Biotech investment specialist Arch Venture Partners has hit a $1.85bn final close for its eleventh flagship fundraise, less than a year after hauling in almost $1.5bn for its predecessor vehicle.

Arch said it would invest Fund XI in early stage biotech companies working in areas including infectious disease, mental health, immunology, oncology and neurology, as well as manufacturing, clinical trials, anti-aging medicines, genomic and biological tools.

Fund XI is easily Arch’s largest fund to date. The firm raised $1.1bn across Fund IX and Fund IX Overage in 2016, and $560m across Fund VIII and Fund VIII Overage in 2014.

Firm co-founder and managing director Robert Nelsen said, “From its start, ARCH sought out great science with the potential to significantly improve human health.

“While Fund XI is our largest to date, we have always invested at levels that each company or technology needed to advance, whether it’s $50,000 or $250m.

“We are continually proud to help bring together and advise scientists and entrepreneurs to create successful enterprises.”

Managing director Kristina Burow added, “Particularly in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, companies that can bring cutting-edge medicines and tools forward are both clearly important and good investments.

“Now more than ever, we have a sense of urgency and purpose to back companies that could meaningfully change medicine for the better.”

Arch also revealed it had named venture partner Paul Berns as a managing director, and hired Jay Markowitz as a senior partner after more than 19 years analyzing, investing, and working in the biopharmaceutical industry.

His experience includes nine years at T Rowe Price, seven years at Capital Group, and three years as a senior vice president at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

Source: AltAssets