Israel’s Arkin Holdings launches second biotech fund, worth $140 million
Four years after launching their first biotech fund, Arkin Holdings is scaling up.
The Israeli investment firm is teaming with Phoenix Group on a $140 million fund to fuel 10-12 companies building gene therapies, DNA and RNA-based treatments, or other targeted drugs for diseases that now leave patients with few other options. Along with Phoenix and Arkin, Israeli-based Migdal will also contribute capital.
The new pot is more than twice the size of the $60 million biotech fund they launched with Phoenix in 2016. That fund had no specialized focus but much of it went to biotechs with different approaches to treating cancer, including UroGen, Werewolf Therapeutics and Oncorus. They also spent on Karus Therapeutics, which focuses on neuromuscular diseases, and Censa Pharmaceuticals, which works on metabolic disorders.
Although little known in the US, a Hebrew language outlet recently called Arkin “the most prominent biomed investor in Israel.” Billionaire founder Mori Arkin created the firm after selling the generics manufacturer he inherited as a teenager to Perrigo for over $800 million. It now has a portfolio of $1.4 billion.
The new fund will be managed by Pini Orbach, a longtime biotech executive who worked on Epix and on the cancer immunotherapy company cCam before Merck purchased it in 2015. As Arkin’s pharma chief, he also led the first fund. There, he invested broadly but focused in small part on Israeli firms, such as Pi Therapeutics.
Social image: Mori Arkin, Arkin Holdings