OrbiMed rings up $950M for its transatlantic biotech Fund VI

OrbiMed has come through with a whopping $950 million biotech venture fund.

Just two years ago OrbiMed unveiled a $735 million fund designed to back about 30 new companies. This time around, the target is still around the 30-company mark, but it's willing to commit anywhere from $10 million to a hefty $75 million to back its star picks.

OrbiMed--which outlined the fund size in a filing with the SEC three months ago--has some particular interests it plans to pursue in the next two years. Broadly, it plans to back companies in North America and Europe focused on biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and healthcare IT. Cancer, CNS and gene editing are all spotlight fields likely to attract the bulk of the cash.

"The increasing pace of translation of science to medicine creates exciting opportunities for the Fund in areas such as oncology, central nervous system disease, and gene editing," noted partner Carl Gordon in a statement. And if history is a guide, OrbiMed is likely to invest at every stage, from early to late development efforts as well as on into commercialization work.

OrbiMed's big fund is the latest in a full lineup of new funds that have been making their debut this year. Just days ago in Paris, Sofinnova Partners pulled the wraps off a $324 million fund, which also has a transatlantic twist to it.

The past three years have seen a tidal wave of biotech companies jumping into Nasdaq, giving the venture funds a rich array of exits and setting up funds for their institutional investors to jump into. The IPOs have cooled down considerably in recent months, but there's plenty of work being done to launch the next generation of biotech companies.

- here's the release (PDF)

Special Reports: The Top 15 Biotech VC firms - OrbiMed