Longwood banks $170M in its latest biotech fund

Longwood Fund is topping up its coffers with $170 million for its fifth biotech-building fund. Aptly dubbed Fund V, it is nearly double the VC shop’s first fund of $85 million, raised in 2010.

Over the decade since, Longwood banked more than $475 million to invest in life sciences companies. With the new fund, it will continue to create new companies, as well as back early rounds for established companies. Longwood “anticipates being part of the co-founding team of at least half of the Fund V companies,” the firm said in a statement.

“We continue to employ a consistent strategy, with a fund size optimized for a focused portfolio where we co-found and invest in companies with strong syndicate partners,” said Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., a general partner at Longwood, in the statement.

“Our extensive company-creation and operating experiences, coupled with a broad network, allows us to add demonstrable value to our companies which have over 20 launched or marketed drugs and therapies, as well as over two dozen clinical stage assets, all focused on helping patients in need,” Westphal said.

RELATED: Atlas banks $400M in its latest 'breakthrough biotech' fund

Longwood’s first investment in 2010 was Alnara Pharmaceuticals, which Eli Lilly snapped up later that year. More recently, the firm has backed 28-7 Therapeutics, Bicycle Therapeutics and T-Scan Therapeutics, all three of which are focused on cancer. Earlier this year, Longwood chipped into Lassen Therapeutics’ $31 million series A round, which will support the development of antibodies to treat fibrosis and—you guessed it—cancer.

Longwood joins a long list of VC shops that have seemingly had no trouble scaring up funds despite a global pandemic. In June, Epidarex closed a $126 million fund to invest in U.K. biotechs, while Atlas raised $400 million in its latest “breakthrough biotech” fund. And in April, venBio, Arch Venture Partners and Flagship Pioneering collectively bagged nearly $3 billion to back biotech startups.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct amount for Longwood's Fund V. It is $170 million, not $175 million.