Sofinnova Nets $1B+ from Apollo to Accelerate Biotech Growth

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Sofinnova Partners, a leading life sciences venture firm, announced Monday that it has entered into a long-term strategic and financial partnership with Apollo, a high-growth, alternative asset manager looking to expand its presence in the life sciences.

Under the terms of the agreement, Apollo will take a minority equity interest in Sofinnova and commit up to €1 billion of managed capital to its investment funds.

The strategic partnership will accelerate the growth of Sofinnova and increase the presence of Apollo in the life sciences industry while contributing to its growth ecosystem of partners that provide specialized knowledge to the company. The two companies plan to offer entrepreneurs a range of capital solutions to bring new therapeutic and biotechnological company solutions to the clinic and market.

Apollo was founded in the 1990s and considers itself a leading contributor to addressing the biggest issues facing the world today including transitioning to sustainable energy, accelerating the adoption of new technologies and helping to build and finance companies that intend to drive positive outcomes.

“The life sciences industry continues to grow and innovate, creating significant opportunities to fund and advance new therapeutics and technologies in pursuit of better health outcomes. Today, Apollo and its affiliates manage more than $5 billion across the healthcare and life sciences industries, and we view this space as a significant growth area for the firm," Scott Kleinman, co-president of Apollo said in a press release. "Sofinnova is a clear partner of choice, with specialized knowledge and a vast industry network that is accretive to our broader investing platform."

Apollo will have no shortage of biopharma and biotech companies to choose from. Sofinnova currently invests in or collaborates with dozens of life sciences companies ranging from surgical robots to retinal implant systems to therapeutics for autoimmune diseases. Just recently, NodThera, one of Sofinnova’s portfolio members, announced clinical progress in Phase-I studies of an inflammasome inhibitor intended to treat diseases that are driven by chronic inflammation.

In January, another of Sofinnova’s portfolio members, Crescendo Biologics scored a global collaboration with BioNTech to develop multi-specific precision immunotherapies for patients with cancers and other diseases. Synthace, backed by Sofinnova and the first life sciences software company to enable scientists to automate biological experimentation, raised $35 million in Series C financing in November 2021, ever-expanding the reach of Sofinnova in the biotech space.

Apollo’s healthcare investments have most recently taken the form of merging hospital chains. The firm merged Kindred Healthcare, an acute care hospital chain, with LifePoint Health, a rural hospital chain, into a new healthcare company called ScionHealth. ScionHealth will consist of 79 hospital campuses in 25 states, taking on rehabilitation and behavioral health businesses under the same roof.

Notably, Sofinnova has made a lot of investments in the biotechnology space in Milan, Italy. Over the past three years, the company has assessed 500 investments in Italy. One of its partners, Lucia Faccio, stated that Italy is the center of excellence for biotechnology companies.

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