Paris-based life sciences specialist Sofinnova Partners has held a first close on a dedicated industrial biotech fund having amassed €106 million, according to a statement from the firm.
Sofinnova Industrial Biotech I is targeting between €120 million and €150 million, according to a spokesperson for the firm.
The fund will invest in renewable chemistry start-ups along the value chain, from the transformation of renewable raw materials such as agricultural waste or carbon dioxide, to renewable end-products such as bio-plastics and other bio-sourced materials, the firm said.
Sofinnova has made nine investments in the sector since 2009. The firm raised a €22.5 million seed fund, Sofinnova Green Seed Fund, in 2012 which invests in the same sector.
Sofinnova IB I's investor base is predominantly made up of European institutions and international industrial players from the energy, chemical and agricultural sectors, and includes several returning investors from the seed fund.
The fund will seek to invest as a founding and lead investor in eight to 10 start-ups and corporate spin-offs over the next three to four years.
“The experience accumulated since 2009 resonated well with the investors,” Sofinnova managing partner Denis Lucquin said in the statement.
“With establishment of this entirely dedicated fund, we have reached today a further important step in our development in industrial biotech.”
Investments Sofinnova has made in the sector include Avantium, which is developing a biobased plastic bottle and is planning an IPO on Euronext, and DNA Script, which manufactures synthetic DNA.
Sofinnova Partners closed its eighth flagship fund on €300 million in December 2015, exceeding its target of €250 million, as reported by PEI. That fund invests in the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries as a founder or lead investor.
Sofinnova Partners is the sister company of Menlo Park-based Sofinnova Ventures, which invests in early-stage life science and information technology companies in the US. The firms operate independently.