Life Science Investment Firm Pontifax Raises $170 Million Fund

The firm’s new fund, its sixth, will focus on credit loans to pharmaceutical companies planning to go public

Meir Orbach 11:2122.11.18
Israel-based life science-oriented venture capital firm Pontifax Ltd. has raised a new $170 million fund, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity.

 

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Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Pontifax had closed a $150 million late-stage investment fund, partially backed by American insurer AIG, citing one source.

Pontifax co-founder Ran Nussbaum. Photo: PR Pontifax co-founder Ran Nussbaum. Photo: PR

 

Established in 2004, Pontifax has over $600 million in assets under management. The firm has made over 80 investments and has more than 40 companies in its portfolio today, according to Pitchbook data. Pontifax was one of the first investors in anti-cancer company Kite Pharma, sold to Gilead Sciences Inc. in August 2017 for $11.9 billion. Pontifax's $3.8 million investment yielded returns of $130 million after the sale.

 

Pontifax also upholds several partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and medtech companies, including Swiss healthcare company F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, New York-headquartered Pfizer Inc., Fosun Pharma, the pharmaceutical arm of China-based Fosun International Ltd., and multinational corporation GE Healthcare.

 

In December 2017, Calcalist reported that Pontifax has partnered with Merck KGaA subsidiary Merck Serono and Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company WuXi AppTec Group to launch a biotech incubator in Israel.

In January, the firm announced a fifth, $240 million fund. Pontifax's fourth fund, which closed at $175 million in 2016, yielded returns of 41%, according to the internal documents viewed by Calcalist earlier this year.

 

The firm’s new fund, its sixth, will focus on credit loans to pharmaceutical companies planning to go public. The fund has already begun negotiating investment in five companies, the person familiar with the matter said.
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