London-based Abingworth raises $582 million for a new Clinical Co-Development Fund to invest in life science startups in the US and Europe
Abingworth is a London, England-based international investment group based dedicated to collaborating with life sciences entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into products that have a dramatic impact on health.
Today, Abingworth announced it has closed a new Clinical Co-Development Fund at $582 million. Abingworth Clinical Co-Development Fund 2 (ACCD 2) to invest in life science companies in the US, UK, and Continental Europe developing innovative therapeutics with the potential to significantly improve human health.
The oversubscribed exceeded the original target of $350 million. Alongside the recent $465 million Abingworth Bioventures 8 (ABV 8) fund, Abingworth has raised over $1 billion in new funds. The ACCD 2 fund provides finance for the development of late-stage clinical programs from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Abingworth said it will invest the ACCD 2 directly in late-stage product financing opportunities, as well as through its co-development portfolio companies Avillion (UK) and SFJ Pharmaceuticals (US). SFJ and Avillion finance and facilitate clinical trial execution, using their operational expertise to increase the speed and quality of the trials. They incur all the clinical and regulatory risks and receive a pre-negotiated return once the drug is approved.
Founded in 1973, Abingworth is one of the leading transatlantic life sciences investment firms. The firm helps transform cutting-edge science into novel medicines by providing capital and expertise to top-caliber management teams building world-class companies.
Since its inception in 1973, Abingworth has invested in 172 life science companies, leading to 44 M&As and 70 IPOs. Its therapeutic-focused investments fall into three categories: seed and early-stage, development stage, and clinical co-development. Abingworth supports its portfolio companies with a team of experienced professionals at offices in London, Menlo Park (California), and Boston.
Abingworth pioneered the clinical co-development investment strategy in 2009, investing initially via its venture funds and then alongside the first dedicated fund – Abingworth Clinical Co-Development Fund (ACCD 1), which launched in 2016.
To date, Abingworth has made eleven investments in co-development opportunities through Avillion and SFJ. Of the seven that have completed, six resulted in pre-negotiated pay-outs to the fund, and five resulted in FDA drug approvals. Partnerships with AstraZeneca, Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Nektar Therapeutics, and PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals are ongoing.
As part of the new fund closing, James Cornwall, Ph.D., has joined Abingworth as Partner in charge of business development for clinical co-development deals and will work alongside the Investment Partners. James has over 25 years’ pharmaceutical and CRO industry experience, including roles in clinical research and corporate development. He was formerly with Nuvelution, a structured finance investment vehicle, and Quintiles, a global CRO.
In addition, David Simmons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PPD, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor to Abingworth focusing on its clinical co-development strategy. David has nearly a decade of experience leading one of the world’s largest CROs as well as 15 years as a senior executive at Pfizer.
“Our bespoke clinical co-development approach has succeeded as an alternative investment strategy since we pioneered the concept a decade ago, both in terms of generating returns for investors and gaining new product approvals. Our CCD program enables biotech companies to avoid near-term equity dilution and enables resource-constrained pharma companies to pursue additional clinical projects,” said Kurt von Emster, Managing Partner. “As we expand our CCD efforts, we have augmented the team and are very pleased to welcome David Simmons and James Cornwall, whose breadth of pharma and CRO expertise will be important as we continue to execute this approach in the years ahead.”
“We are delighted to announce this new Clinical Co-Development Fund that, combined with our $465 million Abingworth Bioventures 8 fund, brings new funds closed by Abingworth in 2021 to over $1 billion,” added Tim Haines, Chairman & Managing Partner. “With ABV 8 primarily targeting company creation and development stage opportunities, ACCD 2 provides a substantial, dedicated fund that invests alongside our venture funds to finance late-stage co-development opportunities with the potential to bring new medicines to patients in a reduced time frame. Our investments in this strategy, combined with our venture investments have contributed to 19 new medicines gaining FDA approval in the last 8 years.”