Venture Firm Wellington Partners Launches $237 Million Life Science Fund
Wellington Partners, a top European venture capital firm based in Munich, Germany, announced the final close of its fifth-generation Wellington Partners Life Science Fund V (WPLS-V). It closed at $237 million (U.S.), which is the largest Wellington Partners fund targeting life sciences.
The fund plans to build a portfolio of about 15 to 20 companies, with a focus on novel biotechnology platforms, new therapeutics and medical devices, as well as diagnostics and digital medicine. It is likely to focus primarily on European companies, particularly German speaking areas, but is open to considering opportunities in North America or Asia.
The fund brought in investments from KfW Capital, Talanx, and U.S.-based UTIMCO, the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Company. Existing investors European Investment Fund and the European Investment bank also participated.
“The successful final close for Wellington Partners Life Science Fund V at EUR 210 million, more than double the size of our previous fund, is testament to investor appetite for our specialist investment strategy and to our team’s unrivalled experience and long-standing track record in European life science investing,” stated Regina Hodits, Managing Partner of Wellington Partners. “We are seeing clear opportunities for superior returns from investing in pioneering European life sciences companies. Given the world-leading innovation ecosystem in Europe, particularly in the German speaking region, paired with a scarcity of qualified financial investors operating in the European life science arena, we have already identified significant opportunities for WPLS-V.”
Wellington Partners notes several recent exits. They include the sale of digital pathology firm Definiens to AstraZeneca for up to $300 million; immuno-oncology company Rigontec’s sale to Merck (MSD) for $553 million; Symetis, a medical device company, sold to Boston Scientific for $435 million; and Invendo Medical, which focuses on disposable GI endoscopy devices, sold to Ambu for up to EUR 225 million.
In June 2018, Carisma Therapeutics (formerly CARMA Therapeutics), based in Philadelphia, closed on a $53 million Series A financing. The financing was led by AbbVie Ventures and HealthCap and included existing seed investors IP Group, Penn Medicine and Grazia Equity. Wellington Partners was a new investor, along with TPG Biotech, MRL Ventures Fund and Agent Capital. Regina Hodits came on the company’s board of directors.
“Wellington Partners has been delivering outstanding returns to investors for more than 20 years,” stated Rainer Strohmenger, Managing Partner of Wellington Partners. “Across all four previous life science fund generations our investment strategy has addressed major unmet medical needs with highly innovative products. The new fund will allow us to continue this proven and successful investment strategy on a larger scale.”
Strohmenger added, “Attracting both new and existing international blue-chip investors to the fund demonstrates the caliber of our investment strategy and we are particularly pleased to welcome new investors UTIMCO, KfW Capital and Talanx. We are also grateful for the continued support from our existing investors European Investment Fund and the European Investment bank, as well as several family offices and trusts, who substantially increased their commitments.”
Some of Wellington Partners’ life science investments include Actelion, Definiens, Invendo, MTM laboratories, Rigontec, Symetis, Immatics and AMBOSS.