Abingworth Closes on $315 Million Fund Aimed at Life Science Companies in Europe and the U.S.

Abingworth Bioventures closed out its latest investment fund aimed at supporting life science companies with $315 million. The latest fund, ABV VII, will be used to support investments in Europe and the United States.

Kurt von Emster, a managing partner of Abingworth, pointed to the company’s transatlantic presence as part of the company’s “successful life sciences strategy.” He said that has increased deal flow and expanded access to markets. The transatlantic investing has also broadened the firm’s “network of entrepreneurs, management and investors,” von Emster said.

Abingworth has invested in a number of prominent companies that have been making news lately, including gene therapy company CRISPR Therapeutics and two companies that were recently snapped up in an M&A frenzy this year. Abingworth had been an investor in Wilson Therapeutics, which was acquired by Alexion for $855 million in April. Another company backed by Abingworth was IFM Therapeutics, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb last year in a deal that could ultimately be worth $2.3 billion if certain milestones are met.

Abingworth also provided seed-funding for London-based GammaDelta Therapeutics, an Abingworth portfolio company. In 2017 GammaDelta inked a deal worth $100 million with Takeda to develop GammaDelta’s T Cell platform to create therapies for a broad range of cancers, including solid tumors and auto-inflammatory diseases. If things go well for the partnership, Takeda could acquire the small London-based company, according to the terms of that deal.

In addition to its 12 primary funds, Abingworth noted that its clinical co-development portfolio has “driven significant value” with the recent approvals of Avillion’s Bosulif and SFJ Pharmaceuticals’ Mylotarg and Besnponsa.

The U.K.-based firm said the fund exceeded its target goal of $300 million to finance ABV VII. To date, Abingworth has raised more than $1.2 billion to support its investment funds. AVBV VII is the firm’s 12th fund. The firm uses its funds to support companies in multiple stages of development. The typical size of investment in a company ranges between $15 million and $30 million, the firm said. Abingworth's investor base has further diversified for ABV VII, including capital from endowments, foundations, fund-of-funds, family offices, healthcare corporations, insurance companies and pension plans across the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Tim Haines, managing partner of Abingworth, said the firm is excited to close out its latest fund and use the proceeds to support “high-quality existing and new investors.” Haines added that it’s an “exciting time in medical and scientific innovation” to launch the latest fund.

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