Medicxi primes its latest $400m biotech fund

Medicxi co-founder and partner Francesco De Rubertis

Medicxi co-founder and partner Francesco De Rubertis

Anglo-Swiss life sciences investment company Medicxi has raised $400 million for its fourth fund, which will focus on supporting 'asset-centric' companies at all stages of drug development.

The Medicxi IV fund will concentrate on "drug hunters with clear product visions to deliver transformative therapies for patients," said the firm in a statement.

It is the latest in a series of new funds launched in Europe this year, coming after BioGeneration Ventures closed a $168 million round earlier this month, alongside raises from Gilde Healthcare and Forbion worth $658 million and $1.5 billion, respectively, in April.

The flurry of fresh money is evidence of positive vital signs for the life sciences sector in Europe, after a fall-off in investment that followed a boom period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new fund “consolidates Medicxi’s position as a key operating platform for scientific entrepreneurs and drug hunters and is deliberately sized for our investment model,” according to co-founder and partner, Francesco De Rubertis.

"Our mission is to support the innovative genius of entrepreneurs by providing the critical capital, expertise, and experience that form the all-important 'bridge' to pharma," he added.

Among Medicxi's previous investments are cardiometabolic disease specialist Versanis Bio, which agreed on a deal to be acquired by Eli Lilly for more than $1.9 billion earlier this month – and MiroBio Limited, a developer of immune checkpoint agonists for autoimmune diseases that was bought by Gilead Sciences for $405 million last year.

Also in 2022, its investment in vitiligo treatment developer Villaris was rewarded when the company was sold to Incyte in a deal potentially worth more than $1.4 billion.

The firm said its "longstanding success has been built on its uniquely strong ties to pharmaceutical companies and its extensive team of world-class subject matter experts, drug hunters, and developers who act as partners for the innovators in which they are investing."

Medicxi's last fund – worth €400 million (around $450 million) – was launched in 2019, and was followed by a €200 million secondary fundraise to support a group of companies whose investments it acquired from Index Ventures.

Its approach to early-stage start-ups is to support development from scientific insight to early clinical studies and proof-of-concept (PoC), while for later-stage companies it concentrates on helping them navigate independent pivotal studies, regulatory approvals, and product launches.