California based investment firm Frazier Healthcare Partners has surpassed its cap target of $500 million as it now seeks to inject chase into early-stage life science companies. The company, which reported $419 million in total capital commitments, is now looking to expand on its work of taking drugs from preclinical through clinical proof-of concept.
The Frazier Life Sciences IX records its second fund that soley focuses on Life Sciences fund; back in 2015, it announced its first pure play in this sector, with a $262 million fundraise.
Some of Fraziers previous investment highlights include IPOs and exits from Acerta Pharma that was acquired by AstraZeneca, Tobira Therapeutic, which was also acquired by big pharma company Allergan. Frazier Life Sciences IX will direct two-thirds of its investments in early seed and series A rounds, with many of these investments anticipated to come from the team’s company innovation efforts.
The company stated, “We do not focus on any one therapeutic area,” but historic areas of investment have included a range of disease areas, including hematologic oncology, immuno-oncology, anti-infectives, orphan diseases, diseases, pain, and many others.
“Our future investments will likely be in similar areas of medical need where we have exceptional teams to back,” the firm adds.
The company reported its main focus on early-stage biomedical R&D, regardless of the inherent risks, because “We believe that venture-backed companies play an integral role in the biopharma ecosystem, which is evidenced by the fact that around 75% of drugs approved each year come from small/midsized biotechs at some point during the drug’s development (discovery, development, or in some cases, approval). Collaboration, and advancing the best ideas as quickly as possible, is now part of the DNA of our industry, and it is fantastic to see amazing innovation and investment across the spectrum of early science through late-stage trials.”
The firm explained that its approach is to “focus on investing in product-focused companies that have the potential to generate meaningful clinical data in 3-5 years. We take a team-focused approach, and are very proud that the vast majority of our companies involve backing teams we have worked with before at prior portfolio companies.”
“Company creation is an important element of our strategy, as 30%-40% of our investments come from companies that are started by our venture partners, EIRs, or other team members (examples include Calistoga, Incline, Silvergate, etc.). Most of these opportunities are started around products spun out from biopharma or academia.”
The company also added that its investors are still very interested in early life science, despite knowing the risks involved.
“Early-stage risks only work if you get rewarded upon success, and this generally entails focusing on the toughest diseases where there are few approved therapies, and advancing drugs that have the potential to significantly advance standard of care. At Frazier, we’re incredibly proud of the drugs that have come out of our portfolio, and as long as venture-backed biopharma can keep discovering and developing meaningful drugs, we think there will continue to be keen interest in the sector from LPs, strategies, etc.
“Frazier Life Sciences IX was heavily oversubscribed, and we had the support of most of our investors in Frazier Life Sciences VIII.”