Fairtree concludes private equity transaction in the global health sector as Fairtree Elevant Ventures, part of the Fairtree group of companies, partners with TASK in the Netherlands to drive growth.
Fairtree Elevant Ventures is a European investment fund focused on accelerating ambitious, growth-orientated companies preparing to scale. With a focus on Seed to Series A investment in Europe, the fund is invested in portfolio companies reshaping the world in which we live. The partnership with TASK, a clinical services company expanding in Europe, marks the fund’s first investment into human nutrition and health – a critical area identified as ready for transformation and accelerated growth.
TASK is a multi-national, multi-site clinical services company committed to its vision of better healthcare for everyone by providing a platform for developing healthcare that benefits the community by testing and progressing novelty medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics in a range of therapeutic areas.
TASK provides a full suite of services to support Phase I to IV clinical trials, from protocol development, regulatory support, seven multi-national test sites, quality assurance, laboratory services, and training services to data analysis and management. TASK has recently launched a joint venture with the University Medical Centre (UMC) Utrecht, in The Netherlands.
Prof. Andreas Diacon founded TASK in 2005. Diacon, TASK’s chairperson and chief science officer, is a Swiss-trained physician and a world-leading authority on tuberculosis research based on his work in South Africa over many years. He will continue to support TASK on its growth journey and will remain a shareholder. TASK’s management team, Johann de Bruyn (Chief Executive Officer) and Melissa Mitchell (Director of Strategic Projects), have joined as shareholders alongside Fairtree to drive this next chapter of TASK’s journey.
“We see enormous potential in TASK as it is strategically poised to play an increasingly important role in global drug development, supporting the work of traditional drug companies and emerging biotech players. The speed of vaccination and drug development during the COVID-19 pandemic showcased new technology advances, opening up exciting new avenues for drug development – and increasing the demand for clinical trials. TASK is well-positioned to play an important role in this value chain, particularly with its expansion into Europe,” stated David Evans, Managing Director of Fairtree Elevant Ventures.
“Prof Andreas Diacon has, with his management team, built a strong base in South Africa, and we look forward to partnering with them to expand the business, focusing on TASK’s partnership with the UMC Utrecht in The Netherlands. At Fairtree, one of the areas where we see significant growth potential is Human Nutrition and Health, especially where there are structural changes, and TASK fits well within this category,” concluded Evans.
“To build TASK’s interlinked South African research ventures has been a great and rewarding journey for me as a physician and entrepreneur over the last 20 years. I see with deep pleasure and satisfaction how TASK keeps maturing into an international organisation led by the next generation. Fairtree is ideally placed to catalyse TASK’s further development and growth, and it will be an honour for me to support TASK’s further expansion,” says Prof. Andreas Diacon, Founder and Chairperson of TASK.
“Being able to partner with a company that has a passion for European incubation expansion and the growth of South African companies is a big win for us. Fairtree has shown great commitment to helping us through their local expertise in Europe to establish TASK as a go-to partner and collaborator in European clinical trials. This partnership will enable us to not only assist in the process of quicker drug development through our own site network, but also drive diversification in trial enrolment through our established sites in Africa,” commented Johann de Bruyn, Chief Executive Officer of TASK.