BioMedPartners holds $85m first close on venture fund

The Swiss health-care investor is raising its second venture capital fund, which will focus on the growing private health care sector in Europe.

Health care-focused fund BioMedPartners held an initial closing of $85 million on its second venture capital fund, BioMedInvest II, which will invest in private human health care companies in Europe.

Swiss-based BioMed has invested in more than 25 early- to mid-stage companies in Switzerland, Germany and neighboring EU countries, and has raised more than $214 million since 2003. Among its portfolio companies are biopharmaceutical drug maker Avontec, tissue engineering company Symetis and enzyme replacement therapy developer Vivendy Therapeutics.

The firm has also had several successful exits, including the 2005 sale of Glycart Biotechnology to Roche for $210 million and the 2006 IPO of Santhera Pharmaceuticals, which raised $78 million. The firm’s first fund closed in 2003 on $89 million, while its newest fund includes existing and new investors such as ERP-EIF Dachfonds. BioMed is focusing its upcoming investments on private health care providers because of the expectation of future growth as large pharmaceuticals increasingly acquire biotech firms in Europe.

The firm also has a mezzanine fund, BioMedCredit, that invests in Swiss companies in fields such as biotechnology, diagnostics, drug delivery and lab technologies. The fund closed in 2006 on $45 million.