Phase4 Ventures, the Life Science venture capital business of Nomura, has been acquired by its management team, and a significant portion of its assets under management have been sold to funds managed by HarbourVest Partners LLC.

Dr Denise Pollard-Knight, Managing Partner of Phase4 Ventures, commented: “We are delighted to have HarbourVest as our new partner as we move forward as an independent venture capital firm with the team that built this business for the past decade from within Nomura. This transaction achieves the objectives of all the parties involved, allows us to continue supporting our portfolio companies whilst also providing us with a new platform to further develop our business in Europe and the US.”

HarbourVest was selected following a competitive process in which various options to capture the value of the venture capital business and its associated assets were considered. Phase4 Ventures will manage the new fund, Phase4 Ventures III LP, for HarbourVest, and an existing fund for Nomura. The company and its eight-strong team, led by Dr Denise Pollard-Knight, continues to be based in London.

Since 1999 the Phase4 Ventures team has made more than 30 investments in mid-to-late stage life science companies alongside other top tier venture capital firms in both the US and Europe, typically investing $15-30 million per company over the course of the investment. The new fund, Phase4 Ventures III LP, includes: Albireo Pharma and Nabriva Therapeutics, spin-outs from Novartis/Sandoz and Astra Zeneca respectively; Chroma Therapeutics in the UK; and Oncomed Pharmaceuticals and Paratek Pharmaceuticals in the US. Significant follow-on capital is available to support and further accelerate the growth of portfolio companies over the next few years.

Valérie Handal, Principal at HarbourVest commented: “HarbourVest has built an expertise in assisting high quality general partners achieve their independence, and we are very pleased to have enabled this to become a reality for Phase4 through this transaction. We are excited to continue working with the team to further support the mature portfolio of strong companies that we have acquired.”

Tarun Jotwani, CEO EMEA, Nomura, said: “It was always intended that Phase4 Ventures would develop as an independent business, allowing it to further grow its platform. We will maintain a strong relationship with the team and are pleased to continue working with the company.”

About Phase4 Ventures

Phase4 Ventures is a leading venture capital firm based in London that invests in development stage life science companies in the US and Europe. Founded in 1999, the team has made more than 30 investments in mid-to-late stage life science companies. The team is complemented by an extensive group of advisors with operating experience at a senior level in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Phase4 investments have included many of the companies that provided successful European and US venture exits in recent years including Intercell, Pharmion, Targacept and most recently Proteolix. Phase4 Ventures was spun-out from Nomura in December 2010 following a buy out of the management company by the team and a secondary purchase of a fund by Harbourvest Partners. Phase4 currently manages funds for both Nomura and Harbourvest.

About HarbourVest

HarbourVest Partners, LLC is an independent global private equity firm that invests in venture capital, buyout, mezzanine debt, and distressed debt through primary partnerships, secondary purchases, and direct investments. For more than 20 years, HarbourVest has been a leading buyer of private equity assets, acquiring assets of all stages, types, vintages, and geographies and working with all types of sellers, including financial institutions, corporations, pension plans, governmental entities, endowments, and family offices. This flexibility enables HarbourVest to offer sellers of private equity comprehensive liquidity solutions. Investors in HarbourVest’s funds include more than 350 institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, foundations, and financial institutions throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, Latin America, and Japan. HarbourVest and its subsidiaries have more than 230 employees, including more than 70 investment professionals deployed in Boston, London, and Hong Kong.

About Nomura

Nomura is a leading financial services group and the preeminent Asian-based investment bank with worldwide reach. Nomura provides a broad range of innovative solutions tailored to the specific requirements of individual, institutional, corporate and government clients through an international network in over 30 countries. Based in Tokyo and with regional headquarters in Hong Kong, London, and New York, Nomura employs over 27,000 staff worldwide. Nomura’s unique understanding of Asia enables the company to make a difference for clients through three business divisions: retail, wholesale (global markets and investment banking), and asset management. For further information about Nomura, please visit

Media Contact at Phase4 Ventures

Nathan Williams, Capital MSL
T: +44 20 7307 5336
M: +44 7713335171

Media Contact at Nomura

Redzi Mangwana
T: +44 20 7102 1524


Laura Thaxter
Tel: +1 617 348 3695