Perpetual life sciences investor Sofinnova raises nearly $600M

Sofinnova Ventures, which over the course of its now ten funds has evolved its focus from early-stage life science and tech firms to later stage biotechs, has announced a pooling of $595 million as its latest investor effort.

This is just shy of its $650 million total, according to its SEC filing, but represents a big leap over its ninth fund, completed back in 2014, which saw it hit $500 million.

In recent years the VC has helped a number of biotech companies with funding, which saw it lead a $65 million round last year for gene therapy specialist Audentes in its Series C. The biotech announced a month ago that it was now seeking a $75 million IPO.


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And back in May, its portfolio company Merus announced it was gunning for a $65 million public offering on the Nasdaq to help shore up its cash for future midstage cancer trials.

The IPO market has been tricky this year for many biotechs, but VC raises have gone from strength to strength. This year alone has seen a series of major funds, including Arch’s plans for a $400M-plus for venture fund, announced earlier this year, as it looks to build up on its already impressive portfolio that includes Juno ($JUNO) and bluebird ($BLUE).

California investment firm Vivo Capital, known for its big pharma and med dev raises, also in June closed a new healthcare venture capital fund at over $100 million that will include a percentage being funneled into startup biotechs.

Meanwhile, in the same month, European venture outfit Life Sciences Partners raised $280 million toward a new biotech fund--surpassing its $170 million target. Fellow European venture capital firm Forbion Capital Partners also closed is third flagship life sciences fund at €183 million ($208 million), while another VC firm, SV Life Sciences, recently announced it was nearing its 2015 target of raising $400 million in its sixth fund round.

And it’s not just traditional life science VC firms either as Swiss wealth management company UBS raised $471 million in April for the final closing of the UBS “Oncology Impact Fund”--an investing initiative aimed at developing new cancer treatments.

All of these together sees a total global series of funding for life sciences of around $2.5 billion.

- check out the SEC form

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