Burrill Raises $313M for New Life Sciences Fund

12/19/11Follow @xconomy

San Francisco-based biotech industry maven Steve Burrill said today his investment firm has raised $313 million for a new life sciences fund.

The Burrill Capital Fund IV started operations on December 1 with $313 million to make a wide variety of early and late-stage investments in companies working on drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, as well as healthcare delivery technologies, wellness, and digital health. Burrill said in a statement that the financing represents the first close for the fund, which he hopes will reach a final goal of raising $500 million by June.

Burrill has had his hits and misses, like any venture investor in biotech, but he’s enjoyed one huge home run with Princeton, NJ-based Pharmasset (NASDAQ: VRUS). The hepatitis C drug developer agreed to be acquired by Gilead Sciences (NADSAQ: GILD) last month for $11 billion—a record-setting sum for a biotech company still in the late stages of product development. Burrill personally served as chairman of Pharmasset until January, and his firm had a 5.7 percent ownership stake in Pharmasset, according to the most recent proxy statement.

Back in the summer, before the Pharmasset deal was announced, Burrill told MedCity News that he expected the new life sciences fund to reach a $350 million fundraising goal by the end of August. At the time, he told the online publication that $200 million of the fund came from Rusnano, a Russian owned-company.

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