BioGeneration Ventures raises €105M fund for early European biotechs

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Backed by the likes of Bristol Myers Squibb, Netherlands-based VC shop BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) has raised €105 million ($119 million) for early-stage biotechs working in Europe.

Its fourth fund has been backed by Bristol Myers, as well as European Investment Fund, Industriens Pension, KfW Capital and Schroder Adveq. The sum is not huge, and indeed much less than the $500 million to $1 billion-plus we’ve seen this year from across the U.S., but the VC said it still saw a “strong market interest” that sped up the fund-raise, with the commitments to date “exceeding the fund’s original target.”

BGV is one of the largest VC funds in Europe focused on early investments in new biotech companies, with over €220 million assets under management.

Its approach is to partner with scientists from major European institutions and entrepreneurs, with the aim to build out new companies around either single assets or tech platforms.

This is supported by its collab with fellow VC firm Forbion, providing a platform across early- to late-stage companies.

Its highlight reel of investments includes Acerta Pharma, which was snapped by AstraZeneca for up to $7 billion and brought blood cancer therapy Calquence to the market, and Staten Biotechnology, which signed a €430 million exclusive option deal with Novo Nordisk. Other companies in the current BGV portfolio include NorthSea Therapeutics, Azafaros, Varmx and Confo Therapeutics.

Edward van Wezel, BGV’s managing partner, said: “Over the last few years, BGV has demonstrated that investing in early-stage companies in Europe can bring innovative science to meet patients’ needs worldwide as well as financial value to investors.

“With this new fund, we are pleased to have the backing of some of our long-standing investors; we also welcome our new investors, Industriens Pension and KfW Capital. The early-stage science coming out of European Institutions is second to none and we are working with those at the forefront of their fields. We believe we can make a significant difference to companies in helping them translate promising science into transformational new medicines.”