TVM closes latest life sciences fund on $201.6m

The VC firm’s seventh vehicle will invest in early-stage molecules

Life science venture capital firm TVM Capital Life Science has closed its latest fund, TVM Life Science Ventures VII, on $201.6 million, surpassing its $150 million target.

According to a statement from the firm, the fund attracted two cornerstone investors: technology-focused fund-of-funds manager Teralys Capital and pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. Other investors in the fund include the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Minnesota Life Insurance Company, Germany-based life sciences principal investment firm CD Venture and Fondaction, the development fund of the CSN, Quebec’s second largest trade union federation.

TVM describes the fund as a “unique collaboration between TVM Capital Life Science and industry to finance and access innovation”, as well as being a way to manage risk and share reward.

The fund will be investing primarily in Canada, the US, Germany and Western Europe, advised by a team based in Montreal and Munich. TVM is looking to invest in project-focused start-ups which acquire early-stage molecules from pharmaceutical or biotech companies, and then develop these molecules through proof-of-concept trials (one or more clinical studies demonstrating whether it has the potential to work in patients). The molecules will then be offered for sale to biopharmaceutical companies.

“The fund targets a total of 12 to 15 project-focused-companies and four to five traditional, syndicated venture investments,” TVM Capital managing partner Dr. Luc Marengere said.

The fund has already made several investments, including in FAAH Pharma, developing a treatment for the nerve pain condition postherpetic neuralgia, Kaneq Pharma, which focuses on metabolic disease and cancer, and PRCL Research, which is working on a compound to treat psoriasis.

TVM Capital Life Science has more than $1.3 billion in assets under management, and has made more than 120 investment and more than 90 exits in the last 30 years. Its funds are advised by TVM Life Science Management in Montréal and Munich.