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Biotech brew

Brewin Dolphin Securities has linked up with Octopus Asset Management for the introduction of the bioscience VCT.

The VCT invests in 25 to 30 companies in the biotechnology sector. The portfolio will be made up of quoted companies in the UK and overseas, companies listed on Aim and Ofex, unquoted companies that are in the early stages of development and also those at the later stages.

Growth in the biotechnology sector is driven by demand for medicines and new treatments from an ageing population, so the outlook for investments is encouraging.

Most biotechnology companies emerge from academic institutions such as university research departments and this VCT will benefit in this respect from its appointment of Medical Marketing International as technical adviser. MMI specialises in biotechnology investment and has links with organisations such as the NHS trusts and the Royal College of Surgeons. This network of contacts within the industry will help to assess investment opportunities.

Investors willing to take higher risks could find this VCT a worthwhile addition to their portfolio. However, the biotechnology sector req-uires a lot of funding and some companies may be struggling financially before they develop a new drug fully or make a medical breakthrough. Other companies may have fully developed treatments that may not be approved, which could provide setbacks for this VCT.

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