London-based venture capital firm 4BIO has completed the first round of fundraising for a new fund focused on the advanced therapies sector, which uses stem cells, genes and tissues to treat chronic medical conditions.
4BIO said the first tranche had attracted over $50m (£40.4m) of capital. The firm is hoping to raise $150m of capital for the fund, which will be known as 4BIO Ventures II, before a final close in the second half of 2020.
The new fund will invest in up to 12 private companies developing advanced therapies, focusing on what it described as “areas of unmet need”, and without any geographical restrictions.
It will channel funds into startup and early stage companies in what 4BIO called “the fastest growing field in medicine”. Advanced therapies include cell and gene therapy, genetically-targeted therapies, and the human microbiome – the entire ecosystem of the body.
4BIO has been backing biotech companies since 2010, and has backed 29 firms in the sector since then. Previous investments include gene therapy firms Orchard Therapeutics and Retrosense Therapeutics.
“Advanced therapies are the future of medicine,” said 4BIO managing partner Dmitry Kuzmin, who said the fund would help support “scientists, academics and innovative biotech companies as they work to create effective, reasonable and sustainable advanced therapies that could cure chronic disease.”
“These funds will allow us to continue this success and support the field at this highly exciting time as it seeks to go beyond rare disease and address mainstream diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease,” he added.
The only investor in Ventures II to be publicly identified so far is Children’s Minnesota – one of the US’s largest children’s healthcare organisations.
Susan Slocum, its chief investment officer, said its commitment to the fund was “part of a pediatric health care impact investment strategy focused on moving the needle for children’s health by investing in innovative and breakthrough managers.”
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