Carlyle to buy Abingworth

Carlyle has agreed to acquire Abingworth, a life sciences investment firm.

Carlyle has agreed to acquire Abingworth, a life sciences investment firm. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close sometime this year.


NEW YORK, NY – Global investment firm Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) announced today that it has agreed to acquire Abingworth, a transatlantic life sciences investment firm with over $2 billion in assets under management (AUM), to bolster Carlyle’s leading global healthcare franchise. This transaction will enable Carlyle to operate across the full risk-return spectrum of life sciences and healthcare investing, from venture capital to buyouts, and to continue Carlyle’s long-standing efforts to be an important part of the solution in healthcare.

Abingworth, with a local presence across the three key biotech hubs of London, Boston, and the San Francisco Bay Area, adds to Carlyle a specialized and experienced team of over 20 investment professionals and advisors with deep scientific backgrounds and an established track record investing across early- and late-stage biotech companies, to address significant, growing demand.

Since its founding in 1973, Abingworth has successfully deployed $3 billion of equity behind 179 life sciences companies through 14 dedicated life sciences funds. During this time, 73 portfolio companies have transitioned onto the public markets through initial public offerings (IPOs) and 46 companies have undergone a merger or acquisition. Importantly, 26 new medicines, developed by companies funded by and built by Abingworth, have been approved by the US Food & Drug Administration in the past nine years.

In addition to early- and development-stage investing, Abingworth is a pioneer of the clinical co-development strategy, an aligned and efficient approach to partnering with pharma and biotech companies to help them finance and develop late-stage therapeutic assets in an accelerated manner.

To further scale this strategy, Carlyle and Abingworth are forming Launch Therapeutics (“Launch Tx”), an operating company that will seek to partner with biotech and biopharma companies on funding and development of best‐in‐class, late‐stage clinical assets to bring life‐saving therapies to market better, faster, and cheaper. Launch Tx’s objective is to eliminate inefficiencies in clinical development and accelerate the path to market. Launch Tx will be led by industry veteran Anshul Thakral, former Chief Commercial Officer of PPD and a current Carlyle Operating Executive and Abingworth Venture Partner.

“The COVID-19 pandemic shed light on the increased need for expertise and access to capital to fund the development and commercialization of innovative healthcare and life sciences solutions in the years to come,” said Steve Wise, Carlyle’s Global Head of Healthcare. “We’re excited to partner with the world-class team at Abingworth to expand upon Carlyle’s deep global healthcare expertise to invest in transformative businesses across the entire life sciences landscape.”

“We strongly believe that the innovative life sciences investment franchise of Abingworth, the resources and global network of Carlyle, and the operational expertise of Anshul Thakral and other seasoned healthcare professionals at Launch Tx will position us to be a critical partner to pharma and biotech companies seeking capital and partnership to advance clinical programs,” added Joe Bress, a Managing Director on Carlyle’s Healthcare team.

“The combination of Abingworth and Carlyle creates an incredible force within the global healthcare investment ecosystem,” said Kurt von Emster, Managing Partner at Abingworth.
“We’re proud of Abingworth’s history of partnering with entrepreneurs to create companies that have a significant impact on patients’ lives and we’re incredibly excited about what the future will hold as we continue to grow our strong franchises in life sciences venture capital and later-stage clinical co-development as part of Carlyle,” said Tim Haines, Chair and Managing Partner at Abingworth.

“We see a strong market need for a clinical development company that can bring access to capital, global resources, and deep operational expertise to biotech and biopharma companies looking to advance therapeutic candidates through clinical trials and regulatory approval,” said Anshul Thakral, CEO of Launch Tx. “I’m thrilled to partner with the entire Carlyle and Abingworth organizations to form Launch Therapeutics.”

Today’s announcement demonstrates an extension of Carlyle’s long-term global commitment to leadership in healthcare in which it has invested over $22 billion across buyout and growth equity since inception, including in transformative pharma and life sciences businesses such as PPD, Adicon, Curia, Piramal, Saama, SeQuent, TriNetX, and Unchained Labs.

Carlyle’s acquisition of Abingworth is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in 2022. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Carlyle
Carlyle (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit, and Global Investment Solutions. With $301 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2021, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs nearly 1,850 people in 26 offices across five continents. Further information is available at Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle.

About Abingworth
Abingworth is a leading transatlantic life sciences investment firm with over $2 billion under management. 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 over 179 life science companies, leading to 46 M&As and 73 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.