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Venture Fund Raises $50M for Life Science Investments

Currency dice (MD4 Group/Flickr)Forbion Capital Partners in the Netherlands says it is closing a new $50 million fund for investing in life science start-up companies nearing liquidity. The company’s second FCF 1 Co-Investment Fund plans to invest additional capital into its current portfolio of life science and biomedical technology companies.

Forbion specializes in backing new businesses with late stage preclinical and early-stage clinical development programs, focusing on technologies and drug development programs with advantages over current treatments. The company says it also invests in medical device companies specializing in interventional cardiology and gastroenterology.

With this fund, Forbion plans to add additional capital into companies approaching their exit from venture funding, usually through initial public offering, or merger or acquisition by another enterprise. The company says its first FCF 1 Co-Investment Fund of €54m ($73.1 million) closed in September 2010, and has made six investments to date.

Of those six investments, two have already been sold, repaying the entire fund up to two times over. The two Forbion-backed companies sold from this round include BioVex in Woburn, Massachusetts, sold to Amgen in January 2011 for up to $1 billion, and Pathway Medical Technologies in Kirkland, Washington, sold in September 2011 to Bayer MedRad for $125 million. In both companies, Forbion says it was the largest investor.

The new FCF 1 Co-Investment Fund made its first investment earlier this week, in Circulite Inc. in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. The company is commercializing a minimally-invasive miniature heart pump  first developed at Helmholtz Institute in Aachen, Germany. Circulite is now collaborating with the University of Maryland School of Medicine under an NIH grant to develop a circulatory assist device that can be used in children and infants with life-threatening heart conditions.

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Photo: MD4 Group/Flickr

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