CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 20, 2019 -- Flagship Pioneering, a unique life sciences innovation enterprise, announced it has secured $824 million in a new capital pool to support the growth of human health and sustainability companies originated by its Flagship Labs unit. The new capital pool will operate alongside more than $700 million in capital raised in late 2017 and 2018 that currently finances Flagship's in-house innovation and company origination activities.
"With each year of company origination, as we have honed our pioneering approach, we have steadily increased our capacity to launch transformative ventures," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flagship Pioneering. "Our new fund will complement our origination capabilities with new capital to grow platform companies more rapidly. With a team of executives deeply experienced in conceiving, creating, building and resourcing new ventures, Flagship Pioneering possesses a unique model that combines scientific creativity, technological ingenuity, systematic entrepreneurship, and professional capital management in a single, integrated institution."
Called the Special Opportunities Fund II, the new capital pool will enable Flagship to further fuel the growth of companies originated in its institutional innovation foundry, Flagship Labs. Investors include long-time limited partners as well as new institutional investors and family offices. The Special Opportunities Fund II follows a $285 million Special Opportunities Fund I, closed in 2016.
Flagship's systematic process to develop first-in-category ventures has enabled the company to launch more than 75 new ventures based on breakthrough product-platforms, leading to outsized financial and societal gain. The process has four distinct stages of company evolution: 1) imagining future value through hypothetical innovations (Exploration); 2) prototyping some of them (ProtoCo); 3) transforming successful ones into new companies (NewCo); 4) spinning them out of Flagship Labs into ecosystem growth companies (GrowthCo).
Last year, Flagship deployed $294 million in capital to its companies, including commitments by the first Special Opportunities fund. Combined with an additional $2.2 billion from other equity capital providers, a total of $2.5 billion in new capital fueled Flagship companies during 2018.
"Having closed a new, larger Opportunities Fund, we are significantly expanding our team of executive partners, as we provide additional growth resources to our ecosystem companies," Afeyan said.
The close of the Flagship Special Opportunities Fund II comes on the heels of a year of exceptional growth for Flagship and its broader ecosystem, and a strong start to 2019. Flagship's team of entrepreneurial scientists, executives, and operations experts, as well as its companies achieved important milestones last year, as follows:
Explorations: in 2018, Flagship undertook more than 80 explorations, the first step of our company origination process.
Pipeline of Innovation: Across Flagship's broader ecosystem of companies, 33 clinical trials were under way during 2018, in addition to over 50 therapeutics in pre-clinical and discovery programs.
Patents: 167 patents were filed by Flagship Labs in 2018.
NewCos: In 2018, Flagship launched five new companies: Invaio Sciences, Inzen Therapeutics, Ring Therapeutics, Cellarity, and Integral. Three other Flagship Pioneering NewCos emerged from stealth: Foghorn Therapeutics, Inari Agriculture, and Cobalt Biosciences (now part of Sana Biotechnology).
GrowthCos: Marking their evolution from NewCo to GrowthCo, the final phase in Flagship's innovation process, the firm spun out four companies in 2018: Ohana Biosciences, Inari Agriculture, Kintai Therapeutics, and Cogen Therapeutics.
IPOs: Four companies conceived in Flagship Labs successfully completed Initial Public Offerings over the past year: Evelo Biosciences (May 2018), Rubius Therapeutics (July 2018), Moderna Therapeutics (December 2018) and Kaleido Biosciences (February 2019).
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category life sciences companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has applied a unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $30 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship is backed by more than $3.3 billion of aggregate capital commitments, of which over $1.5 billion has been deployed toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $10 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem includes Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Indigo Agriculture, Kaleido Biosciences (NASDAQ: KLDO), Moderna Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MRNA), Quanterix Corporation (NASDAQ: QTRX), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS). To learn more about Flagship Pioneering, please visit our website: www.FlagshipPioneering.com.