$171M Gives PIF Added Speed and Scale

After a decade of success in funding new technologies through the Partners Innovation Fund (PIF), the Partners HealthCare System (PHS) has closed on $171.1 million in new capital for Partners Innovation Fund II.

The funds will be used to support the development of new technologies that emerge from the research laboratories in the Partners HealthCare system.

Investments will be spread throughout the diverse biomedical market sectors where Partners investigators conduct research, including therapeutics, diagnostics and health information technology (HIT).

The funds raised include $66.1 million in outside capital for Partners Innovation Fund II and a $105 million commitment from Partners institutions to Partners Innovation Fund. The capital commitments to Partners Innovation Fund include $50 million commitments each from The Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Investors in the fund include Astellas Pharma Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, ShangPharma Corporation and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group.

“We are delighted to have the support of global market-leading strategic investors to leverage Partners intellectual assets, scientific talent, and clinical expertise,” said Roger Kitterman, Vice President of Venture for Partners HealthCare and Managing Partner of the fund.

“Bringing discoveries, inventions and innovations from our world-class research community to the market benefits patients, always our primary focus, as well as the life sciences sector so important to the state’s economic future,” said Anne Klibanski, Chief Academic Officer of Partners HealthCare. “This collaboration underscores Partners’ commitment to promote the commercialization of inventions and discoveries originating from the Partners community and to translate those discoveries into treatments for patients.”

“I think it distinguishes us in the academic realm, being at $171 million puts us right at the top tier of organizations, and especially funds that are focused exclusively on technologies that are emerging from Partners institutions,” said Chris Coburn, Chief Innovation Officer of Partners HealthCare.

A History of Success

The Partners Innovation Fund was launched in 2008 by PHS with $35 million in capital. Since its inception, PIF has invested in 32 companies spanning a wide range of therapeutic areas.

Notable successes include CoStim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pioneer in next generation immuno-oncology, Adheron, a company developing treatments for inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and Editas Medicine Inc, a marketing leader in CRISPR gene editing technology.

The returns from those investments and others helped to spark the larger funding base for Partners Innovation Fund II.

“It certainly underscores the quality of the performance (of the fund) to date,” Coburn says. “If you were to compare the return in terms of the technologies that have moved forward and the dollars back, it ranks right at the top against every possible peer, whether it is corporate venture funds for big industrial firms, stand-alone venture funds, and especially in the academic world.”

Benefits for The Research Community

For the Partners research community, the fund will continue to serve as in-house ally, shaping and supporting the opportunities that emerge from their work.

Expanding the fund to $171.1 million not only creates a pool of funds to draw from, it also allows fund administrators to make decisions more quickly.

Whereas in the past, it may have been necessary to assemble consortium of three or four more investors, deals can be done with a smaller number of investors in a shorter amount of time.

Planning for Future Growth

Much like the success of the first PIF investments helped to generate a larger pool of funding for PIF II, the team hopes that the returns from this new round of funding will lead to additional growth down the road.