PARTNERS INNOVATION FUND

 

INSIDE THE AUTUMN EDITION 2019

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

It’s been a busy six months, where we have invested in six new companies. These include three seed efforts and three series Arounds. The largest is a $75M round for Alize, a company whose founding story we detail in the next pages. The smallest was a $2.5M convertible note into NControl, a company focused on hemorrhagic stroke, created in large part through the efforts of Robert Millman (a previous PIF entrepreneur in residence), and also by BBIC, our Boston Biomedical Innovation Center. In between are two sub-$10M seed rounds, one for a gene therapy company focused on a single target for dementia (in stealth mode, with founders from BWH and MGH), and the second for a platform company with a suite of novel gene therapy vectors from Luk Vandenberghe at Mass Eye and Ear. We also have a novel antibody for cancer in a $25M series A round (Ziel Bio), and we joined a $59M series A round for new CRISPR company Verve (predominantly driven by venture firms ARCH and Google Ventures), where MGH PI Sekar Kathiresan has recently joined as CEO, and with prolific scientific founder Keith Joung.


We do not expect to continue this pace in the next six months, but it is remarkable how much investment support there is in Boston and beyond for novel ideas. With 6200 PIs, Partners is extraordinarily blessed with terrific insights and opportunities to have a real impact on patients through enablement of these insights. And it’s wonderful to be located in Cambridge, where there’s tremendous management talent ready to take on the next step in their careers, whether it’s a VP, Research looking to be a CSO, or a CSO looking to be a CEO and run their first company. We recognize that we are incredibly privileged to have a chance to invest alongside these great entrepreneurs and founders and to try to help along the way with the challenges that inevitably arise in any human endeavor, especially one where the science also has a way of creating its own twists and turns.


As a further step to create more opportunities, we are also proud to announce two new funds, TIF and AIDIF. You may well have seen information on these funds in the Boston Globe and other local papers. TIF, also known as the Translational Innovation Fund, is a pre-seed fund, intended to leverage excellent CROs in order to fill the gap between scientific hypothesis and in vivo POC, where investors are most likely to want to invest, or where pharma is more likely to bring these opportunities in-house. AIDIF, the Artificial Intelligence/Digital Innovation Fund, is an opportunity to invest alongside great computational insights in the health-tech space, places where Partners is a customer, co-developer, or licensor, and where we feel that there is a strong opportunity for long-term growth of an emergent new company. Together with a partnership, we will now have an opportunity to invest and take an ownership stake in the new company, and thereby also benefit from that company’s growth.


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