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GBS investment wins AVCAL Best Early Stage Investment Award for the second consecutive year

08 / 09 / 2016

GBS Ventures’ investee company Hatchtech has won the prestigious 2016 Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL) prize for the best early stage investment, the second consecutive year GBS has received the award.  The prize was awarded for the investment in Hatchtech Pty Ltd, a Melbourne based company developing a new treatment for head lice, which signed a commercialisation agreement with Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories in September 2015, worth up to AUD$279m.  Hatchtech will retain global rights for non-human applications, as well as the right to commercialise the product for human use in territories outside of the agreement with Dr. Reddy’s. GBS was a founding investor in Hatchtech and supported multiple funding rounds, enabling the company to progress its technology from discovery at the University of Melbourne all the way to becoming the first private Australian company to file an NDA for marketing approval. 

This award comes on the back of GBS’ 2015 AVCAL prize for the best early stage investment in Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, a company developing a novel treatment for neuropathic pain, which was acquired by Novartis for US$200m upfront, plus undisclosed clinical and regulatory milestones. Spinifex Pharmaceuticals also won the 2015 AVCAL Michael Hirshorn award as the best venture capital-backed business whose products or services have been instrumental in making a significant community contribution.

Benjamin Gust, GBS Partner and a director of both Spinifex and Hatchtech said “These awards recognise the fantastic outcomes that can be achieved by investing in high quality Australian biomedical assets – resulting in both attractive financial returns and a significant contribution to the development of new medical technologies. Hatchtech’s success has only been possible due to the contribution of many and in particular I’d like to thank the inventor Professor Vern Bowles of the University of Melbourne, the CEO Mr Hugh Alsop, the Federal Government for its R&D tax credit and IIF programs, as well as our LP’s and other investors whose belief in the sector is being rewarded.” 

GBS has previously won the AVCAL early stage investment award in 2010 for Peplin Inc, an Australian technology used to treat Actinic Keratosis, and in 2008 for Pharmaxis, an Australian company that developed a treatment for bronchiectasis. 

“The AVCAL awards also clearly illustrate the developing maturity of the Australian Biomedical Venture Capital industry” said Mr Gust. “While Australia has always been recognized for its leading medical research, that research can now be combined with experienced venture managers and world-class executive teams. With this combination of factors now available domestically, I have great confidence that we will see plenty more successful Australian biomedical companies in the years ahead.”


Founded in 1996, GBS invests in young businesses developing and commercialising products which, when combined with the right management and finance, will make a significant difference to patients' lives and deliver financial returns for our investors. Our areas of particular interest and expertise include human healthcare, biotechnology product development and life science start-ups. In particular, recent investments have included biological or small molecule therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics. GBS invests in private or public companies whether at start-up or later stages of company development. Our investors include major Australian superannuation funds.