Syngenta invests $100m in LSP BioVentures fund

Amsterdam-based Life Sciences Partners has launched a new life sciences fund with $100 million from Swiss agribusiness Syngenta. The vehicle will be managed from the firm’s new Boston office, which opens next week.

Venture capital group Life Sciences Partners (LSP) and Swiss agribusiness Syngenta have launched LSP BioVentures, a venture fund investing in the life sciences sector, with a target hard cap of $125 million (€82.5 million).

This is the first time we have had such a co-operation and we’re expecting a lot out of it. We still maintain our independence but the relationship will put a lot of resources and experience behind us in making assessments.

Martin Kleijwegt, managing partner, Life Science Partners

Martin Kleijwegt, managing partner of LSP, told PEO that Syngenta has provided the entire $100 million capital for the fund and LSP will begin to raise an extra $25 million from third party investors before the summer. Kleijwegt added that the fund is expected to reach a final close in the third quarter of this year.

“The fund is already operational,” said Kleijwegt. “This is the first time we have had such a co-operation and we’re expecting a lot out of it. We still maintain our independence but the relationship will put a lot of resources and experience behind us in making assessments.”

The new vehicle will invest in Syngenta’s core sectors of agronomic and output traits, crop protection, garden and home care, flowers, seed and seed treatments as well as potential new growth areas such as biomaterials and biofuels, nutrition, health and wellness and animal nutrition and health.

The fund will aim to make between 15 and 20 investments, injecting approximately $5 million into each transaction. Kleijwegt said that the fund will always invest in syndication with other investors.

Kleijwegt said that LSP BioVentures will predominantly focus on the US, with around 75 percent of its capital allocated to investments in America, with the remaining 25 percent focused on the rest of the world. He said Europe will dominate the 25 percent allocation but the firm would also look at opportunities in Asia.

Kleijwegt said that the office will be headed up by a new appointment, a German national already based in the US, details of which will be announced next week. Fritz van der Have, a venture partner and co-founder of LSP, will move from the firm’s Amsterdam office to Boston. Two delegates from Syngenta will provide support for due diligence and are currently being chosen by LSP and Syngenta.

Established in 1988, Life Science Partners has offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston and has, including LSP BioVentures, $450 million under management.