Alberta Enterprise Corporation invests $5M to grow the province's life sciences sector


Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC) announced that it has invested $5 million in Amplitude Venture Capital's precision medicine fund to boost the growth of the health innovation industry in the province.

"We haven't had a fund that is focused solely on the life sciences sector. This is our first investment that we've done in a dedicated life science fund," said Alberta Enterprise Corporation CEO Kristina Williams, indicating that the investment is an exciting opportunity for Edmonton in particular.

"We see Edmonton being very strong on the life sciences side combined with artificial intelligence and machine learning," Williams told Taproot.

She said having an AI centre like the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) in addition to the University of Alberta is an incredibly strong testament to the strength of the city's innovation ecosystem.

According to Williams, the life sciences sector in Alberta represents more than 10% of the province's technology community and the investment will create more access to specialized expertise, networks and capital for startups focused in the life sciences sectors.

Amplitude's fund is focused on precision medicine, which is a growing approach to health and it focuses on using technology and artificial intelligence to achieve more precise health outcomes.

Alberta Enterprise Corporation invests $5M to grow the province's life sciences sector. (Courtesy of Unsplash/Science in HD)

Alberta Enterprise Corporation invests $5M to grow the province's life sciences sector. (Courtesy of Unsplash/Science in HD)

"The team (at Amplitude) has excellent investors and has previously invested in Alberta companies. They're also looking at early-stage companies, which is perfect for the province because a lot of life science companies here are in their earlier stages," said Williams.

Amplitude's precision medicine fund was launched in November 2019. The company announced the final close of the fund earlier this month, which oversubscribed its CAD$200 million raise target.

Williams told Taproot that AEC will help Amplitude "connect investors to each other, as well as connect them to entrepreneurs."

She said that initiatives like the Start Alberta Deal Flow Platform, which was recently launched by AEC and other partners, are the kind of initiatives used post-investment to build those connections.