Venture Capital

North of a billion biotech VC dollars to come from C-Bridge, Rothschild as global biopharma capital flows

Two powerhouse private equity firms, based out of Europe and China respectively, are looking at multi-million funds to fuel their global biopharma pursuits.

France’s Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners has raised $430 million (€345 million) for BioDiscovery 5 — 80% larger than the fourth life sciences fund it closed in 2012. Meanwhile, six months after closing a $400 million biopharma fund, PEI reports that Chinese private equity player C-Bridge Capital is raising a $650 million third fund.

The sizes of both are significant: Rothschild’s is among the largest ever European venture capital funds focused on life sciences. For C-Bridge, this new round would be its largest fund yet, underscoring its ambition in financing booming Chinese biotechs as well as rapid expansion in the US (C-Bridge declined to confirm or comment on the report).

Raphaël Wisniewski

Per the Financial Times, roughly two-thirds of BioDiscovery 5 will go to biotech and the rest to medical devices businesses. The firm will allocate up to 10% of the fund in each company — with interests in oncology, metabolic disorders and neurology, as well as gene and cell therapy. While the focus remains on private companies, the new fund will also explore investing in public ones.

“For the last five years there has been significant growth of the financing environment in Europe and the US because there has been some very good years for biotech on the stock market,” partner Raphaël Wisniewski told the FT.

In fact, one of the three investments BioDiscovery 5 has already made to date is a public company, Erytech Pharma $ERYP. The other two? Radnor, PA-based Complexa and Cambridge, MA-based LogicBio Therapeutics.

The details surrounding C-Bridge’s fund are less clear. What we do know is that the firm, which focuses on late-stage companies, has been scouting the US for new life sciences technologies that can be funneled through portfolio companies into China, recruiting former GSK R&D chief Abbas Hussain along the way.

It currently has around $800 million of assets under management, with a portfolio that features some of China’s leading players in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and medical devices, Ascletis and Tianjing Biopharma among them.


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