Venture capital firm SR One, founded in 1985 as the venture capital arm of pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, completed its spinout from its parent company and closed its first independent fund at $500 million.
In a brief announcement Thursday morning, SR One said the funds will be used to build “elite biotechnology companies developing innovative medicines that address significant unmet needs.” GSK remains the largest contributor to the fund, which is also backed by other asset managers, endowments, foundations, pension funds and family offices. Since it was founded in 1985, the firm has invested over $680 million in biotech groups. Earlier this month, SR One played a role in supporting Boston-based Decibel Therapeutics’ Series D financing round. The $82.2 million raised in that round will be used to support the company’s pipeline, including DB-OTO, Decibel’s investigational gene therapy developed in collaboration with Regeneron to restore hearing in children with congenital deafness due to a deficiency in the otoferlin gene.
In October, SR One supported the $60 million Series A financing round for Dren Bio, and also invested in a $60 million venture funding round for Nimbus Therapeutics. Other companies SR One has backed include Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Progyny, Spero Therapeutics, Propeller Health
Simeon George, chief executive officer of SR One, said the successful spinout from GSK and the $500 million fund provides a strong foundation for the company’s next chapter. It will enable SR One to scale its investment strategy and build on its ongoing track record, George said.
GSK Strategy Officer David Redfern said since day one, the mandate of SR One has been to deliver financial returns by investing in innovative biotechnology companies. Although SR One has now spun out from GSK and become an independent fund management business, that mandate remains.
“The close of the fund at the hard cap and its oversubscription by global investors underscore the team’s abilities and strong track record. Importantly, GSK remains fully dedicated to investing directly in innovative new science, as witnessed by its recent strategic partnerships in Vir Biotechnology, 23&Me and Lyell, in addition to its ongoing investment in SR One’s new independent fund,” Redfern said in a statement.
In addition to the spinout and close of the fund, SR One is adding members to its European team. Venture Partners Rodger Novak and Eliot Charles have joined the core team in Europe. Novak and Charles played key founding roles in SR One portfolio companies CRISPR Therapeutics and Principia Biopharma.
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