Frazier Healthcare raised a greater-than-expected $617 million for its latest fund, as private investors’ appetite for healthcare innovation shows no sign of slowing.

Frazier Life Sciences X, the company’s third life sciences fund, is slated to invest in biotech products that address unmet needs. It opened with a goal of raising $500 million to $600 million, according to PE Hub. Seattle-base Frazier will spend on startups “developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceuticals.” 

The latest fundraising brings Frazier’s total to nearly $4.8 billion, with investments going to more than 200 companies. The firm’s best performing fund is the $337 million Frazier Healthcare VII, giving investors 40% net return in 2013, compared to that year’s 17.9% benchmark, according to PitchBook data. Frazier exited 45 investments over the last five years.

Private investors are doubling down on healthcare. Pharmaceutical and biotech-related startups raised a record $34.8 billion venture capital in 2019, 16% more than the year before, according to PitchBook data. Two-thirds of the money went into drug discovery. 

Also last year, 57 companies raised at least $100 million, more than double the 2017 total, PitchBook says. South Korea’s EnhancedBio’s $7.3 billion last February from Dongyu Technology, Ignite Innovators and CKD Venture Capital Corporation was last year’s biggest healthcare investment. The Seoul-based company specializes in developing cancer drugs and therapy, including treatment for lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. 

  • Frazier’s last venture capital fund raised $419 million in 2017, and invested in six deals including Lassen Therapeutics’ $32 million series A. The San Diego-based company focuses on antibodies and is currently operating in stealth mode.
  • Fraizer’s life sciences team has created or seeded 25 companies since 2005. It has 29 FDA-approved new drugs since 2010, including Katerzia, a high blood pressure drug for children who are older than six. 
  • Frazier also has a private equity buyout arm, which invested 27 companies and exited 11 in total. The buyout team focuses on healthcare companies with $5 million to $50 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.