Abingworth closes biotech fund

At $225m, Bioventures III LP closed $75m over its initial target, said the UK-based venture capitalist.

Abingworth Management, a venture capital firm based in London, has secured $225m for its third biotech and life sciences fund, Bioventures III LP (ABVIII).

The group, which has an office in Silicon Valley, specialises in the life sciences market, and as with the firm’s previous funds, ABVIII will invest in early-stage biotechnology and medical companies that operate across Europe and the US.

According to Dr Stephen Bunting, managing director at Abingworth, the fund was oversubscribed and capped at $225m, around $75m over its original target. “Despite the difficult fund raising environment in 2001, the group had been able to raise a substantially larger fund than it set out to achieve,” he said.

Abingworth is the latest firm in a line of companies to have secured funds in recent months to invest in the life sciences environment. In November TVM, the German technology investor, closed a E336m global life sciences fund, nearly E100m above its initial target. MVM, a UK fund set up to back Medical Research Council projects, raised E157m. Nestle, the food producer, announced plans to create a corporate venture life science and technology fund and raise up to £85m.

Since the first closing of ABVIII in April 2001, Abingworth has invested in nine early-stage life science companies, of which seven are based in Europe and two in the US. These companies include UK-based Akubio, Astex Technology and Chroma Therapeutics, and ParAllele Genomics and Guava Technologies in the US.

Founded in 1973, Abingworth today has around $400m of funds under management and invested in more than 60 life science firms.