Sofinnova Partners builds stacks [on stacks, on stacks] as fund breaks past $2B mark
Just in case you were concerned that Sofinnova Partners might be getting distracted by its new late-stage forays, the cornerstone French life science VC announced a new early-stage fund worth a third of a billion euros, or $370 million.
Sofinnova Capital IX will provide founding and lead investments to startups and corporate spinoffs in the biotech and medical device industries, where the bulk of the company’s vast reservoirs have been pushed to date. The new fund brings the company to $1 billion raised over the last 4 years – half of the $2 billion it says it now manages.
Long an early-investor, Sofinnova unveiled a $340 million sized “Crossover” fund last year to get in on the late game. It said it would spend between $18.6 and $49.5 million per company across 15 companies.
Political and economic troubles have not appeared to stem cash flow for some of Europe’s largest bio investors this year. Sofinnova said Capital IX was oversubscribed. It comes after the UK’s Medicxi raised €400 million in July, the same month Germany’s Wellington Partners brought in $237 million to launch its Life Science Fund V. In March, Seventure held the first close on its €200 million microbiome fund.
Major events such as Brexit still pose a looming threat, though. The UK BioIndustry Association published a report this month suggesting that investment was slowly drying in the country because of the uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU. But these ebbing forces have come at the same time that, some biotech leaders say, European investors have warmed up to an industry they once viewed as too risky.
Sofinnova claimed €4 billion in total enterprise value from exits over the last 3 years, according to managing partner and chairman Antoine Papiernik. They were investors in DBV Technologies, the first French biotech listed on the Nasdaq (though recently apparently losing out to Aimmune in the peanut allergy wars), Innate Pharma, and PPL Therapeutics — the company behind Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep.
Some of the EU biotech money will of course flow elsewhere. Sofinnova, long transparent about where they send money, said about 2/3 of the new fund will stay in Europe and a 1/3 will go to other markets, mainly North America.