Sofinnova Partners: Partners for Life
Pursuing innovation is often risky. However, taking risks can lead to breakthrough advancements in technology and healthcare. We’ve seen it happen before. When companies aim to innovate, they can transform their business and the lives of their patients or customers.
Venture capitalists are similar to innovators in this regard in that they can transform innovative ideas into reality. Their belief in the innovative power of startups has helped many early-stage ventures move beyond their seed phase and become well-established businesses, bringing significant change to the world.
Sofinnova Partners is one such venture capital firm that has been investing and building transformative healthcare startups, addressing unmet medical needs since 1972. Based in London, Paris, and Milan, it invests mainly in early-stage life sciences startups, with a shared interest in seed and late-stage companies. This includes biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, and pharmaceutical companies.
Since its establishment, it has invested in more than 500 companies. More than 20% of its financed companies have completed initial public offerings (IPOs) and about the same number have been acquired by large corporations. Meanwhile, it manages over €2.5 billion of assets.
The VC firm is currently led by Antoine Papiernik (Chairman & Managing Partner) with three other managing partners: Graziano Seghezzi, Monique Saulnier, and Henrijette Richter.
In this article, we will review investments made by Sofinnova Partners and its fundraising and investment strategies.
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Sofinnova Investment Strategies
With a focus on healthcare and sustainability, Sofinnova Partners invests in life science companies across the entire value chain. It has raised several venture capital funds to invest in and support companies’ growth with a strategic approach and a dedicated team.
Sofinnova’s funds are a part of its distinct five investment strategies, which includes:
- Sofinnova Capital Strategy
- Sofinnova MD Start Strategy
- Sofinnova Crossover Strategy
- Sofinnova Industrial Biotech Strategy
- Sofinnova Telethon strategy
According to a news article published in WSJ, the company raised $548 million to create the largest fund in 2021 in Europe for early-stage investment in healthcare startups.
Sofinnova’s capital strategy focuses on the most promising early-stage biopharmaceuticals and medtech startups pioneering therapeutic technologies and transforming patients’ lives. Sofinnova Capital X is the 10th iteration of its flagship fund that’s primarily committed to building and supporting early-stage companies in Europe.
Here’re a few companies that earned the Sofinnova Capital investment:
- Avantium: a technology development company committed to replacing fossil fuels with renewable feedstocks as a source of chemicals and materials. Currently, it’s tested its pilot project YXY® plant-to-plastics technology in the Netherlands, which can convert plant sugars into a range of plastics and chemicals.
- Genset: a leading European biotech company that worked in genomics. It was the first company to accelerate the development of tools for discovering genes driving genetic disorders and also started a pharmacogenomic research program. It was acquired in 2002 by Serono of Switzerland.
- EryDel: a biotech company that uses its proprietary red blood cell-based medical device for drug development and treatment of rare neurodegenerative diseases, such as Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT), for which currently there’s an effective therapy.
- HighLife: an early-stage healthcare company that is developing a novel transcatheter replacement system for mitral regurgitation treatment.
- Inotrem: a biotech company focused on the discovery and development of new therapeutic approaches to fight inflammatory diseases in the critical care setting.
MD Start Strategy
Sofinnova MD Start strategy is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs with unique and ground-breaking ideas to develop therapeutic medical devices. Below are a few companies that earned Sofinnova’s MD start fund for their R&D:
- Endoron Medical: a biotechnology company developing solutions for patients with abdominal aortic aneurysms. It’s building a catheter-based endograft stapling solution to replace the disease’s current, highly invasive repair solution.
- preCARDIA: a medical device company that developed a proprietary catheter and controller to treat patients with Acute Decompensated Heart Failure (ADHF). In 2021, it was acquired by Abiomed.
- Moon Surgical: an early-stage company, funded through Sofinnova’s MD Start III Fund. It’s developing a surgical robot named Maestro to assist surgeons in laparoscopy.
- HEPTA Medical: an early-stage medical device company developing sensor-embedded bronchoscopic catheters to treat early lung cancers.
- Advanced Perfusion Diagnostics: APD developed IKORUS®, a device that detects visceral microvascular blood flow changes in patients in critical care and surgical settings.
Sofinnova Crossover Strategy
Launched in 2018, the Crossover Strategy is geared towards life sciences companies, focusing on startups with initial proof of concept. It can be a seed-, early-, or later-stage company with breakthrough science.
