Tattarang launches $250 million biotechnology fund, Tenmile

Tattarang launches $250 million biotechnology fund, Tenmile

Billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest is on the hunt for Australia’s next biotech household name with the launch of a $250 million venture capital fund for healthcare investments.

The fund, called Tenmile, will be backed by Tattarang, the private investment group co-owned by Forrest and his wife Nicola. It will be one of the few Australian investment vehicles purely focused on backing health technology companies.

Chief executive of Tenmile portfolio company Carina Biotech, Dr Deborah Rathjen, with Dr Steve Burnell.

Tenmile’s executive chair Dr Steve Burnell said while COVID-19 has proven to be a significant tailwind for the biotech sector, Australian companies still needed access to more private capital beyond initial grant funding.

“Australia could be the sort of health technology superpower, in a way…the foundations have been laid. We really think the missing ingredient is capital to help these companies reach ‘exit velocity’, as I say,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

The pandemic has shone a light on the global value of healthcare companies, though valuations have slid and share prices have taken a hit amid this year’s global market selloff. The ASX health care index is down by 7 per cent over the past year, with even giants like CSL and ResMed declining over the past 12 months.


Burnell said there is still plenty of cutting-edge research that needs funding to produce long-term value beyond the pandemic. Tenmile is willing to be patient with its holdings, looking at investment horizons from a couple of years to a decade.

“The point is we’re not driven to push companies towards premature IPOs or some sort of exit,” Burnell said.

The fund’s maiden investments are focused on relatively new therapeutic areas, including personalized cancer treatments and the use of psychedelics and medicinal cannabinoids.