Vesalius Biocapital Launches New Fund In Collaboration With Portuguese National Promotional Bank (IFD)

Published: Sep 19, 2017

First international investment by IFD
New fund will focus on investing in Portuguese life science companies

Luxembourg-Bertrange / Porto, Portugal, 19 September 2017 – Vesalius Biocapital, the specialist life sciences venture capital investor, announces the launch of a new Portuguese investment vehicle, Vesalius Biocapital III Portugal, in collaboration with the Portuguese National Promotional Bank or Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD), to invest in Portuguese life science companies. This unique investment vehicle is a joint effort between the IFD and new fund Vesalius Biocapital III, launched earlier this year and which secured over €65 million of commitments in a first closing in May 2017.

This is the first joint investment made by the IFD Capital Fund with an international venture fund and is part of its initiative to provide support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As the first international partner to the IFD, Vesalius Biocapital III Portugal will be focused on investing in Portuguese healthcare companies and will be working very closely with Biocant, the main biotech incubator in Portugal, to identify investment opportunities and provide growth capital to entrepreneurs.

Commenting on the launch, Stéphane Verdood, Managing Partner at Vesalius Biocapital III Portugal said: “We are very proud to have the support and co-investment from the Portuguese IFD in this new investment vehicle. Portugal has witnessed an exciting period of growth and global interest in its healthcare sector. There is an international recognition of the R&D capabilities and synergistic development in life sciences and technology, which has created opportunities for both entrepreneurs and investors.

“We share a common goal with the IFD -- to support innovation and provide growth capital to European companies. We look forward to working with them to provide support to companies developing innovative products and technologies to maximise their full potential.”

Professor Alberto Castro Chairman at Instituição Financeira De Desenvolvimento (IFD), said: “The fact that the IFD Capital Fund has attracted Vesalius Biocapital, one of the most important international venture capital investors specialising in life sciences, is a vital achievement and validation of the potential in the Portuguese life sciences market. It confirms Portugal’s healthcare R&D capability to foster new ventures. We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Vesalius Biocapital, fostering cooperation and building reputation, and in the process highlighting Portugal as the place to invest in life sciences. IFD reiterates its commitment to develop the financial instruments needed to fulfill such expectations.”

Gaston Matthyssens, Christian Schneider and Stéphane Verdood are on the Board of the Portuguese investment vehicle, and a member of the IFD will have observer status.

The new fund, backed by both private and European investment and structural funds, and aligned with the Startup Portugal initiative, will target later-stage Portuguese companies in drug development, medtech, diagnostics and eHealth / mHealth, with the goal of investing in between three to five companies over a period of two years.

- ENDS -

Vesalius Biocapital III Partners S.à r.l.
David Braga Malta (For Interactions in Portuguese)
Stéphane Verdood

Supriya Mathur
Phone: +447725952314



Vesalius Biocapital (Vesalius), the specialist life sciences venture capital investor, has supported companies active in human health through venture capital funds since 2007. In the ten years since inception, Vesalius has raised over €250 million to date in its three funds, Vesalius Biocapital I, II and III, and contributed in the development of over 20 companies.

The investment portfolio is well balanced between drug development and non-drug development investments and committed to providing capital to science-backed innovation and ambitious entrepreneurs, with a strong focus on exit within five years.

The specialist team consists of seasoned life science professionals with healthcare industry, corporate finance and strategy consulting experience, supporting companies through their growth cycle. The team is based in Europe and the USA to explore investment opportunities and valuation potential for the portfolio. For more information:

Vesalius Biocapital I: €76 million, launched in 2007, fully invested in 11 portfolio companies
Vesalius Biocapital II: €78 million, launched in 2011, fully invested in 11 portfolio companies


New fund Vesalius Biocapital III, launched in April 2017, targets later-stage European life science companies in drug development, medtech, diagnostics and eHealth / mHealth. The fund secured over €65 million of commitments in a first closing in May 2017, with a target size of €150 million.

Managing Partners include Guy Geldhof, Marc Lohrmann, Dr Christian Schneider and Stéphane Verdood. Venture Partners are Dr Cees Wortel and Dr David Braga Malta.


Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento (IFD) has as its main goal to direct public financial resources, preferentially leveraged by private co-financing, so that Portuguese enterprises may increase their equity capital and finance their investments, while developing their activity in industries concerning tradable goods or services, in the start-up, growth or transfer of ownership stages. IFD’s Mission is to design, structure and operationalise financing solutions that address market failures in Portuguese SME and mid-caps access to finance, thus contributing to economic development and to the creation of wealth and employment, with growing volumes of added value.

Back to news