Forbion, a Naarden, The Netherlands-, Munich, Germany- and Singapore-based life sciences venture capital firm, held the first close at €185m of its new Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund.
Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund is backed by returning investors including Pantheon, KfW Capital and the European Investment Fund (EIF) and new investors Eli Lilly and Company, Horizon Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: HZNP), Belgian Growth Fund and New Waves Investments.
Forbion Growth will focus on later-stage investments, particularly in European biotech companies developing novel therapies for areas of high medical need. The fund will target this market segment with three distinct strategies: providing private growth capital for mature clinical development assets, providing pre-IPO funding to companies aiming to pursue a public listing in the near-term and providing capital injections, supporting existing, under-valued public companies. In all cases, Forbion Growth aims to take leading positions with an investment size of up to €30m per deal.
The final goal of the vehicle is to raise €250m and to build a portfolio of 8-12 investments in the most promising European growth-stage life sciences companies.
In executing its strategy, Forbion Growth will work closely with its newly established Advisory Group, consisting of the most successful and entrepreneurial CEOs and advisors in the European BioPharma space. The Fund’s Advisory Group consists of Onno van de Stolpe (CEO Galapagos), Jan van de Winkel (CEO Genmab), Tim van Hauwermeiren (CEO Argenx), Werner Lanthaler (CEO Evotec) and Maarten de Jong (Moelis & Co).
Forbion has led the first institutional rounds of several of Europe’s leading biotech companies such as Argenx (ARGX; market cap USD 10 billion), Uniqure (QURE; market cap USD 2 billion) as well as clinical-stage companies such as Promedior (acquired by Roche for up to EUR 1.4 billion), Dezima Pharma (acquired by Amgen for up to EUR 1.55 billion) and Prexton Therapeutics (acquired by Lundbeck for up to EUR 905 million).