Biotech investing is sizzling right now, and despite all the attention that the Boston hub gets, the Bay Area is still number one.
Arch Venture Partners has joined a lineup of top venture groups which has been making hay while the market sun shines on biotech IPOs. The VC has marshaled more than $400 million for its new investment fund--its eighth--that will now be available to back a new wave of cutting-edge life science companies, often starting from scratch.
Well-funded biotech Dermira has landed a $51 million C round to support its late-stage dermatology pipeline, rallying some high-profile investors as it dials up R&D spending and builds out its management team.
Well-heeled venture capital firm Venrock has pieced together a 7th fund, banking $450 million in new investments as it sets out to grow its portfolio of promising startups.
Analysts at Silicon Valley Bank have been crunching the numbers on biotech investing, and they have found that a group of busy corporate venture arms has fundamentally changed the landscape for startups and the entire field of early-state drug development--with some big implications for the current crop of industry upstarts.
Sofinnova Ventures has evolved rapidly over the past decade to suit the times, from a diversified early stage biotech and IT investor to focusing solely on later stage biotech. And LPs seem to think it is making all the right moves; it has closed a ninth fund at $500 million, the hard cap for the fund that was initially targeting $425 million.
With investors revved up about biotech's future, a string of funds have outlined plans to raise billions of dollars to back a new generation of life science companies. And New Science Ventures is joining the frenzy with a $100 million game plan of its own.
Versant Ventures is nearing the finish line in its quest to raise a fresh $300 million fund to finance a new wave of biotech and med tech companies. The group, which is based in Menlo Park, CA, filed papers with the SEC indicating that it has now raised all but a few million dollars for Versant Ventures V, its first new fund since the last big $500 million fund was opened for business in 2008.
The biotech is also planning to launch studies for SNC-102 in Tourette syndrome and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Accellient seeded Synchroneuron up to its $6 million Series A from Morningside.
Venture investing in the biotech sector hit the $1.1 billion mark in the first quarter of the year--a surprisingly strong showing for what has generally been a quiet season in the U.S. industry.