GHO Capital realises significant return with sale of FairJourney Biologics

Posted: 1 Jul 2024
  • Under GHO’s ownership FairJourney Biologics has become an established leader in antibody discovery and development, with more than 5x revenue growth since 2019

  • GHO to reinvest in a minority stake to continue to support the outstanding delivery of FairJourney’s founder and management team, and to realise the further growth potential of the company

London, UK – Global Healthcare Opportunities, or GHO Capital Partners LLP (“GHO”), the European specialist investor in global healthcare, is delighted to announce the sale of a majority stake in FairJourney Biologics (FairJourney), a global leader in antibody discovery and development services, to Partners Group, one of the largest firms in the global private markets industry, acting on behalf of its clients. FairJourney will be further capitalised by Partners Group, alongside GHO and FairJourney founder and CEO, António Parada.

Since its founding in 2012 in Porto, Portugal, by scientists António Parada and Maria Pajuelo, FairJourney has grown into one of the world’s most pre-eminent antibody companies. Partnering with leading biopharma companies, FairJourney supports more than 250 clients across the globe. The company has discovered over 1,000 lead antibody candidates on behalf of pharmaceutical groups since inception, of which 14 disclosed antibody therapies are currently in active clinical development to treat unmet patient needs across oncology, immunology, and cardiovascular disease.

GHO partnered with FairJourney in 2020 and has supported the management team to transform the business, broadening its service offering and geographic footprint to better serve an international client base. This transformation included significant investment in a world class R&D facility in Porto, Portugal and the acquisition of Iontas in 2020, which added patented innovative antibody discovery technology and further R&D labs in Cambridge, UK. FairJourney’s scientific excellence, relentless customer focus and end-to-end service offering uniquely position it to accelerate its clients’ projects from idea to lead candidate, ready for regulatory submission and clinical trials.

FairJourney’s continued growth is set to be supported by strong market tailwinds including higher R&D spending by the pharmaceutical industry, increased demand for efficiencies leading to greater need for outsourcing, the established track record of antibody-based therapies, and a favourable regulatory landscape.

The Partners at GHO Capital commented: “Realising this significant return through the sale of FairJourney is a testament to the incredible ability of its founders and team to build an industry leading antibody discovery and development company. We are delighted to continue to support Antonio and his team in this next phase of the company’s growth and development and we have complete trust that the success we have been able to achieve together will continue in the years to come. We look forward to working with Partners Group to further broaden FairJourney’s innovative offering, whilst maintaining its leading position in the space.”

António Parada, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, FairJourney Biologics, added: “Since our establishment in 2012, we have worked tirelessly to become the world’s leading antibody partner by providing our biopharma clients with best-of-class service, cutting-edge science and innovative technology. Our partnership with the team at GHO Capital, led by Andrea Ponti and Edward de Nor, has been instrumental in helping us achieve this. They have the specialist healthcare expertise and network that is invaluable when rapidly scaling a company like FairJourney and we could not have attained our global success without them. We are delighted that they remain an investor and we look forward to working with them and our new majority shareholder Partners Group, who is well positioned to support us in expanding our technologies, scientific leadership and service offering at a global scale.”

JP Morgan acted as the exclusive sell-side advisor to the company and GHO. Reed Smith and CTSU acted as legal advisors and Alvarez and Marsal for financial and tax matters. L.E.K. Consulting acted for the company as commercial advisor, Deloitte provided tax and structuring advice to GHO and Jamieson Corporate Finance advised management.