Michael Anstey

New CIC recruit to bring big pharma knowledge to Cambridge cluster

By Rachel Holdsworth - 07 February 2017

Dr Michael Anstey is the latest recruit for Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC); he has come from Canada to join the company as an Investment Director specialising in healthcare investments. He comments: "There is an abundance of impressive innovation in bioscience occurring in the Cambridge Cluster. We are on the cusp of something fantastic here. It's exciting to be part of an opportunity in a growth phase and I think it's the perfect time to join this world class team and build something great.”

Anstey was previously a Principal in the Healthcare Practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Toronto, Canada, recognised as one of the top management consulting firms in the world. He brings experience in advising multinational healthcare businesses across North America, Europe, India, and Japan on a broad range of topics, including corporate strategy, sales and marketing, new launches, R&D and medical strategy and M&A. Michael is also a co-founder of Proteorex Therapeutics Inc, a Canadian biotechnology company developing small molecule drugs that target protein-protein interactions in disease.

Victor Christou, Chief Executive Officer of CIC, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mike to the CIC team. His arrival further enhances our healthcare investment team, especially given Mike’s knowledge of and connections with large biopharmaceutical companies. I know his skills will be of great benefit to our healthcare portfolio companies and to CIC.”

Diversity is strength and Anstey, with his knowledge of the requirements of Fortune 500 companies, brings a different perspective to the Cambridge-based investment company, increasing the scope of support for its portfolio companies.

He says: “At BCG I advised over 30 multinational pharma companies on their most challenging issues to help them to win in their market. It's like putting the pieces together for a complex jigsaw; if you want to win in oncology then you need to focus on this type of technology, partner with this institution, acquire this company and so on.

“Each big pharma has its own culture and I have a good sense of how they work and the differences between them.

“Many of our portfolio companies aspire to become successful on this scale or are looking to sell to, or partner with, these companies. I have a good sense of what small businesses need to do to be attractive to them.”

Further good news is that CIC has money to invest in companies with disruptive technology.

Anstey believes that many Cambridge companies have achieved incredible things on relatively small amounts of cash.

“Although there is more money in the United States, there have been great success stories in the UK where impressive feats have been achieved on less money. I think we should celebrate that; Britain is quite unique and we don’t need to replicate the US. The UK has its own special abilities,” he says.

“Cambridge Medical Robotics is an interesting example. They are in a huge potential market with some stiff competitors who are spending more on development, but CMR has the best technology and is leading the way.

“However, there is usually a need down the line for large sums of money, and we operate in a global environment. Overseas investors can bring access to new markets as well as new funds.

“Cambridge is arguably the hottest spot in Europe for start-ups so there is fantastic deal flow coming through. We have money to invest so we are looking for the best opportunities – we are expecting many successful years ahead!” 

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