Flagship Pioneering gains $618M for life science investment push

Venture capital firm Flagship Pioneering has got a major $618 million in capital, the biggest in its 17-year history, topping its total to $2.3 billion.

The cash, which will be used toward healthcare companies, comes from Flagship's longtime investors as well as many additional institutional investors, the firm says in a brief statement.

The company has helped back biotechs including unicorn Moderna, Fierce 15 winner Rubius, Editas and Agios.

“For nearly two decades, Flagship has originated impactful, first- and best-in-class companies that create entirely new categories in human health and sustainability,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Flagship Pioneering.

“This new capital will fuel our unique model, which combines in a single institution scientific foresight and creativity, risk mitigation, systematic invention, professional entrepreneuring, executive leadership, professional capital management, and a vast network of expertise.

“Together with our innovation foundry, VentureLabs, Flagship's current ecosystem of over 35 pioneering ventures represents a powerful new source of transformative products for healthcare and sustainability.”

The VC did not go into details as to which biopharmas it will be targeting for investment with its latest fund.

Back in September, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Flagship, which recently added the “Pioneering” to its moniker, filed a $500 million offering with the SEC to set up a sixth investment fund but has managed to top that target.

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Its last offering—dubbed “special opportunities”—raised $285 million and closed in December 2016, complementing its fifth fund, which raised $585 million in 2015 and had been its largest to date, until today.