Bain creates $1.1B fund for fresh round of life science bets

Bain Capital has raised a $1.1 billion life sciences fund to place another round of big bets. The fund sets Bain up to continue striking eye-catching deals such as the Pfizer spinouts it bankrolled through its first life science investment vehicle.

Private investment firm Bain set up its first life science fund in 2016, pulling in $600 million from third parties and adding $120 million from its own coffers. Since then, Bain has been involved in some of the biggest investments in biotech, eschewing early-stage companies in favor of businesses that have gone some way toward validating their pipelines. That focus led Bain to commit $350 million to a startup that acquired Pfizer’s neuroscience pipeline and help another Pfizer spinout raise $228 million.

Now, Bain has raised another $900 million from outside investors for its second life science fund, Bloomberg reports. With Bain committing around $180 million of its own money to the investment vehicle, the overall fund is about 64% bigger than its predecessor.

Bain will follow the same playbook as for its first fund, which has invested in 15 companies. The new fund will commit between $20 million and $100 million to 15 to 20 companies developing drugs, medical devices, diagnostics or tools. Some of the money will go toward crossover rounds. Another tranche will support more advanced companies that need big sums to support the build-out of commercial infrastructure.

The current landscape provides plenty of such opportunities. The level of early-stage VC investment in recent years and investor interest in IPOs have created a pool of companies looking for one big private round before going public. More biotechs are taking drugs to market themselves. And Big Pharma companies continue to look for ways to offload pipeline prospects and narrow their focus. 

Bain’s financial clout means it is better equipped than most investors to help out in these situations. The investor is building out the team that will oversee its life science activities, including by hiring ex-Editas Medicine Chief Financial Officer Andrew Hack as managing director.