Christoph Westphal bags a $170M Fund V, slated to help breed some new biotechs at Longwood
Christoph Westphal has closed the fifth in a series of funds for Longwood with $170 million to play with. That’s not a blockbuster by any means in this day and age, but it will keep him in the high-profile position he’s enjoyed for years now in biotech.
The Boston-based fund counts itself as one of the biotech breeders in the business, specializing in startups. And Westphal’s involvement in some of the hub’s biggest successes, including the early days at Alnylam, has helped secure his rep in the community.
His biggest score was with Sirtris, the aging R&D biotech that he sold to GSK for $720 million. The pharma giant may have preferred to have its money back, though, as nothing ever came of that controversial play.
More recently Westphal has been focused on a slate of newcos, including TScan, which scored a $30 million upfront to work with NIBR on a new TCR immuno-oncology program. But there have been some nasty setbacks along the way too, including Flex Pharma, which crashed and burned in 2018, as well as Verastem, which cratered on the original plan before switching over to a new cancer strategy.
Westphal works closely with David Steinberg and Rich Aldrich, the two other general partners, and CFO John Lawrence.