Biomatics raises $300M for healthcare fund, recruits biopharma veterans

A pair of Gates Foundation alumni founded Biomatics Capital Partners in 2016. (Pixabay)

Biomatics Capital Partners has raised $300 million for its second fund and signed on two new venture partners: serial biotech entrepreneur Errik Anderson and Mike Poole, M.D., most recently of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but who has also spent time at AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

A pair of Gates Foundation alumni, Boris Nikolic, M.D., and Julie Sunderland, founded the Seattle-based VC firm in 2016 to focus on “advancing data-enabled healthcare innovations.” Its first fund invested $200 million into the likes of Denali Therapeutics, BlackThorn Therapeutics and Grail.

"We've gained incredible momentum in our first couple of years as we've seen our investments become a tangible force in moving big ideas closer to the patients who may ultimately benefit," Nikolic said in a statement. "As we bring on two experienced venture partners for our second fund, we look forward to expanding our deal flow to include even more companies that seek to make a lasting impact on human health."

Anderson, who has cofounded a number of biotech companies—including Adimab, Alector and Compass Therapeutics—will join the firm’s Boston office, leaning on his “deep networks throughout the biotech and digital health sectors on the East Coast, as well as his vast experience building successful companies,” Biomatics said in a statement.

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As for Poole, he will focus on sniffing out data- and genomics-based approaches to diagnose and treat neurological disorders. Before leading R&D technology investment at the Gates Foundation and supporting Bill Gates’ “foray into Alzheimer’s diagnostics and treatments,” Poole headed up neuroscience innovation at AstraZeneca. He also focused on neurodegenerative disease at Link Medicine and Hypnion, and served as VP of neuroscience at Pfizer.

Biomatics is looking to invest its new fund in 15 to 20 companies, making initial investments of $5 million to $10 million for a potential total investment of $30 million. While it tends to invest early, the firm won’t pigeonhole itself and may choose to take part in later-stage rounds.

"We are decidedly not dogmatic about when we choose to invest in a portfolio company," Sunderland said. "The bottom line is that we want great people and transformational science. We don't want to do incremental.”