Flagship Pioneering racks up $3.37bn for eighth fund

Flagship Pioneering has closed its eighth fund at $3.37 billion.

Flagship Pioneering has closed its eighth fund at $3.37 billion. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the venture firm invests in biotechnology, life sciences, health and sustainability companies.

PRESS RELEASE

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Flagship Pioneering, the bioplatform innovation company, today announced a significant expansion of its capital base to support founding and growing its next generation of human health and sustainability companies. Flagship re-opened Fund VII in April 2021 to current Limited Partners and a select group of new investors, raising an additional $2.23 billion for a total capital pool of $3.37 billion. This brings together for the first time its origination and growth strategies under one investment vehicle with a long-term focus on the creation, development, and growth of its first-in-category bioplatform companies.

“At Flagship Pioneering, we are re-imagining how to prevent and treat disease, feed a growing population, and sustain our planet. We do this by harnessing chemistry, biology, and machine learning/AI to build cohesive, integrated platforms, each with the potential for multiple transformative products,” said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flagship Pioneering. “There is no better example of the power of bioplatform companies than Flagship-founded Moderna, which was able to rapidly shift its focus in 2020 to develop, test, and deploy its COVID-19 vaccine in record time.”

Dr. Afeyan continued, “In the last year alone, breakthroughs at Rubius Therapeutics, Denali Therapeutics, Seres Therapeutics, and others demonstrated the exponential impact bioplatforms can have on health. Biotechnology is at the leading edge of technological progress, challenging us to think beyond incremental advances and take big leaps – and Flagship Pioneering is focused on actively leaping to the scientific spaces ripe for disruption.”

Financial Update
After Fund VII’s close, Flagship is now operating with an aggregate capital pool of $6.7 billion, with $14.1 billion assets under management. Over the past four quarters, Flagship deployed $370 million in capital to its companies, combined with more than $4.4 billion from other capital providers, for a total of $4.8 billion in new capital fueling Flagship companies.

“We are grateful to our longstanding Limited Partners and our new investors for their support as we pioneer life science solutions to tackle the world’s most urgent issues,” said Stephen Berenson, Managing Partner, Flagship Pioneering. “This expanded capital pool will enable us to support first-in-category platform companies, spanning human therapeutics, agriculture, and nutrition, as well as our soon-to-be-launched Preemptive Medicine and Health Security Initiative, and the development of a robust pipeline of clinical assets through our Pioneering Medicines Division.”

Driving Ground-breaking Multi-Product Bioplatforms
Flagship Pioneering is dedicated to exploring and innovating in uncharted spaces, as well as founding, launching, and advancing new companies to develop and commercialize these innovations.

“The biological century is an era of new possibility. Today, the opportunity to harness biology for the benefit of humanity and the world is unprecedented,” said Doug Cole, M.D., Managing Partner, Flagship Pioneering. “At Flagship, we challenge ourselves daily to discover what is not yet visible, invent what has previously not been possible, and imagine and realize new ways to treat, cure, diagnose, and prevent diseases.”

Flagship’s team of entrepreneurial scientists, executives, and operations experts, as well as its companies, achieved important milestones in the last year, as follows:
Unveiled Generate Biomedicines, Invaio Sciences, Inzen Therapeutics, Laronde, and Valo Health

Raised $1.8 billion in private investments for early growth-stage companies: Cellarity, Inari Agriculture, Indigo Ag, Invaio Sciences, Omega Therapeutics, Repertoire Immune Medicines, Ring Therapeutics, Senda Biosciences, Tessera Therapeutics, and Valo Health
Completed Initial Public Offerings at Codiak Biosciences (NASDAQ: CDAK), Foghorn Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FHTX), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), and Sigilon Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SGTX)

Raised follow-on public market capital in Axcella (NASDAQ: AXLA), Codiak Biosciences (NASDAQ: CDAK), Evelo (NASDAQ: EVLO), Kaleido (NASDAQ: KLDO), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Rubius (NASDAQ: RUBY), and Seres (NASDAQ: MCRB)

Conducted more than 60 new explorations, the first step of our company origination process
Filed more than 300 patent applications from Flagship Labs
Flagship ecosystem companies have 53 clinical programs and 150 pre-clinical programs currently underway

Assembling a World-Class Team
Flagship is committed to bringing on the highest caliber industry executives with track records of exceptional performance, as evidenced in the company’s new hires over the past year. These have included the recent additions of Christopher P. Austin, M.D., as CEO-Partner, Ara Darzi, M.D., as Chair, Preemptive Medicine and Health Security Initiative, Michael T. Nally, as CEO-Partner and CEO of Generate Biomedicines, and Louisa Salter-Cid, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer for Pioneering Medicines. In addition, Flagship has hired a number of world class executives, scientists, and operations leaders to roles across the company and its ecosystem of companies.

Introducing Preemptive Medicine and Health Security, a New, More Comprehensive Approach to Health Security

Flagship is actively building a division tasked with pioneering a new field that aims to protect, maintain, or improve people’s health before they get sick by proactively intervening in those who are seemingly healthy but at risk. It will encompass interventions that protect health from external threats (health security) as well as to prevent or delay the onset of disease (preemptive health) to better prepare for the next infectious disease threats, and to pursue bolder treatments for existing pandemic diseases such as obesity, cancer, and neurodegeneration. Learn more about Flagship’s perspective in this recent whitepaper, “Health Security and Beyond: A New Paradigm for a Post-Pandemic World.”

“The pandemic has laid bare the critical nature of health, not only to individuals, but to economies and societies,” said Ara Darzi, M.D., Chair of Flagship’s Preemptive Medicine and Health Security Initiative. “Flagship is pioneering a new field that aims to protect, maintain, and improve people’s health by providing security against threats for everyone, and preventing or postponing the onset of disease for ‘seemingly healthy’ people, before they experience any recognisable symptoms at all.”

Building the Pioneering Medicines Division
Flagship launched its Pioneering Medicines Division earlier this year to harness the power of Flagship’s scientific and development innovation to create and advance novel therapeutic medicines that benefit more patients sooner. Given the broad applicability of many Flagship platforms, Pioneering Medicines is focused on expanding the reach of these scientific innovations by creating medicines in disease areas where the companies are not yet focused and working across platforms in unprecedented ways.

“Pioneering Medicines is focused on innovative approaches to achieving greater impact for patients at faster speeds,” said Paul Biondi, Executive Partner, Flagship Pioneering and President of Pioneering Medicines. “We are leveraging the innovative scientific platforms and technologies within Flagship Pioneering’s ecosystem of companies to conceive and develop a unique portfolio of life-changing treatments for patients.”

About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category bioplatform companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has, through its Flagship Labs unit, applied its unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $90 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship has deployed over $2.4 billion in capital toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $19 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 41 transformative companies, including Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Indigo Ag, Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ: SANA), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Valo Health.