Boston, MA-based life sciences venture firm Vida Ventures, which was founded in 2017 now has approximately $1bn (€900m) under management after it secured $600m in its Vida II.
According to the fund’s senior manager director, Fred Cohen, this investment will allow the fund to expand its portfolio of life sciences and support more biomedical companies.
Vida is a lead investor in Allogene Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing allogeneic CAR T therapies and Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, a developer of adeno-associated virus (AAV) therapeutics for rare genetic disorders.
Additionally, Vida participated in the financing for Kronos Bio, a pre-clinical company developing small molecule drug products, while its portfolio also includes A2 Biotherapeutics, Bait Therapeutics, Homology Medicines, Kadiant, Neogene Therapeutics, Oyster Point Pharma, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, Praxis Precision Medicines, Precision Medicine Group, and Sutro Biopharma.
The fund’s management team includes representatives from biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, academia, and venture capital. Concurrently with the funding, the company also announced the addition of Helen Kim as managing director and Rajul Jain as director in its leadership team.
Helen Kim has previously served as EVP at Kite Pharma, Gilead’s CAR-T therapy subsidiary which was recently separated and Rajul has previously also led the development of cell therapies at Kite, after spending several years as the global development lead at Amgen.
Under the first fund, which closed in November 2017 with $255m, the firm built a life sciences portfolio of 14 companies, of which three have completed initial public offerings (IPO) and one investment exited via acquisition, Peloton Therapeutics, which was recently acquired by Merck for up to $2.2bn.