SV Health Investors Thrives But Irked By Use of Women as Chattel

SV Health Investors are not just venture capitalists – they are company creators. They are in the business of transforming healthcare and have raised over $2 billion across five funds since their 1993 beginning.

The firm consists of twelve investment professionals housed out of London, UK, and Boston, US, offices and between all staff, have an accumulated 275 years of investment experience.

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They are active partners with their portfolio companies and take pride in cultivating relationships that extend beyond final exits. The firm draws upon the best and brightest from their veteran-asset companies to participate as venture partners. These partners provide guidance to both SV investors and emerging entrepreneurs – they locate and recruit talent, identify strategic areas for expansion and help up-and-coming businesses be successful.

The firm was formerly known in SV Life Sciences until November 2017, when they announced that they were rebranding themselves as SV Health Investors. In the same statement, the Boston-based firm also announced the close of their sixth flagship fund of $400 million.

Kate Bingham is a Managing Partner in SV’s London office and is responsible for the firm’s biotech investments and activities in the European Union. She was responsible for 2015 launch of SV’s Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) – an innovative venture capital fund that most recently raised $350 million in 2018. They are dedicated to developing new therapies for early diagnosis and treatment of dementia by 2025.

With over 25 years’ experience in healthcare, Bingham is a household name in biotech circles but it was an open letter to the industry where she fiercely denounces the use of women as pretty props that garnered international media attention.

After attending a party during the 2016 JPMorgan Annual Healthcare Conference, Bingham became incensed with how women were portrayed: “This time it was the LifeSci Advisors After Party, where young, female models were brought in to escort the guests on buses to the Exploratorium and to mingle with the crowd.”

She uses the event as a clarion call for change in an industry that is so forward-looking in some respects yet so impossibly backwards in others:

“Really people?... Are we still working with people who think of women as chattel? What compelling business rationale could there possibly be for that kind of entertainment?

“It doesn’t matter who, or what kind of company, organized these events. If biotech executives attend, they endorse them. That reflects not only on them as individuals, but on us as an industry. It’s time for us, as senior men and women in the industry, to say ‘Enough.’”

SV Health Investors portfolio companies include offerings from the biotechnology, medical devices and healthcare services and digital health industries – their most recent investments include Bardy Diagnostics in April 2019, CSA Medical in February 2019 and Rheostat Therapeutics in November 2018.