Deerfield Management has launched the Deerfield Healthcare Innovations Fund, which will invest in groundbreaking advancements in science that may lead to therapeutic interventions in genetic diseases, cancer and orphan diseases. The venture capital fund also will back new technologies that can transform how therapeutics are developed and improve the way healthcare is delivered to patients.
The fund, one of the largest healthcare-focused venture funds in the sector, will donate all profits not allocated to investors to the Deerfield Partnership Foundation. In that way, it will support its charitable purposes to improve the provision of healthcare services to underserved children and investment in healthcare research, including orphan diseases, age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other therapeutic, diagnostic and healthcare service delivery breakthroughs. The Deerfield Foundation is employee-funded and managed, and has raised more than $25 million to advance children’s health in New York City, where the company is based, as well as projects worldwide.
The Deerfield Healthcare Innovations Fund, which closed in July, includes external commitments of $550 million. Investors include healthcare institutions such as New York Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Seattle Children's Hospital, and philanthropies such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Universities including Princeton University and Northwestern University also are among the investor group.
“The unprecedented advances in our understanding of the biology of disease, combined with the application of new technologies, allow for life-altering changes in medical practice. The pullback in funding that has occurred for these innovations over the last decade could not have happened at a worse time,” said James Flynn, president and managing partner of Deerfield. “Our unique model of producing research through the Deerfield Institute and our philanthropic endeavors through the Deerfield Foundation allows us to provide value to innovative institutions, companies and patients that goes well beyond capital.”
The Deerfield Institute, a team of about 40 healthcare experts, in partnership with other healthcare organizations, will author at least 10 original peer-reviewed articles in 2015. Publishing these proprietary findings is aimed at sharing knowledge with healthcare researchers and providers in addition to helping inform healthcare policy.
“Research funding in health and life science innovation has decreased in recent years, which unfortunately leaves many areas of important research unsupported,” said William Slattery, partner. “This fund provides a significant opportunity for greater innovation in the healthcare and life science sectors, which hold not only substantial opportunities for advancement, but also have the greatest financing needs.”