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Ascenion GmbH. (6/21/22). "Press Release: Carma Fund I Completes First Closing of EUR 47 Million to Accelerate the Transfer of Life-Science Research into Practice". Munich & Frankfurt a. M..

Organisations Organisation Ascenion GmbH
  Group Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft (HGF) (Group)
  Organisation 2 Evotec SE (FSE: EVT, MDA X/TecDAX, Nasdaq: EVO)
  Group Evotec (Group)
Products Product fund, biotech / life sciences
Persons Person Raditsch, Martin (Univ Frankfurt 202003 CEO of Innovectis)
  Person 2 Leikert, Christian (Creathor Ventures 201907 Partner before Future Capital 200903 CEO)

> EUR 47 million committed by fund initiators Ascenion and Goethe-University together with the European Investment Fund (EIF), Evotec, and other investors

> Focus on high-potential, early-stage life-science start-ups and projects, sourced from Ascenion’s and Innovectis’ partner institutions and other European academic institutions

> 15 + 5 years timeframe enables the partners – and the institutions they represent – to participate in future profits

A consortium of strong partners has launched the CARMA FUND I as a new vehicle for the translation of promising early-stage life-science projects: the initiators, Ascenion GmbH, a life-science focused technology transfer company of the LifeScience Foundation and the Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main with its technology transfer company Innovectis GmbH, together with the European Investment Fund (EIF), the life science company Evotec SE, and other investors. The fund will be managed by CARMA FUND Management GmbH, headed by its general partners Christian Leikert and Martin Raditsch.

The fund, with a target size of EUR 60 million and a first closing at EUR 47 million, will invest in promising start-ups or high-potential academic projects in the life-science field, from Ascenion’s and Innovectis’ partner institutions. However, outstanding innovations or spin-offs from other German or European research organizations will also be considered as investment targets. Projects will be selected for their scientific excellence and potential to deliver outstanding societal or patient benefits and financial returns. CARMA is open to the full breadth of life-science and medical innovation, including new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches, platform technologies, medical devices and digital health. Along with funding, the projects will benefit from the partners’ network of distinguished top-level industry representatives and experts.

‘With CARMA, we have established a unique and powerful translational vehicle combining highly successful players in the field of life-science innovation’, state Martin Raditsch and Christian Leikert, General Partners of CARMA FUND Management.

‘The commitment of the partners involved shows that academic life science research can make an important contribution to solving acute problems,‘ says Professor Enrico Schleiff, president of Goethe University Frankfurt. ‘With the CARMA FUND, Goethe University Frankfurt is boosting the funding activities within its knowledge transfer ecosystem, which consists of IP management, incubation, founding, shareholding and funding,‘ adds Professor Michael Huth, chairman of Innovectis’ supervisory board and vice-president of Goethe University Frankfurt.

Christian Stein, CEO of Ascenion and member of CARMA’s Investor Advisory Board adds: ‘This fund truly is a game-changer for Ascenion. It enables us to provide fast, early-stage financing for top projects in a flexible fashion. The timeframe of 15+ years, which particularly suits the development horizon of therapeutic and diagnostic projects, allows the fund to participate in future revenues to support the charitable aims of the Life-Science Foundation’.

CARMA FUND Management GmbH has been advised on the fund structure by the Berlin-based boutique law firm Orbit which specializes in fund advisory.


About Ascenion GmbH

Ascenion is an independent technology transfer company focusing on the life sciences. It is partner to 30 research organizations, universities and university hospitals in Germany and Europe, including life-science institutes of the Helmholtz and Leibniz Associations, the Charité, the Hannover Medical School, the Medical University of Innsbruck, and the University Medical Center Göttingen. Ascenion’s multidisciplinary, industry-experienced team works closely with its partners to tap the potential of their research by identifying promising results, obtaining patent protection, and turning pure science into applied technology. Particular strengths are spin-off support and project development, where early-stage projects are transformed into assets that attract potential investors and licensees. This has led to the founding of numerous new companies and the transfer of innovative medical approaches into approved drugs, changing the lives of thousands of patients. Profits from Ascenion’s operative business and exit proceeds flow via its parent company, the LifeScience Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Research, to fund further translational research at its partner institutes.

Further information:

About CARMA FUND Management GmbH

CARMA FUND Management GmbH is a venture capital firm managing CARMA FUND I, an investment fund, initiated by Ascenion and the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, committed to advancing early-stage developments in the life-science and healthcare space. CARMA FUND I is tailor made to suit the specific timeframe and needs of young companies and projects in these fields. The firm is located in Munich and Frankfurt am Main.

About Goethe University

Goethe University is a research-oriented university in the European financial centre Frankfurt am Main. The university was founded in 1914 through private funding, primarily from Jewish sponsors, and has since produced pioneering achievements in the areas of social sciences, sociology and economics, medicine, quantum physics, brain research, and labour law. It gained a unique level of autonomy on 1 January 2008 by returning to its historic roots as a "foundation university". Today, it is among the top ten in external funding and among the top three largest universities in Germany, with three clusters of excellence in medicine, life sciences and the humanities. Together with the Technical University of Darmstadt and the University of Mainz, it acts as a partner of the inter-state strategic Rhine-Main University Alliance.

Further Information:



Dr. Christian A. Stein, CEO, Ascenion GmbH, +49 89 3188140

Christian Leikert, Managing Director, CARMA FUND Management GmbH, +49 173 3913603

Dr. Olaf Kaltenborn, Head of PR & Kommunikation/Press Officer Goethe University, +49 69 798 13035; -12472 (Sekretariat)


Communication & Event Management
Stanislava Zollner

T: +49 89 318814-14

Record changed: 2022-06-21


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