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$400M fund for biotech investors debuts

April 16, 2017

After tweaking its name, SV Health Investors unveiled its sixth main fund with $400 million, a step down from its last big raise way back in 2010.

SV is best known for its biotech plays as an active investor in the startup community. But the venture firm also targets medical devices, digital health and healthcare services, which is one reason it dropped Life Sciences from the name.

SV has offices rooted in the three big global hubs: London, Cambridge, MA and San Francisco. It has backed companies like Micromet — bought out by Amgen for $1.16 billion — along with Incyte, Achillion and Shire in the early days. Its current investments include Sutro, Kalvista and Catabasis, which has had to grapple with some recent setbacks in the clinic, including a flop for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Fund V at SV came in with $523 million, but the firm also runs other, smaller funds, including one devoted to non-amyloid dementia R&D.

In most cases, the venture firms have been lining up record amounts for new funds over the last few years. There’s also been a sudden spurt in new money coming into the field, including Pivotal bioVenture Partners’ $300 million fund run by Managing Director Tracy Saxton and backed by a single Chinese investor. Biomatics — a $200 million venture run by Boris Nikolic and Julie Sunderland — and Bill Maris’ personal venture arm Sector 32 arrived as well, with Bain Capital (Adam Koppel) working on a brand new fund of its own, which is likely to be sizable.

“It’s exciting to continue applying our team’s expertise, networks and operating experience for entrepreneurs and companies that have the potential to develop and advance important new treatments and solutions. We are backing remarkable entrepreneurs and proven operating executives who are helping transform healthcare and improve patients’ lives,” said Paul LaViolette, SV Health Investors managing partner. Over the past 18 months, he added, the firm has increased the size of its team by 30%.

Its team includes Kate Bingham in London and Joshua Resnick in Boston, who switched to SV in early 2016.


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