Alexandria Venture Investments, the strategic venture capital arm of Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., an urban office REIT uniquely focused on collaborative life science and technology campuses in AAA innovation cluster locations, was recognized by Silicon Valley Bank in its “Trends in Healthcare Investments and Exits 2019” report as the most active biopharma investor by new deal volume in 2017–2018 and ranked by Forbes as the #1 venture capital investor in the healthcare sector by U.S.-based deal volume in 2018, according to an analysis compiled by PitchBook for the publication.
According to a prepared statement, the company’s venture activity is an integral component of Alexandria’s differentiated and multifaceted business strategy and provides it with invaluable strategic insights and extensive knowledge of the cutting-edge science that strengthen its relationships across the life science industry and enable the company to recruit and retain the highest-quality tenant base.
Alexandria Venture Investments strategically invests in promising seed-, early- and growth-stage companies focused on novel, breakthrough discoveries in biopharma, diagnostics, research tools, agtech and technology. The release notes that the highly sophisticated Alexandria Venture Investments team is led by Alexandria’s executive chairman and founder Joel S. Marcus, who founded the company’s venture capital arm in 1996 with its first investment in Corixa Corporation, a Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2005.
“Innovation is happening at an unprecedented pace, and we are truly at a pivotal moment in the biology revolution with more new innovative medicines coming to market than ever before,” said Marcus. “Biomedical research is imperative to ensuring we advance the development of the most leading-edge treatments for patients who need them most. With more than 10,000 diseases known to humankind and only 500 with effective treatments, the work that our tenants and investment companies do—developing life-changing and lifesaving therapies—is the only effective way to contain the massive economic impact of disease in the face of an aging population that continues to grow dramatically. Our venture investment effort is vital to our mission to advance human health by curing disease and improving nutrition.”
“We are very proud to support a range of transformative companies pursuing breakthroughs across therapeutic areas and technology platforms to substantially improve the quality of lives of people who are suffering from some of the most devastating diseases,” said Chris Otey, Ph.D., MBA, senior vice president of science and technology at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Alexandria Venture Investments. “We are incredibly motivated by the important discovery and development milestones of our portfolio companies as they move closer to being able to offer effective treatments and hopefully cures for patients whose options are limited or nonexistent.”
Alexandria Venture Investments recently participated in the $400 million Series C financing of Relay Therapeutics, a company dedicated to creating pioneering medicines for patients by combining the fields of structural biology, biophysics and chemistry with the power of computers to develop dynamic pictures of proteins in order to identify novel targets for medicines. Alexandria made its first investment in Relay Therapeutics’ Series B financing. Another notable investment in 2018 was Alexandria’s participation in Benson Hill Biosystems, Inc.’s $60 million Series C financing to focus on both human health and nutrition. The company is developing a revolutionary crop design platform to grow healthier and more sustainable food and ingredients. Alexandria made its first investment in Benson Hill’s Series A financing.