other than Boston and San Francisco in the US, and the deal with SV Investment will for the first time give it access to South Korean universities and biotech developers.

Specifically, Orange Grove will license technologies from South Korean researchers and establish spinouts in the US, with SV Investment providing early-stage capital. In turn, Orange Grove will identify drug development licensing opportunities at US universities for SV Investment to set up spinouts in South Korea.

SV Investment has begun raising a vehicle dubbed SV Bio Platform Fund I to support these activities. Marc Appel, chief executive of Orange Grove, will join SV Investment as a venture partner.

Appel said: “SV Investment is a premier firm in Korea and we are thrilled to be engaging in this partnership with their global investment leadership team. SV Investment has been supportive of Orange Grove Bio’s mission from the beginning, and we have collectively continued to seek opportunities to work together.

“This new collaboration with SV Investment will be integral to Orange Grove Bio’s global mission to develop an international presence and to source and license promising technologies from Korean academic institutions and biotech companies.”

Won-Ho Hong, chief executive of SV Investment, added: “We are eager to enter this international partnership with the team at Orange Grove Bio, as it will enable SV Investment to rapidly grow its footprint in the United States.

“With Orange Grove Bio’s expertise and network of relationships across the US, we believe this partnership will lead us to identify cross-border opportunities for investment earlier.”

Orange Grove operates out of University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Center. It launched its first company, Asalyxa Bio, in September 2020 to commercialise neutrophil targeting drug-delivery technology developed at University of Michigan. Asalyxa Bio raised an undisclosed amount of seed capital from Research Bridge Partners in March 2021.

The firm’s partners also include Albert Einstein College of Medicine and University of Pittsburgh, with those agreements inked in October and November 2021 respectively.

Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).