Versant closes $500M fund for early-stage research

Versant Ventures has pulled together $500 million to fund life science companies. The investment group says it will target approximately 30-35 medical device, biotech, and pharmaceutical investments in the U.S. with a focus on funding early-stage and seed opportunities. "The $500 million fund size will enable us to support a full range of entrepreneurial initiatives--from a few hundred thousand dollar seed to a $20 million investment over the full life of the company," said Kevin Wasserstein, Managing Director.

Early-stage funding is a vital and often overlooked part of drug development. Despite the fact that biotech companies are snagging a growing share of the billions of dollars in venture capital, most of that is going toward late-stage developers who can offer investors a better bet at a near-term payback. Start-ups, on the other hand, are dealing with a challenging funding environment.

- see Versant's release