Together with their first fund, V-Bio Fund 1, V-Bio Ventures, which is based in Gent, Belgium, now has over €185m under management. The capital, it says, places it in “a very good position” to fund promising, innovative companies.
The venture capitalist group’s strategy is to invest in transformational companies in the biotech, pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors, and that, it said, will remain unchanged in this second fund. It also confirmed that it will maintain the privileged partnership it has with the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), a research institution that has founded successful biotech companies such as Ablynx.
In addition to the collaboration with VIB, V-Bio Ventures looks for exceptional start-ups focused on therapeutics or diagnostic therapies from other top academic institutes throughout Europe.
Since its inception in 2015, the venture capital firm has invested in 19 companies, has co-created seven of them, and has helped to advance eight therapies into clinical development and closer to patients. Recent portfolio successes include Syndesi Therapeutics, which was acquired earlier this year by AbbVie for up to $1bn.
V-Bio has previously invested in the next generation of Belgian biotech companies such as Confo, Orionis, Agomab, Aphea.Bio, Exevir, Precirix and Protealis, as well as in companies from other European countries, including Muna, Coave, Oxular and Corteria.
The Belgian company have also been expanding its team, which now comprises nine investment professionals. Shelley Margetson joins V-Bio as managing partner. She brings significant expertise to the investment group given her senior executive roles in multiple European biotechnology companies, including Nasdaq-listed Merus, said the investors.
Ward Capoen, who has been with V-Bio Ventures since the start of the first fund, is being promoted to partner.
Christina Takke and Willem Broekaert, founding managing partners of V-Bio Ventures, said: “We look forward to continuing our proven strategy to invest early in new or young ventures based on outstanding science and to support their management teams through the initial value creating milestones.”