Sofinnova raises €275M crossover fund to back late-stage firms

Sofinnova Partners has raised a €275 million ($340 million) crossover fund. The vehicle sets Sofinnova up to expand beyond its traditional areas of focus and invest in 15 late-stage private and public drug and medical device companies.

Paris, France-based Sofinnova made its name leading seed and series A investments in European life science companies. That focus forced the fund to step back as its portfolio companies and their financial requirements grew. Raising the crossover fund means Sofinnova can stay or get involved with venture-backed companies at all stages of their growth.

As in the past, Sofinnova tapped investors from across Europe for money. But the VC shop also cast its net into Asia. In keeping with recent life science investment trends, an unidentified “major” Chinese biopharma company provided cash, as did a Singapore-based organization. The Danish State Investment Fund, family offices such as Fidim and KCK and insurance companies also contributed.

Having cleared its initial €250 million target for the fund, Sofinnova has the financial muscle to take a leading role in investments in about 15 companies. European companies will make up around 80% of the fund’s portfolio. North America will account for most of the remaining 20%.

Sofinnova’s decision to expand into late-stage investments comes 10 months after Medicxi made a similar move. Like Sofinnova, Medicxi built its reputation on early-stage investments but saw an opportunity to expand its model to companies with drugs in mid-phase trials and beyond. 

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Together, the funds will make about €520 million available to late-stage European companies, a group that has historically struggled to find local sources of money. The growth of the local funding pool expands the options of drug developers post clinical proof of concept, potentially enabling more businesses to retain some control of their assets rather than selling up.

In picking which companies to back, Sofinnova thinks its early-stage experience will stand it in good stead. 

“Many of the companies we initially funded have become over the years large, billion-euro companies, and we have gained invaluable experience in helping them to the next level,” Sofinnova chairman Antoine Papiernik said in a statement. “This fund will complete our investment platform across the life-sciences value-chain, allowing us to fund companies from the seed stage to the late-stage.”