Forbion unveils $50M fund for lightning round of late-stage investments

A little more than a year after it launched a €54 million fund to back some well advanced biotech and med device companies on both sides of the Atlantic, Forbion Capital Partners is back with $50 million in new chips to bet on late-stage portfolio companies. And the managing partner of the Dutch group says there's plenty more investment money out there for anyone who can show investors some quick returns in a field plagued by slow exits and frustrated developers competing for a shrinking pool of venture cash.

Forbion says it closed its first FCF 1 fund back in the fall of 2010 and earned cash on two quick exits: One for BioVex, which was bought out by Amgen ($AMGN) in a high profile billion-dollar deal, and the other for Pathway Medical, which went to Bayer MedRad for $125 million. Forbion, an experienced biotech investor, used the first round of FCF 1 funding to invest in 6 companies close to a perceived exit. Now it plans to follow up with a second lightning round of bets to see if it can score some more quick returns.

Forbion's first investment from the new fund went to Saddle Brook, NJ-based Circulite a little more than a week ago. The group joined a lineup of investors backing Circulite's $30 million Series D, which is earmarked to support the launch next year of what's being billed as the "world's smallest surgically implanted blood pump." And Forbion says there more money where this came from.

"We raised this second FCF 1 Co-Investment Fund in just a few weeks in difficult markets, reflecting the strong support Forbion enjoys from its current investor base, which includes many of the blue chip names active in the life sciences space," says Sander Slootweg, the managing partner. "Our experience is that investors like to put more capital behind the earmarked winners in our portfolio. As a result of our LPs being convinced of the exit potential of the respective FCF 1 portfolio companies, the Fund has ended up oversubscribed."

- here's the press release