VC Life Science: Forbion announces first close of Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund at EUR 185 million

Forbion announces first close of Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund at EUR 185 million (USD 208 million)

July 9, 2020 in company news
• New fund to invest in late-stage European life science companies
• Investors include Pantheon, Lilly, Horizon Therapeutics plc, KfW Capital, EIF, Belgian Growth Fund and New Waves Investments

Naarden, The Netherlands and Munich, Germany – 9 July 2020 – Forbion, a leading European life sciences venture capital firm, today announces the first close at
EUR 185 million (USD 208 million) of its new Forbion Growth Opportunities Fund (“Forbion Growth”), focused on investing in late-stage European life sciences companies.
Returning investors to the new Forbion fund include Pantheon, KfW Capital and the European Investment Fund (EIF). New investors include 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 EUR 30 million per deal.
Forbion’s strong historical performance and market position in the German market have allowed KfW Capital and EIF to commit to Forbion Growth from their respective ERP facilities, thereby mobilizing smart growth capital for the German life sciences sector. Both KfW Capital and EIF have been long-term supporters of the Forbion family of funds.
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 started the fund-raising process for Forbion Growth in February 2020 and expects to complete the Fund by the end of this year. The goal is to raise EUR 250 million and to build a portfolio of 8-12 investments in the most promising European growth-stage life sciences companies.

Sander Slootweg, Managing Partner and co-founder of Forbion said:
“The market for late-stage, private European life sciences investments is already sizable at
EUR 2 billion per annum and rapidly growing. Despite the de-risked nature of the late-stage clinical assets in these companies, this market segment is still underserved. As a result, many companies and assets stall in late-stage development, due to a lack of specific funding. With our dedicated Growth Fund and specialized team, we are well-positioned to optimally exploit this opportunity and ensure that new, impactful treatments and therapies will make their way to patients and doctors.”
With well over EUR 1.25 billion of assets under management, Forbion has been ranked “the #1 most consistently performing VC Manager in Europe” by Preqin’s fund performance database. Forbion’s investment team has built an impressive performance track record with over 66 investments in both the EU and North America over the past 15 years.
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).

Dirk Kersten, General Partner, added:
“We have assembled a world-class team and Advisory Group to manage our new Growth Fund. Wouter Joustra, General Partner, and Anastasia Karpova, Principal, both joined us from Kempen, a leading Life Sciences boutique bank in Europe. In addition, Carlo Incerti, former Chief Medical Officer at Sanofi-Genzyme, and Patrick Vink, former Chief Operating Officer at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, have joined the team as Operating Partners. This very experienced Growth team will work in a fully integrated manner in the broader Forbion organization”.
“We will be looking to partner with world-class European companies and entrepreneurs to provide both capital and expertise, building the next generation of successful European Life Sciences companies.”

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