Drug Development

Sofinnova Ventures ups the ante – again – as it closes in on $650M biotech fund

Sofinnova Ventures is close to capping off a new $650 million biotech fund. Earlier in the week the Silicon Valley-based VC group posted an SEC filing noting that it has rounded up $595.5 million for Sofinnova Venture Partners X.

This 10th fund is already well ahead of the $500 million Sofinnova raised for its 9th fund back in the summer of 2014. And it will be substantially bigger than fund 8, which raised $440 million. James Healy is the general partner.

Fund X marks just the latest example of the steady stream of investment cash that continues to flow in U.S. biotech circles. With the rate of new IPOs slowing dramatically in H1, there has been a slight drop in venture financings in Q2 in the US. Possibly that has something to do with a reduced demand for crossover cash to fund rounds just ahead of an IPO. But the money on tap still far exceeds the averages of the 5 years ahead of 2015’s record-breaking pace.

In recent times Sofinnova has been a busy player in biotech. It contributed to a $40 million Series A to launch a new biotech called Iterum Therapeutics, focused on developing a new antibiotic, back in March. A year earlier, there was a $72.5 million round for Edge Therapeutics, when it was on the edge of a Phase III trial for a drug to treat brain hemorrhages linked to aneurysms. Its extensive portfolio of biotech companies includes Spark, Prothena and aTyr.

Like the other big players in biotech VC circles, Sofinnova has been able to take advantage of the long lineup of IPOs that pushed developers into public markets. The gene therapy player Audentes Therapeutics was the latest example of that, going public in July. It also has some far-flung investments, including Merus, a Danish biotech which went public in May.

Sofinnova Ventures is not to be confused with Paris-based Sofinnova Partners. The two once operated as one years ago, but have long since broken up. They still work together, though, from time to time, joining up on some of the same biotech syndicates.

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