Irish life sciences venture capital group Fountain Healthcare Partners has raised €118 million in a new fund.
The sum is well in excess of the €100 million Fountain had initially targeted. It brings to €294 million the amount the business has now raised over three funds.
Fountain said it intended to invest the bulk of the fund in Europe but it also expected to make investments in the United States. The money is likely to be spread across between 10-12 companies in the speciality pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device sectors – largely on privately held companies.
The fundraising attracted both domestic and international investors, the company said, including AIB, the Irish Strategic Investment Fund and the European Investment Fund. Coolidge Limited, which Fountain identified as an investment vehicle of businessman Dermot Desmond, is also involved in the fund.
European Investment Bank vice-president Andrew McDowell, said: "The new €45 million European Investment Fund support for Fountain Healthcare represents our largest backing in more than a decade of successful co-operation with venture capital funds.
“It will further strengthen Ireland’s impressive venture capital ecosystem,” he added.
Manus Rogan, a co-founder and managing partner of Fountain said the group was interested in building a balanced portfolio of life sciences investments with "complementary risk and return profiles".
“This strategy has resulted in a strong portfolio of investments for both Fund I and Fund II,” he said. “The performance of our first and second funds is reflected in both the level and quality of new and existing investor participation in Fund III.”
Dr Rogan's co-founder and fellow managing partner Aidan King noted that life sciences "continues to be one of the best-performing sectors for investor returns".
“In addition to financial returns, we are proud of the fact that to date, funding by Fountain has resulted in US FDA approval of three products in the areas of Parkinson’s disease, stroke and cardiovascular disease. These products are transforming the standard of care in these therapeutic areas and will greatly benefit patients worldwide.”
Among the companies it has invested in are Amarin, Opsona Therapeutics, Mainstay Medical and Inflazome.