European life sciences investment firm Medicxi on Thursday said it raised $400 million, becoming the latest biotech-focused venture firm to boost its capital reserves so far this year.
The firm will use the new funds to continue investing in "asset-centric" biotechs, or companies focused on one or two experimental medicines rather than broad drugmaking platforms. This is its fourth fund.
One of the largest firms of its kind in Europe, Medicxi announced its new fund after several of its portfolio companies were acquired. Over the past year, skin drug developer Villaris Therapeutics was bought by Incyte, autoimmune startup MiroBio sold to Gilead and obesity drug startup Versanis Bio was picked up by Eli Lilly.
Those acquisitions provided the firm with a fast return on its investments. For instance, Medicxi joined with Atlas Venture and Aditum Bio to invest $70 million into Versanis in 2021. The biotech was sold to Lilly less than two years later in a deal that could be worth as much as $1.9 billion. Both MiroBio and Villaris were formed in 2019 and acquired in 2023.
“This new fund consolidates Medicxi’s position as a key operating platform for scientific entrepreneurs and drug hunters and is deliberately sized for our investment model,” Francesco De Rubertis, Medicxi’s co-founder, said in a statement.
Previously known as Medicxi Ventures, the firm launched out of Index Ventures in 2016 with backing from GSK and Johnson & Johnson.
Its portfolio includes a number of public companies, such as Centessa Pharmaceuticals, Molecular Partners and Minerva Biosciences. Others, such as Genmab and Phathom Pharmaceuticals, have successfully developed marketed medicines.
Medicxi joins other biotech investors, such as Westlake Village Biopartners and SR One, in closing new funds this year. New firms, such as Dimension and Cure Ventures, have also raked in hundreds of millions of dollars to support young biotech companies.
Overall, venture firms raised approximately $163 billion in 2022, and invested nearly $31 billion into biotech and pharma companies last year, according to the National Venture Capital Association.