Claris Ventures, a Turin, Italy-based newly formed venture capital firm, announced the first closing of its maiden fund, Claris Biotech I, at $30m.
The fund, which has a final target of €80m, is focused on early stage biotech investments. It is backed by primary Italian institutional investors including CDP Venture Capital and Compagnia di San Paolo, as well as other local family offices and private investors.
Founded by Pietro Puglisi and Ciro Spedaliere, Claris will mainly invest in Italian companies with therapeutic compounds possibly addressing highly unmet clinical needs. The ideal investment stage is 12-24 months before Phase 1 study launch. The firm will lead €5-15m financing rounds, aiming at providing adequate resources to get to a clinical proof-of-concept, typically completing a Phase 1/2a study.
The team actively collaborates with the Molecular Biotechnology Center (University of Turin) and with the CEINGE research and diagnostics center (Naples).
Commenting on the announcement, Pietro Puglisi said: “Contributing to the development of new therapies and, at the same time, creating value and economic impact is a challenge we are honored to accept.
“The passage from preclinical to clinical development is crucial for the future of new biopharma ventures: our exclusive focus allows us to curate every little detail, maximize the probability of success,” he added.
“We work across research, finance and pharmaceutical industry. Understanding the fundamental logic of different ecosystems is key to provide strategic insights to our portfolio companies,” Ciro Spedaliere said.
The closing was advised by McDermott, Will & Emery law firm.