- Boston-based investment firm Bain Capital has raised $1.9 billion in a new fund directed at pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. The news was first reported by Endpoints News.
- This latest life sciences fund, Bain's third, includes $300 million from current and former partners, according to a spokesperson. In 2017, Bain closed its first life sciences fund, earmarking $720 million for investments. Two years later, the firm topped off a second fund at $1.1 billion. Bain's life sciences portfolio now includes over 30 companies.
- Bain's new haul is the most recent example of private equity's growing interest in drug development. Last year, Blackstone closed what it claimed to be the largest-ever private equity fund for life sciences investing, at $4.6 billion. Private equity firms have also been active acquirers of contract drug manufacturers, scooping up major players like Cambrex and Parexel in multibillion-dollar deals.
The last several years have seen private equity grow more entrenched in healthcare. Using data from Pitchbook, Healthcare Dive found private equity deals in the space more than doubled in the decade between 2008 and 2018, ultimately surpassing $100 billion in total value by that latter year.
And within healthcare, biotech appears to be a focus. Bain, for example, provided $350 million to get Cerevel Therapeutics, a neuroscience company spun out of Pfizer's laboratories, off the ground.
More recently, Bain became an investor of EQRx through a private investment alongside the biotech's merger with CM Life Sciences II, a so-called special purpose acquisition company. Launched in early 2020, EQRx aims to create rival, brand-name versions of expensive medicines and sell them at lower prices.
Now, Bain's life sciences portfolio lists 32 companies that collectively target a wide range of research areas and diseases. Companies like C4 Therapeutics and Mersana Therapeutics are trying to treat a variety of cancers, from lung to ovarian. Others, such as Solid Biosciences and Marinus Pharmaceuticals, are developing drugs for rare genetic disorders that affect the central nervous system.
Almost $2 billion in additional funding means Bain's portfolio will surely grow. Indeed, just last month, the firm participated in a $135 million financing for Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, a company whose closely watched drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis could be approved in Canada within the next year.