- French drugmaker Sanofi is planning a multi-year capital infusion that will bring the total funding in its Sanofi Ventures evergreen fund to more than $750 million.
- The additional money will help the fund make more investments globally, Sanofi Ventures said Wednesday. The evergreen fund finances a variety of companies and also helps hunt for business development and acquisition opportunities for Paris-based Sanofi.
- To date, Sanofi Ventures has focused mostly on biotechnology investments, with the remaining 20% of its funding going toward digital health companies. The ventures group closed 10 investments last year.
Corporate venture arms have been big players in the biotech investment market since the turn of the century, following early efforts by companies including Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. Sanofi is now making a push to be among the largest investors, with funds rivaling the $750 million in committed capital at Novartis Venture Fund.
Sanofi Ventures has invested in 50 companies, whose specialties cover the map from rare diseases and cancer to cell and gene therapy. In addition to investments from the earliest stage of a startup to later financing rounds for more well-established companies, Sanofi Ventures executives work with their companies in various ways, including sitting on corporate boards.
Along with Bayer’s impact investment arm, Sanofi most recently helped lead the Series B financing for NextPoint Therapeutics, a biotech focused on precision immuno-oncology. In the past, Sanofi Ventures has backed Kymera, which is now working with Sanofi on an autoimmune disease drug, and ReCode Therapeutics, which is developing genetic medicines for cystic fibrosis.
While the appetite of generalist investors for early-stage biotechnology has dipped recently, Sanofi isn’t alone in preparing for more investment in the future. Last year, Atlas Venture, Forbion, Third Rock Ventures and Arch Venture Partners all raised new funds they expect to use to further finance biotechnology companies.