A New $550 Million Life Sciences Venture Capital Fund is in Town


San Francisco-based venBio closed on a new life sciences venture capital fund, its fourth. Dubbed the venBio Global Strategic Fund IV, it is worth about $550 million in capital commitments in an oversubscribed round of fundraising. The fund is being led by Managing Partners Corey Goodman, Robert Adelman, Aaron Royston and Richard Gaster. Sidley Austin LLP represented venBio in the closing of venBio Global Strategic Fund IV, LP, its fourth life sciences venture capital fund, exceeding its target and closing on approximately $550 million in capital commitments in an oversubscribed fundraise.

venBio Global Strategic Fund IV will invest primarily in drug companies focused on developing therapies for unmet medical needs. venBio was founded in 2011. Since then, it has raised almost $1.5 billion in capital commitments. 

It has also led investment rounds in 34 companies, including Labrys Biologics, which Teva later acquired; ALX Oncology; Aragon Pharmaceutical, later bought by Johnson & Johnson; Seragon Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Roche; Aurinia Pharmaceuticals; Apellis Pharmaceuticals; Turning Point Therapeutics; Precision BioSciences; Akero Therapeutics; Harmony Biosciences; and Pharvaris.

“We remain committed to our unique approach and strategy and hope the results speak for themselves – our portfolio companies have delivered four drugs to market for six clinical indications, and another seven drug candidates are demonstrating promising late-stage efficacy,” said Adelman.

Goodman notes, “our portfolio is directly impacting patient lives and we could not have accomplished that without the ongoing commitment from our limited partners, and we are grateful for their continued support for Fund IV. With Fund IV we intend to continue our proven approach of helping to build 12-15 companies per fund while doubling down on winners by providing stronger support for our portfolio companies in crossover rounds and at IPO.”

This is only the latest of a string of recent new life science venture capital funds. In May, Perceptive Advisers, based in New York and Boston, closed on Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund II worth $515 million in an oversubscribed raise. Perceptive now has $725 million under management. 

The new fund is entirely focused on early-stage venture, complementing its Perceptive Advisors’ Life Science Fund, a hedge fund, and Credit Opportunities Funds. It expects the new fund to be the only or predominant lead investor in Series A rounds varying from $20 to $40 million while keeping funds available for Series B rounds.

Chris Garabedian, chairman and chief executive officer of Xontogeny, is leading the PXV Funds. Garabedian said, “With PXV Fund I, we were able to quickly identify and fund a number of opportunities that were high quality with tremendous potential for addressing important disease areas and the potential for generating outsized value creation. I’m excited that we will continue our funding of promising early-stage life science companies through clinical proof-of-concept with the PXV Fund II.”

In May, Droia Ventures, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, closed on a third fund that is now worth $265 million (U.S.). It is planning to invest in early-stage biotech companies focused on genetic diseases. Named Droia Genetic Disease has a similar design to its oncology-focused funds, which will continue to operate and invest. 

Droia Genetic Disease has made three investments in Europe and the U.S., with plans to invest in nine or ten more in the future. All the limited partners of its oncology funds participated in the Droia Genetic Disease fund and top-tier institutional and private investors from Europe and the Americas.

“This is an important milestone for Droia,” said Janwillem Naesens, managing partner of Droia Ventures. “Our distinct investment model has proven its merit in oncology and is now demonstrating its applicability to genetic diseases. Luc Dochez will be managing partner for the new fund. With his long and outstanding track record of building successful genetic disease companies and with George joining forces, we are fully set to make this another great success.”

George is George Golumbeski, former executive vice president of Business Development at Celgene. He joined Droia in support of the new fund. He will work from the U.S. on both genetic disease and oncology investments.

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