Bob Langer's first port of call — Polaris Partners — maps $400M for ninth fund
Health and tech venture group Polaris Partners, which counts Alector, Alnylam and Editas Medicine as part of its portfolio, is setting up its ninth fund, roughly two years after it closed Polaris VIII with $435 million in the bank, surpassing its target by $35 million.
The Boston-based firm, in an SEC filing, said it intends to raise $400 million for the fund. Polaris — which routinely backs companies molded out of the work done in the lab of prolific scientist Bob Langer of MIT — typically invests early, and sticks around till companies are in the green. Like its peers at Flagship and Third Rock, Polaris is all about championing the local biotech scene with a steady flow of startup cash.
Just last week, Polaris participated in a $76 million round to back BlackThorn Therapeutics — which is hoping to harness artificial intelligence to develop precision medicines for neurobehavioral disorders. Earlier this year, Polaris-backed Lyndra raised $60 million in a round of fresh funding — the company, like dozens of others behind it, traces its roots to Langer’s lab at MIT, and was provided seed money from Polaris.
San Francisco-based biotech Alector, which also counts Polaris as an investor, laid the path for $150 million IPO in January as it develops a crop of drugs designed to weaponize the immune system to fight neurodegenerative diseases.