BioWorld International Correspondent

LONDON - Abingworth Management closed its sixth life science fund, the latest at $350 million - $75 million above target.

"We are delighted, not only [at the amount] but at the quality of the names," Stephen Bunting, managing director, told BioWorld International. "The investor list is awesome; that pleased us more than the amount of money."

Of the $350 million, 54 percent came from the U.S., 32 percent from Europe and 14 percent from the rest of the world. The investors included pension funds, endowments, foundations, universities and government entities.

The new fund, ABV IV, will invest in about 20 private platform technology, therapeutic, medical device and instrumentation companies in Europe and the U.S.

Given the dire shortage of funding that many biotechnology companies are facing, Bunting said he had expected raising ABV IV to be more difficult.

"We don't always understand the way investors will think in a situation," he said. "It seems that somehow we had what people wanted."

Bunting believes investors are starting to put the bad experiences of the recent past behind them and are taking a longer-term view. "People are keen to put money into life sciences; they don't see the previous situation as one that will endure forever," he said.

He said there are currently some good technologies and plenty of experienced managers around to set up and run companies, and added that it was difficult not to take additional money but they had decided $350 million was the optimum amount with which to work.