Blackstone hits $4.6B fundraising goal, teeing up big bets on late-phase R&D

Blackstone Life Sciences has hit the target for its latest fund, giving it $4.6 billion to place a series of big bets. The vehicle, which Blackstone claims is the largest life sciences private fund, has already committed close to $1 billion to companies including Alnylam and Reata Pharmaceuticals.

In January, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed Blackstone had raised $3.4 billion toward a planned $4.6 billion life science fund. Since then, Blackstone has followed up on 2019 bets on entities linked to Novartis and Ferring with a fresh round of investments in projects involving Alnylam, Reata and Medtronic using cash from its new fund.

Blackstone revealed it has met its $4.6 billion target late Thursday and reaffirmed its investment strategy. The money will support strategic collaborations with established companies, late-phase product development and growth investments in emerging companies.

Different elements of that strategy are evident in the investments Blackstone has made using the fund in recent months. The biggest of the deals came in April, when Blackstone Life Sciences agreed to provide Alnylam with up to $150 million to fund development of cardiometabolic assets vutrisiran and ALN-AGT and led a $1 billion commitment to acquire 50% of commercial payments on inclisiran.

Those commitments were part of a larger $2 billion agreement involving the wider Blackstone group, notably its credit platform. Together, the life science fund and credit platform put up the money that may help Alnylam continue its evolution from pioneering biotech to established, profitable company.

Last month, Blackstone followed up the Alnylam pact with two deals that illustrated other aspects of what it brings to life science investing. The fund led a $350 million investment in Reata, giving the biotech that money to try to bring its Alport syndrome to market and make it a commercial success. Later in the month, Blackstone moved into medtech by agreeing to fund diabetes R&D programs at Medtronic.

Blackstone said the deals have swallowed up close to $1 billion of the fund, leaving it with more than $3.5 billion still to deploy.