Talking Point  

Emerging trends in healthcare are attracting investors to sector

Emerging trends in healthcare are attracting investors to sector
(credit: Chokniti Khongchum via Pexels)

The increasing popularity of virtual GP appointments is an example of the huge opportunities available to investors in the healthcare sector.

At a recent event held by UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA), Dr Fiona Pathiraja, managing partner at Crista Galli Ventures, a healthtech fund, said that as more people engaged in “online communities”, there was huge potential for virtual healthcare which offered specific support for different communities of people.

Her firm invests in deep tech, digital health and personalised medicine.

Pathiraja said: “Healthcare is front and centre of people’s minds. The pandemic has jolted healthcare forward, changing patient and clinician mindset. It is an exciting time to be a founder or investor in this space despite the current market downturn."

During the event, a panel of health and investment professionals also covered an array of topics, related to investing in health tech including areas to invest in, the trends turning heads and where horizontal technologies are converging with healthcare. 

Highlighted on the panel were areas like artificial intelligence in drug discovery, biomarkers and diagnostics which enable stratification of patients, ensuring they are receiving the correct treatments. The panel also underpinned the increasing importance of innovation in direct patient-facing areas, whereby there is a focus on specific disease areas. 

Meanwhile, investment manager Downing has just completed the sale of its non-healthcare ventures investment business to Foresight Group in a deal worth £17.8m to focus its venture capital activities in healthcare, a sector it said was growing as a result of interest from investors.

It will now concentrate all of its VCT and EIS activities in healthcare ventures, retaining the management of the Healthcare share class of Downing Four VCT, as well as its Healthcare EIS Knowledge Intensive Fund.

Tony McGing, chief executive of Downing, said: “We are focusing our ventures investment strategy on the healthcare sector, where we are building on the excellent track record of our industry-leading healthcare ventures team and plan to continue to grow our VCT and EIS funds, alongside raising dedicated capital from institutional investors.”