Sofinnova Partners' purple patch continues with GSK-GlycoVaxyn deal

Sofinnova Partners has followed up the succession of IPOs by its portfolio companies with the sale of its stake in GlycoVaxyn to GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK). The sale continues a busy two years for the VC shop.

Sofinnova Partners' Graziano Seghezzi

Paris, France-based Sofinnova Partners tallied up the figures following the GlycoVaxyn buyout, calculating that 14 of its portfolio companies have gone public or been sold over the past two years. The string of exits has valued the businesses at $3.4 billion, of which GlycoVaxyn accounts for $212 million. GSK has held a minority stake in the Swiss vaccine specialist since 2012 and returned this week to buy the remaining business for $190 million.

The deal comes almost one decade after Sofinnova Partners helped GlycoVaxyn get off the ground by joining with Index Ventures for an $817,000 seed round. Both investors returned for a CHF 11.5 million Series A round in 2007 and were joined by Edmond de Rothschild Venture Capital in 2009. The 2009 Series B round added $21.3 million to GlycoVaxyn's coffers, which were topped up three years later when GSK bought its minority stake and paid an upfront collaboration fee.

GSK's return for the rest of GlycoVaxyn means most of the companies Edmond de Rothschild Venture Capital's BioDiscovery 3 fund backed have either gone public or been sold. Half of the 14 companies the fund invested in from 2008 to 2012 have now been sold, with a further four going public. One of the remaining three companies--Swiss biotech Genkyotex--is reportedly considering an IPO for the second half of the year. The decision rests on the strength of Phase II diabetic nephropathy data.

- read Sofinnova Partners' release
- check out GSK's statement
- and FierceBiotech's take

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