Sofinnova raises $200m for digital medicine fund


Life sciences venture capital company Sofinnova has doubled down on its strategy to expand into digital medicine, closing its first dedicated fund for the category with $200 million in committed backing.

Sofinnova signalled its move into digital health earlier this year with the creation of a new unit headed by partners Edward Kliphuis and Simon Turner (pictured above) that promised to focus on investments among companies operating at the “intersection of biology, data, and computation.”

The fund has already made five investments in the category, with new additions to the portfolio L`école AI and Betteromics joining previously announced deals involving BioCorteX, deepc, and Kiro.

L`école AI – which was founded by the team behind Twitter’s machine-learning (ML) platform, Cortex – is getting $3 million to support the future development of éo, an artificial intelligence engine designed to help medical professionals and researchers interpret images.

It was founded by Louis-Alexandre Etezad-Heydari, who co-created Madbits, a deep-learning image analysis start-up acquired by Twitter that then evolved into Cortex. Etezad-Heydari said its aim is to build a user interface for AI that can allow anyone to “create and benefit from their own personalised AI assistant.”

Sofinnova has also contributed to a $20 million Series A financing for Betteromics, which is developing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, called Omics AI Cloud, that helps researchers organise and interpret the massive amounts of data generated by multi-omics projects with “clinical-grade compliance” and eliminates data siloes.

Betteromics was founded by Angela Lai, Chetan Patel, and Jack Menze, who were involved in infrastructure projects at Google and GRAIL, to serve users from diagnostic and therapeutic product developers to biotech manufacturers needing real-time quality monitoring. Sofinnova joined Triatomic Capital and Shakti in the first-round financing.

Kliphuis said the five companies in its portfolio are all “fusing state-of-the-art computational methods with advanced biological innovations,” and Sofinnova will help them “to secure product-market fit and scale on a global stage.”

The digital medicine fund adds to Sofinnova’s strategic focus, alongside other investment vehicles targeted at start-up and follow-on biopharma and medtech therapies, a medtech accelerator, industrial biotech ventures, and early-stage projects in the area of rare genetic disorders.

Turner said Sofinnova can bring “deep healthcare expertise to entrepreneurs pioneering at the forefront of digital medicine, where biology meets tech industry approaches like rapid product iteration and accelerated commercialisation.”