Venture group building a $50M fund for new biotech investments

A life sciences venture fund with a keen eye for Midwestern biotech companies has rounded up $25 million for its new fund. And Hopen Life Science Ventures in Grand Rapids, MI says it's keeping the fund open for now as it shoots for $50 million by the end of the year.

Hopen rounded up its first fund in 2006 and later invested in seven biotechs, including Metabolic Solutions Development and Intervention Insights, a bioinformatics company in Grand Rapids. It's hoping to add 8 to 12 more early-stage life sciences companies to the portfolio with its second fund.

"Similar in focus to our first fund, Fund II will target early-stage life science companies with remarkable innovations that lead to improved healthcare outcomes and/or reduced healthcare system costs.  We primarily focus on companies in the Midwest, pragmatically leveraging the firm's existing local, regional, national and global life science resource network to support our portfolio companies," said Managing Director Mark Olesnavage.

Overall venture investing in biotech has shrunk since the 2008 financial crisis. But there have been some hopeful signs in the venture world that activity is picking back up again. 

- here's the release