Forbion looks to take advantage of 'undersupply' of capital to European life sciences

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Pixabay/kschneider2991)
(Image: Pixabay/kschneider2991)

Related tags Forbion Venture capital European union Biotech companies

Forbion has raised €270m in an investment fund, exceeding its target, and will now build a portfolio of 15 companies.

Forbion is a life science venture capital firm, based in Naarden, the Netherlands, that has previously achieved notable success in seeding fledgling biotech and then reaping a return, such as when Amgen acquired Forbion-backed Biovex​ for $1bn (€850m).

The venture capital firm, flush with €270m raised from investors, is looking to develop 15 companies as part of its latest investment – 10 of which will be existing ‘growth’ opportunities and a further five that will be co-founded by Forbion.

Managing partner of the firm, Sander Slootweg explained that he saw an opportunity to be had because of the “ongoing undersupply of capital for European development-stage life sciences investment”.

When we approached him to explain why there is such a difficulty for early-stage companies in Europe to receive backing, Slootweg replied: “The sector has very high barriers of entry due to the deep-rooted life sciences expertise required to successfully identify opportunities in the market and execute on them.”

In terms of the particular areas that the fund would be investing in, the press release announced it would have an “ever sharper focus on biotech”.

Slootweg broke down how this would change from previous funds: “We’ll be investing less in medtech and diagnostics and more in bio therapeutics – down from 25% medtech and diagnostics in our last fund to around 10% in Forbion IV.”

One feature that will stay consistent is that 80% of the fund will be invested in Europe while 20% will be retained for seeking opportunities in North America.

Slootweg revealed that Forbion has already signed three term sheets to invest in companies, after completing the first close of its fund.

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