VC firm SR One completes GSK spin-out, raising $500m

Trans-Atlantic biotech venture capital firm SR One has completed its spin-out from GlaxoSmithKline and closed its first fund with $500m in its coffers.

The VC built itself a considerable reputation after it was founded in 1985 and works with entrepreneurs and scientists to build biotechnology companies.

GSK is the largest investor in the independent fund, which said it is the largest first-time VC fund to close in 2020 focused on US and European biotechs.

CEO Simeon George will lead the company’s investment team, bringing more than a decade’s worth of experience in the sector.

George has been with the fund since 2007 and established its San Francisco office in 2010.

He earned his MD and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine/Wharton and BA from Johns Hopkins University.

Previously, he worked in management consulting (Bain & Co.) and investment banking (Goldman Sachs) and has led some of SR One’s highest profile investment deals.

These include CRISPR Therapeutics and Principia Biopharma, which was recently acquired by Sanofi for $3.7 billion, Turning Point Therapeutics, Progyny and Nkarta Therapeutics, which he co-founded.

David Redfern, chief strategy officer at GSK, said: “Since inception, SR One’s mandate has been to deliver financial returns by investing in innovative biotechnology companies.

“Following SR One’s spin-out from GSK and establishment as an independent fund management business, GSK has remained a committed investor in SR One’s new independent fund, alongside a diversified and top tier investor base.

“The close of the fund at the hard cap and its over-subscription by global investors underscore the team’s abilities and strong track record.”

CEO Simeon George said: “Our spin-out from GSK and successful raise of a new independent fund provide a foundation for SR One’s next chapter, enabling us to scale our investment strategy and build upon our track record of success.”

It’s been a busy time for life sciences VC, with the likes of Canaan Partners, Atlas Venture creating new funds amid the investment boom in life sciences amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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