Here’re some examples of the companies funded through Crossover Strategy:
- Abivax: a clinical-stage company that develops drug candidates using its immune-enhancing and antiviral platforms to treat viral infections, cancer, and chronic inflammatory diseases.
- Calliditas: a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing novel treatments for inflammatory kidney diseases. In 2021, its product Nefecon got FDA approval to treat IgA nephropathy.
- Sphere Fluidics: a company that manufactures novel single-cell analysis and monoclonality assurance systems to expedite biotherapeutic research and development.
- Redx Pharma: a clinical-stage biotechnology company focusing on developing best-in-class targeted therapeutics to treat diseases like cancer and fibrosis.
- GenSight Biologics: a clinical-stage biopharma company committed to discovering and developing a pipeline of gene therapies treating central nervous system disorders and retinal neurodegenerative diseases.
Industrial Biotech Strategy
Sofinnova’s industrial biotech fund was created to invest in early-stage biotechnology companies developing sustainable solutions in the food, agriculture, chemicals, and materials industries.
A few companies in this category are:
- Afryen: uses its patented fermentation technology to produce bio-sourced molecules, replacing the use of petroleum-based products in the fragrances, cosmetics, flavors, and feed and food sectors.
- CelluComp: develops and commercializes sustainable materials. Its product Curran® — a micro fibrillated cellulose extracted from root vegetables — has potential applications in paint, paper, food, personal care, and drilling fluids.
- Pyrowave: uses its microwave technology to recycle post-consumer polystyrene products and packaging—by electrification—into new plastics.
- DNA Script: offers the world’s first enzymatic synthesis instrument, SYNTAX (TM), to produce custom DNA oligos whenever required. It’s an alternative to the traditional DNA synthesis, accelerating research in genomics and medicine labs.
- Meiogenix: employs chromosome editing technology to increase plant biodiversity that farmers can use to tackle sustainability, climate, and food challenges.
Sofinnova Telethon Strategy
The Telethon strategy focuses on bringing Italy’s scientific excellence in rare genetic disorders to the world stage. Sofinnova supports Italian biotechs as they push their research programs towards preclinical and clinical development, and help create a thriving biotech ecosystem in Italy.
Some of the companies that received the Sofinnova Telethon Fund are:
- PinCell: a biotech company developing anti-inflammatory therapies targeting novel pathological pathways to treat rare skin diseases.
- AAVantgarde Bio: a biopharmaceutical company developing gene therapies based on Adeno-Associated Viral (AAV) vectors to treat inherited blindness disorder.
- Borea Therapeutics: a biopharma company developing gene therapies based on innovative viral vectors that target specific cells or tissues to treat genetic or chronic disease patients.
- Chroma Medicine: a biotech company pioneering a novel class of genomic medicines that involves the use of epigenetic mechanisms to treat genetically-driven diseases.
If you’re interested in learning more about Sofinnova, its news, trends, or investment strategies, visit Sofinnova Partners.
Pair Your Venture Capital Funding with Excedr’s Equipment Leases
Sofinnova is a venture capital firm committed to tackling healthcare challenges by investing in companies with ground-breaking ideas. Its investment interests lie in a range of life science companies including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biopharma, and medical device companies.
It has five investment strategies through which it raises funds to support companies with game-changing science — irrespective of whether it’s a seed stage, early stage, or later stage company.
While Sofinnova may be an ideal partner for you, it’s not going to be easy to get the attention of this leading venture capital firm without an initial proof of concept and promising scientific data. You’re going to need a solid project and presentation to prove your vision has feasibility. Sometimes, this requires having a number of specialized lab instruments or systems, including high-throughput equipment that produces accurate and reliable data.
But, purchasing equipment outright can pose a serious financial burden for newly formed laboratories. Excedr’s leasing program offers an alternative life sciences startups can rely on to outfit their lab space without using their entire budget on equipment procurement.
We offer a customized, affordable program that enables you to equip your lab with all your required equipment, from cutting-edge life science and clinical equipment to lab-safety and general biology instruments that together can help you accelerate your research process and produce meaningful results; data that can help convince a VC firm you’re worth investing in.
Don’t have the budget to purchase lab equipment outright? Consider leasing through Excedr to save your lab time and money. Browse your leasing options today!