CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Timed perfectly with the initial sequencing of the human genome, NewcoGen Group Inc., creator of life sciences and information technology ventures, and early-stage venture firm, OneLiberty Ventures, are raising a fund to invest in companies enabled by the genomic revolution, said Noubar Afeyan, managing partner of the fund and NewcoGen’s chief executive officer.
Applied Genomic Technology Capital Fund LP, targeted to reach between $150 million and $200 million, held a first close on $70 million in late-May, and may hold another interim close before the final close, expected in the fall, Afeyan said.
The vehicle will back about 25 to 30 companies, with deals averaging between $5 million and $7 million, over several rounds, Afeyan said. It will focus on seed- and early-stage companies that develop applications of genomic discoveries, information and technologies, mainly on the East and West Coasts, he said.
The new fund “grew out of recognition that this [genomics] is a hot area,” Afeyan said. Investor interest in the space will not meet demand, he predicts, and the new fund has positioned itself to capitalize on the opportunities that will arise as a result. Additionally, the investors wanted to leverage the capabilities and connections of the NewcoGen and OneLiberty operations, he said.
Initial limited partners in the fund include Affymetrix Inc., Antigenics Inc., Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., Paine Webber Group Inc., OneLiberty and NewcoGen. Other corporate, institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals with specific interests in genomics are expected to join the vehicle. The fund will have a carried interest structure and a management fee that Afeyan described as industry standard.
Afeyan will manage the fund along with Partners Nancy Crowell and David Stone, and Principal Leon Palandjian. Edwin Kania, managing general partner at OneLiberty is a special partner in the fund, offering knowledge about the industry, technology and venture capital. The investors will work out of their offices in Cambridge, Mass. and San Francisco.
Formed in late 1999, NewcoGen creates and develops new ventures centered around concepts generated internally, or externally through the firm’s network of advisors, entrepreneurs, corporate partners and venture capital referrals. NewcoGen shares advisors, facilities and infrastructure with OneLiberty, a venture capital firm founded in 1995 that specializes in early-stage investing in the medical technology, life sciences, information and telecommunication sectors.