French company Jeito Capital raises half a billion euros to support European biotechs

In a biochemistry laboratory at the University of Nantes, January 25, 2021.

It’s a nice performance for Jeito Capital. Launched in 2018, the young independent French investment company, which specializes in medical innovation and biotechnologies, announced, Monday, September 20, the closing of its first fund, for an amount of 534 million euros. . A record in Europe in this very specialized biotechnology sector: the Dutch Life Science Partners, one of the most famous investors in the market, had finalized, in March, its last fund to the tune of 510 million euros.

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This is a source of pride for Rafaèle Tordjman, founder and president of Jeito Capital, who notably counts on her team the former president of Janssen France, Sabine Dandiguian. ” We want to bring out the future French and European health champions on the world stage. With this first fund, we aim to support a dozen companies in their development by providing them with continuous financial support, up to 80 million euros, as well as industrial expertise. », Explains this ex-researcher of Inserm and former intern of the Hospitals of Paris, specialized in hemato-cancerology.

A less compartmentalized vision

The investor is not a newcomer to venture capital. She worked for fifteen years – first as an analyst, then as co-manager – at the French Sofinnova Partners, where she notably invested in the tricolor biotech DBV Technologies, now listed on the stock exchange, or even the Danish Ascendis Pharma, currently valued at nearly 8 billion euros.

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With Jeito Capital, the investor intends to take a less compartmentalized view of financing, by supporting biotechs from end to end, from the first clinical trials to the marketing of their treatments, where ” the usual silo model often requires them to increase the number of investors at each new level of development “. A vision that won over Bpifrance, insurers Aviva, Axa and CNP Assurances, the Singaporean investment fund Temasek (one of the shareholders of BioNTech), but also Paul Hudson, the boss of Sanofi, among others. The pharmaceutical group invested 50 million euros in it in November 2020.

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The company, which already has several references in its portfolio – including Sparing Vision (ophthalmology), InnoSkel (rare skeletal disorders), Neogene Therapeutics (cancer), Pulmocide (severe respiratory diseases) and Alentis Therapeutics (fibrosis) – , has chosen to focus mainly on companies that develop drugs for patients with a therapeutic impasse, that is to say without effective treatment available to treat their illnesses. Innovative products, and more profitable financially, because they are sold more expensive than their counterparts for which there are already marketed treatments.

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