V-Bio Ventures closes first life sciences fund, raising over € 75 million

1 December 2016
V-Bio Ventures announces the final closing of its V-Bio Ventures Fund 1 ARKIV (“V-Bio Ventures”) fund with € 76 million in capital commitments. This successful fundraising makes V-Bio Ventures one of the largest European first time life sciences investment funds.

V-Bio Ventures is a life sciences venture fund that identifies, builds and finances start-up and early-stage companies with high growth potential. The fund works closely with Belgium-based VIB, one of the world’s premier life science institutes. V-Bio Ventures will continue to focus on investments throughout Europe in biopharmaceutical, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and agricultural sectors, and will build a portfolio of companies drawn from both VIB’s research pipeline and elsewhere.

Experienced investors support V-Bio Ventures               
The first closing in November 2015 was supported by the European Investment Fund (EIF) as cornerstone investor as well as by several other investors including PMV-ARKimedes, Korys and KU Leuven. Investors that joined during the final closing include Gimv, SFPI-FPIM, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity and Ghent University, allowing the fund to exceed its initial target.

Christina Takke, Managing Partner and co-founder of V-Bio Ventures, comments on this successful closing: “We are excited to welcome such experienced and committed investors to V-Bio Ventures. This investment allows the fund to initiate, nurture and grow promising life sciences businesses in Flanders and beyond.”
Johan Cardoen, Managing Director at VIB added: “No doubt that with this fund size, V-Bio Ventures will become a key partner for VIB and others to finance and grow young innovative biotech companies in our ecosystem.”

Piyush Unalkat, Head of Technology Transfer Investments at EIF, the cornerstone investor commented, “A closing at this level with a well-diversified investor base is testament to both the quality of the entire team as well as their strong ties to VIB, one of the top EU research organisations. With this closing, even more capital is made available to support the translation of science to high potential life science companies which in turn will contribute towards long-term societal benefits for citizens in both the EU and further beyond.”

First successful projects of V-Bio Ventures          
V-Bio Ventures has already invested in three promising portfolio companies exemplifying the fund’s investment strategy. These include two VIB spin-out companies, Orionis Biosciences and Confo Therapeutics, as well as the UK-based company Oxular Limited (formerly Precision Ocular Ltd). These companies are active in a range of globally important disease areas including cancer, autoimmune, inflammation, and ophthalmology.

Growing expertise in the V-Bio team   
The founding V-Bio Ventures team, consisting of the Managing Partners Christina Takke and Willem Broekaert, has been complemented with two seasoned professionals. Katja Rosenkranz has joined the team as Principal. Katja held senior positions in investment, tech transfer and biotech businesses at Ascenion, Hepawash and Polytechnos. Ward Capoen has joined as Senior Analyst from Candriam Investors Group, where he was responsible for investment analysis of early-stage listed biotech companies.

©VIB-Ine Dehandschutter