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Biotech Interest Rising helps Abingworth Raise $582M

For its second clinical co-development venture, Abingworth has raised $582 million. It will be able to make triple-digit million investments in late-stage clinical programmes thanks to the ACCD 2 project. It is headquartered in London, began investing in clinical co-development in 2009. The company initially funded the clinical co-development fund with money from its investment funds.

However by 2016, the strategy had progressed to the point that it had established a dedicated $105 million clinical co-development fund. Abingworth will be able to continue making late-stage bets with the latest, much larger ACCD 2 at a time when table stakes are higher than in the past. Tim Haines, managing partner and chariman, said, “The larger fund really just allows us to participate. The deal sizes are certainly going up to some degree. And I think we’ll probably be doing larger deals. We may do some deals by ourselves directly.”

Avillion and SFJ Pharmaceuticals, two of Abingworth co-development portfolio firms, have already invested. Clinical trials are both financed and facilitated by co-development firms, which assume all clinical and regulatory risk in exchange for a pre-agreed return if the drug is approved. The company will invest directly in the future.

According to Haines, the sweet spot for investments is between $100 million and $200 million, though Abingworth has gone as high as $250 million in the past. It would be able to help businesses that have the internal resources to operate a programme but need funding by contributing directly. When the company first began working in clinical co-development, it mainly collaborated with pharmaceutical firms who had more clinical candidates than their budgets could afford.

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