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PureTech Health moots $160m listing on London Stock Exchange

A Boston healthcare technology firm will list on the London Stock Exchange as it becomes the latest life sciences company vying for investment in the UK.

Citing a better climate for its business model on this side of the Atlantic, PureTech Health announced it was seeking $160m (£104m) to fund its emerging technologies and monetising its intellectual property.

Daphne Zohar, co-founder and chief executive of the firm, said: "This IPO [initial public offering] is a significant strategic step for PureTech. The proceeds of the fundraising will help PureTech drive our most advanced product candidates to revenues.

"With the acceleration of scientific discovery and the convergence of new and disruptive technologies being applied to life sciences, we believe the healthcare industry is on the cusp of a major transformation."

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PureTech has been working on a number of innovative technologies for use in healthcare, including a video game platform for diagnosing cognitive disorders, treatment for hair loss, and a database for finding experts for research and development projects.

Its flotation will make it the second life science company after Verseon to list in London this year, in a departure from the traditional dominance of the technology sector by the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Zohar said: "We realised the UK was the best place for us because investors understand the model.

"We are looking for different approaches to problems that have not been tried before. We screen everything that’s going on, look at what has failed in the past and think what we could do differently."

In the past PureTech has raised $250m in private fundraisings, with the firm owning an average of three-quarters of the dozen companies it invests in.

This Tuesday it has also added Marjorie Scardino to its board, a role she take on alongside her existing responsibilities in the boardrooms of Twitter and the International Airlines Group (IAG).
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