Following news of Index Ventures‘ fund closing last week, everyone is watching the Euro biotech space with bated breath. Both fundraising and investment figures in the sector have witnessed a decline in recent years. Fundraising figures have dropped steadily to $82.51 million in 2011 nowhere near the $928.75 million peak of 2006, according to figures from Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB). And investment levels haven’t quite managed to reached the $9,567.18 million peak of 2008 reaching a low of the last six years of $6741.64 million.
But with the first signs of spring, came the welcome news for the sector that veteran European tech investor Index Ventures has raised its first dedicated life sciences fund. Index Life VI is a 150 million euro ($198 million) fund with LPs GlaxoSmithKline and the venture capital affiliate of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson as its anchor investors. In the last three years Index has raised more than $1.3 billion for three funds. Last year, it raised $692 million for its second growth fund, Index Ventures Growth Fund II. And two years earlier, it raised $441 million for an early stage fund called Index Ventures V, according to Thomson Reuters.
Although Index is renowned for its tech investments, it has a significant exposure to life sciences. Of the 177 companies it has backed since it was founded in 1996, 30 are focused on life sciences, according to Thomson Reuters. These include Addex Pharmaceuticals, Aegerion, Ariad, Genmab, Micromet (acquired by Amgen) ParAllele BioScience (acquired by Affymetrix) and PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott Laboratories). So investors have high hopes for this most recent fund.
In Europe, Index is competing or will be investing with the likes of firms such as London-based Abingworth Life Sciences, Advent Venture Partners and MVM Life Sciences Partners, Dublin-based Seroba Kernel, Paris-based Truffle Capital, Munich-based Global Life Science Ventures and TVM Capital, Heidelberg-based EMBL Ventures and Amsterdam-based Life Sciences Partners to name a few that are active in the space.
Today’s slideshow take a look at those fortunate European life sciences companies that managed to secure funding in the last year in spite of the low European fundraising levels in the sector in recent years. It is also interesting to note that many of these companies attracted monies solely from European venture firms with US venture firms active in the space such as New Enterprise Associates and New Science Ventures not featuring as prominently as might have been expected.
Company Description: A biotechnology company focused on the development of therapies for lysosomal storage diseases
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Investors: Aescap Venture, Novo A/S, and Sunstone Capital
Most recent funding round: 14 million euros Series A
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