BIA reacts to Abingworth announcement of new life sciences fund – Abingworth Bioventures 8
Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association said: “Abingworth's new fund will provide a significant boost to a UK sector that is already shooting for the stars. It's another demonstration of the international reputation of life science specialists in the UK and our ability to build world-class companies. As our report published this week shows, a record £2.8bn was invested in UK biotechs in 2020, meaning there's a pipeline of exciting science and strong companies for investors to back."
Data published yesterday by the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) and Clarivate PLC reveals that UK biotech companies raised a record £2.8 billion in equity finance in 2020. The science of success: UK biotech in 2020, marks the best year for biotech investments ever recorded by the trade association and shows that since 2012 investment has increased by over 1000%.
Abingworth raises $465m for new life sciences fund Abingworth Bioventures 8
Oversubscribed transatlantic fund to invest in US, UK and European life science companies developing innovative therapeutics with potential to significantly improve human health
London, UK, 3 February 2021 – Abingworth, a leading international life sciences investment group, today announced the final closing of its latest transatlantic venture fund, Abingworth Bioventures 8 (ABV 8) at $465 million. ABV 8, which is Abingworth’s 13th life sciences fund, exceeded its target of $375 million and closed at its hard cap.
ABV 8 will target companies developing innovative therapeutics with potential to significantly improve human health. As with previous funds, ABV 8 will invest in opportunities in the US, UK and Continental Europe.
ABV 8 will invest broadly across multiple stages including seed and early stage, development-stage companies, including VIPEs (Venture Investments in Public Equities), and Clinical Co-development opportunities. Total investment size per company will typically range from $15 million to $30 million.
ABV 8 has already invested in three deals:
• Atsena Therapeutics – focused on bringing the life-changing power of genetic medicine to reverse or prevent blindness. The company’s lead program is in an ongoing Phase 1/2 trial for patients with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA1), one of the most common causes of blindness in children. The company also has a robust pipeline of preclinical gene therapy programs aimed to treat patients with other inherited retinal diseases.
• Reneo Pharmaceuticals – developing REN001 as a first-in-class treatment for patients with genetic mitochondrial diseases impacting muscle. The company aims to improve daily function and quality of life of these patients by improving how their mitochondria work and so preserving muscle function, and preventing muscle injury, weakness, and wasting.
• Vera Therapeutics – developing Atacicept, a first-in-class antibody to treat IgA Nephropathy (IgAN), a rare auto-immune disease. IgAN is the most common cause of kidney disease after hypertension and diabetes. Vera in-licensed Atacicept from EMD Serono, with compelling Phase 2a data.
“We are delighted to have raised one of the largest transatlantic life sciences funds in recent years, and we are grateful to be supported again by such high-quality existing and new investors,” said Tim Haines, Chairman & Managing Partner. “2020, maybe more than any year before, has demonstrated the resilience, innovation and drive of the international life sciences community to advance and deliver novel vaccines and medicines to significantly improve human health. In addition to raising Abingworth Bioventures 8, the last 12 months have seen us invest in ten companies as well as support further portfolio company fundraisings that collectively raised $773.5 million, including two IPOs, and Tizona’s partial exit via Gilead, valued at up to $1.55 billion.
Furthermore, with approval of Chiasma’s MYCAPSSA for acromegaly, we now count 19 novel medicines approved in the US in the last eight years from companies that Abingworth invested in and helped build. We are excited to launch our new fund at this time, and to continue building the next generation of life sciences companies based on cutting-edge science and world-class leadership.”
“Abingworth has a long and successful track record investing in the life sciences sector in the US and in the UK and Europe. This heritage alongside our transatlantic presence and strategy has been crucial to generating investor demand in Abingworth Bioventures 8. It also ensures we have access to high-quality deal flow as well to the entrepreneurs and management that drive the success of the companies we invest in,” added Kurt von Emster, Managing Partner.
ABV 8 welcomed several new limited partners to its international investor base, including British Patient Capital, while also receiving strong support from existing investors including leading asset managers, endowments, fund-of-funds, family offices, foundations, healthcare corporations, insurance companies, pension plans and sovereign wealth funds. ABV 8’s investor base is also well diversified geographically across the US, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
Asante Capital Group and Wise Capital acted as global and regional placement advisors, respectively, for Abingworth Bioventures 8. Goodwin Procter acted as legal counsel.
Notes for Editors
Abingworth is a leading transatlantic life sciences investment firm. Abingworth helps transform cutting-edge science into novel medicines by providing capital and expertise to top calibre management teams building world-class companies. Since 1973, Abingworth has invested in 170 life science companies, leading to 44 M&As and 69 IPOs. Our therapeutic focused investments fall into three categories: seed and early-stage, development stage, and clinical co-development. Abingworth supports its portfolio companies with a team of experienced professionals at offices in London, Menlo Park (California), and Boston.
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