Investment focus on European, US & Canadian private companies developing novel drugs, medical devices and diagnostics.
Forbion Capital Partners, a dedicated life sciences venture capital firm announced the final closing of its third main fund Forbion Capital Fund III (FCF III), raising a total of EUR 183 million (approx. USD 208 million).
FCF III has an investment strategy similar to its predecessor fund, FCF II, aiming to invest the majority of the fund (around 70%) in Europe and the remainder in the US and Canada. The investment focus is on private companies developing novel drugs, medical devices and diagnostics for high, or even unmet, medical needs.
FCF III is serving a market that is both driven by the pharmaceutical industry’s urgent need for new products to supplement their ailing pipelines, as well as by strong patient demand for safer and more efficacious treatments and precision diagnostics.
The fund has already invested in seven promising portfolio companies, including Engene, Rigontec, Replimune, Autonomic Technologies Europe, Sanifit, Staten Biotech and Akarna. These companies cover a range of globally important disease areas including cancer, kidney disease, liver disease, dyslipidemia, inflammatory bowel disease, and pain management.
Commenting on the successful close, Sander Slootweg, Managing Partner at Forbion said: “Raising such a substantial amount is a tribute to Forbion’s reputation as a quality player in life sciences venture capital investment. In Europe especially, it is still a buyer’s market; as a result, we see many highly attractive assets from an increasingly rich deal flow.”
He added: “Our new portfolio is already showing great promise. Canadian molecular therapeutics company EnGene, inventors of the so-called ‘Gene Pill’, has closed two major pharma collaborations since we led the Series B financing round in 2015. In the UK, oncolytic immunotherapy company, Replimune secured a substantial and attractively priced USD 30m Series A round after we provided the seed capital. As several more companies are currently enjoying strategic interest, this bodes well for the success of FCF III.”
With this fundraising, Forbion secured both returning investors and further expanded its global investor base of high quality limited partners, to include the European Investment Fund (EIF) (also through the EIF’s ERP-EIF and LfA-EIF facilities), the Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI), Germany’s KfW development bank, various other regional investment agencies, pension funds, insurance companies, leading European family offices and two strategic investors: Charles River Laboratories and Knight Therapeutics.
Alongside its three main funds, Forbion also manages several Co-Invest Funds (venture growth funds) and co-manages several earlier stage funds with BioGeneration Ventures. Forbion typically leads the investment syndicates it forms and has built a strong track record in recent years. With the close of FCF III, Forbion now manages well over EUR 700 million.
Last year, Forbion was involved in two of the most successful exits of private, European life sciences companies, with the sale of Dezima Pharma to Amgen (total exit value of USD 1.55 billion) and the sale of Acerta Pharma to AstraZeneca (an investment of its affiliate BioGeneration Ventures with a total exit value of USD 7 billion).
In order to swiftly and effectively deploy the newly raised fund, Forbion’s investment team has been expanded with Matthias Falcenberg joining as an Analyst at Forbion’s operations in Munich, from the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry.