Sector News

Sanofi pumps $750M into VC unit to push deeper into biotech investing

January 14, 2023
Life sciences

Sanofi has thrown its financial weight behind its venture capital unit, making a $750 million, multi-year commitment to enable the financier to build on a year in which it backed 10 companies globally.

Sanofi Ventures is a well-established player in the biotech VC space, with its roots dating back to the formation of Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures in 2011 and beyond that to the establishment of Genzyme Ventures a decade earlier. But Sanofi has largely stayed in the shadows, leaving its venture unit to build out a portfolio without publicly disclosing the details of how it supports the fund.

The release of details of a $750 million commitment changes that. And, as Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson sees things, marks the start of a new phase in the French drugmaker’s relationship with biotech investing.

“As we continue to build our best-in-class pipeline, we are investing in early stage companies that share our ambition of delivering transformative science and digital innovation, Hudson said in a statement. “This capital commitment signals Sanofi’s accelerated ambitions in the venture capital community and our continued desire to collaborate with global innovators in the best interests of patients,” Hudson said in a statement.

The commitment follows a busy 2022 for Sanofi Ventures, in which it participated in financing rounds at companies including streptococcus vaccine developer Minervax, immune disease startup Matchpoint Therapeutics and neurosensory-inflammatory player Escient Pharmaceuticals. Sanofi Ventures kept up its momentum into 2023, starting the new year by co-leading an investment in immuno-oncology startup NextPoint Therapeutics.

The new additions to Sanofi Ventures’ portfolio join a storied list of companies including bluebird bio and Ultragenyx that have received cash from the VC shop. Companies that take up the offer of investment from Sanofi Ventures receive cash, plus the promise of access to Sanofi’s expertise in areas including preclinical and clinical development, regulatory, manufacturing and market access.

By Nick Paul Taylor

Source: fiercebiotech.com

comments closed

Related News

January 29, 2023

Colorcon, Inc. signs Put agreement with intent to acquire controlled atmosphere packaging specialist Airnov Healthcare Packaging

Life sciences

Airnov provides critical healthcare industries with high-quality, controlled atmosphere packaging, to protect their products from moisture and oxygen. The business has manufacturing facilities in the USA, France, China and India and employs around 700 people.

January 29, 2023

Takeda pledges up to $1.13B for rights to Hutchmed’s cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China

Life sciences

Takeda of Japan has partnered with Hong Kong-based Hutchmed, gaining the commercial rights to colorectal cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China for $400 million up front, plus $730 million in potential milestone payments. Takeda also will help develop fruquintinib, which can be applied to subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer, regardless of biomarker status, the companies said.

January 29, 2023

Vir taps Bayer dealmaker Marianne De Backer as its next CEO

Life sciences

On April 3, Scangos, who’s been chief executive officer at Vir since the start of 2017, will hand over the reins to Marianne De Backer, Ph.D. De Backer comes over from Bayer, where she currently heads up pharmaceutical strategy, business development and licensing. Alongside her CEO appointment, De Backer is set to join Vir’s board of directors, the company said Wednesday.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach