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Vida Ventures Closes $825 Million Life Sciences Fund

Century City-based Vida Ventures, a life sciences investment fund co-founded by local biotech magnate and serial bioscience investor Arie Belldegrun, announced June 24 that it has closed its third fund after having raised $825 million from various institutional investors.

This latest fund follows two earlier funds that together had raised $1 billion. That money has been deployed across 30 investments in life science companies, including 24 that are in Vida’s portfolio.

Among the companies that have received Vida investments, Amsterdam-based immunotherapy firm Neogene Therapeutics, which is setting up its U.S. headquarters in Santa Monica, and South San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company Allogene Therapeutics, which is developing therapies to treat cancer.

“From our formation to today with the close of Vida III, the goal is to do our part in converting dreams into groundbreaking therapies for patients,” Belldegrun said in the announcement from Vida Ventures.

“Our proven approach to life sciences investing brings together a network of industry experts alongside a powerful investor base undaunted by inherent challenges in drug development to fundamentally change the course of human disease,” he added.

According to the announcement, capital for the third fund was raised from existing and new blue-chip institutional investors, including endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds, pensions, financial institutions, family offices and funds-of-funds.

Belldegrun co-founded Vida Ventures in 2017 with funds from the just-completed $11.9 billion sale of his Santa Monica immunotherapy biotech firm Kite Pharma to Foster City-based pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences Inc. He helped assemble a team of scientific and strategic experts in the biotech sector to guide Vida’s investment choices.

Belldegrun is now one of Vida’s two senior managing directors; the other is Helen Kim.

Vida Ventures’ focus has been on companies developing drug therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers, neurological conditions, autoimmune disorders and rare genetic diseases.

In an earlier interview, Belldegrun said four of the companies Vida Ventures has invested in have been sold, and another 11 have gone through initial public offerings.
In the announcement, Kim said “Vida III will allow us to continue our bold investment strategy and provide first-hand operational and strategic expertise that helps innovators change the treatment landscape for patients.”

The private funds group of New York-based investment banking firm Jefferies Group served as exclusive global placement agent for the Vida III fundraise.

Howard Fine
Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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