Frazier Healthcare brings in $617 mln for third life sciences fund

The Seattle firm's life sciences vehicle invests in company creation, early-stage venture, late private and public opportunities.

Frazier Healthcare Partners has closed its third dedicated life sciences fund at $617 million, the healthcare-focused firm told PE Hub.

Frazier Life Sciences X surpassed its target of $500 million to $600 million, the firm’s Dan Estes told PE Hub.

Frazier Life Sciences IX LP, the firm’s second dedicated life sciences fund, raised $419 million. Its first dedicated fund collected $262 million.

Estes, who has been promoted to a general partner at Frazier, leads the firm’s life sciences effort alongside General Partners Patrick Heron and James Topper.

In addition to Estes’ promotion, Jamie Brush has been promoted to partner; Gordon Empey has been promoted to partner and general counsel; Aditya Kohli has been promoted to the principal position as an operating professional; and Liz Park to vice president of investor relations

Consistent with previous strategies, the new fund will invest across early-stage venture, late private and public opportunities. The vehicle will invest primarily in therapeutics-focused companies developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceuticals.

Frazier Life Sciences is one of two separate vehicles operated by Seattle’s Frazier Healthcare Partners.

The firm in April 2018 collected $780 million for its second growth buyout vehicle focused exclusively on profitable lower-mid-market healthcare opportunities, Frazier Healthcare Growth Buyout Fund IX LP.

Frazier effectively made the decision to move to two strategies about five years ago, Estes said.

“The profile of companies that each invest in are fairly different,” Estes said. If you’re an LP, having a diversified fund is interesting, but having a specific vehicle for both better positioned each strategy to continue to grow, he said.

Having created or seeded 23 companies since 2005, the life sciences team’s strategy is three-pronged, Estes said.

Close to half of deals fall under the company creation strategy, which typically involves spinning out a drug from a pharmaceutical company and building a company around it, he said.

It also pursues private rounds of investment, either as the lead investor or as part of a syndicate in a Series A or Series B round, in addition to investments in public companies.

“There are so many IPOs in the biopharma space,” Estes said, pointing to Frazier’s former investment in Ignyta, which was ultimately acquired by Roche for $1.7 billion. “There’s a unique opportunity set of public companies that are still relatively early stage.”

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