Abingworth Management, a UK venture capital group, has raised a $350 million investment vehicle in a move that lends further weight to suggestions that the funding crisis hitting the biotechnology sector may be nearing its end.
The company had originally intended to raise approximately $275 million, but increased the size after its initial offering was oversubscribed. The new fund comes in the wake of Schroder Ventures $402 million fund raising in June and a $210 million kitty raised by Canada's MDS Capital two weeks earlier.
Venture capital funding has almost completely dried up in the last couple of years as the values of biotech stocks slumped from a peak in 2000, on the back of a string of product disappointments and the downturn in the global economy. This was also compounded by a lack of interest in the sector from the public markets.
The fund, ABV IV, will principally invest in unquoted biotechnology and medical companies in Europe and the US. It will focus across the life sciences field including platform technologies, therapeutics, medical devices and instrumentation. Investment size will generally range between $1-20 million, averaging around $15 million per investment after all private rounds of financing.
"The timing is right for investing in life sciences," said Stephen Bunting, managing director of Abingworth.