Advent leads $70m second round financing

The UK private equity firm has led a $70m investment in US pharmaceuticals company Infinity Pharmaceuticals.

UK venture capital investor Advent Ventures has invested in the second round investment in Infinity Pharmaceuticals, the US based drug discovery firm based in Boston.

The UK firm is the lead investor in the round, which has also attracted investment from US venture capital firms including previous investors Venrock Associates and Prospect Venture Partners. The firm has also secured funding from new life sciences investors including Vulcan Ventures, HBM Bioventure, Novartis Bioventure Fund and the Wellcome Trust. Infinity CEO Steven Holtzman has also joined the financing round.

Advent Venture Partners has not disclosed the size of its commitment to Infinity, although the firm is committed to providing up to £20m to individual technology and healthcare investments.

The $70m fundraising is one of the largest venture capital financing rounds in 2002. It provides Infinity with capital to develop the firm’s drug discovery processes, which focus on cancer, metabolic disorders and infectious and inflammatory diseases. The placement agent for the fundraising was Three Crown Capital.

Patrick Lee, general partner at Advent Venture Partners, said the large-scale fundraising in a ‘difficult financing environment’ reflected the strength of Infinity’s R&D and technology.

Since being founded in 1981, Advent Venture Partners has funded over 180 companies in the UK, Europe and the US. Together with its associates, the firm has total funds under management in excess of £475m.