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Panakès Partners announces the first closing of its new “purple” global biotech/ medtech fund at €150 million ($180 million)

    Date: 20 July 2021
  • Panakès will use the successful closing of its second Fund to extend its ​​investment activity to biotech, while maintaining its ongoing activity in medtech, the focus of Panakès first fund
  • Panakès plans to invest the new fund in companies at the forefront of global innovation with the potential to transform patient care, with a focus on Europe, and Italy in particular
  • Panakès’ Purple Fund has been backed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), the Fund of Funds managed by CDP Venture Capital SGR, financial institutions and some of the main Italian companies operating in the Life Sciences sector

Panakès Partners, the leading Italian venture capital firm in the Life Sciences sector, announces the first closing of its €150 million ($180 million) Purple Fund, the firm’s second fund.

Panakès’ Purple Fund is currently the largest venture capital fund actively investing in Italian companies and the most significant fund dedicated wholly to the Life Sciences sector in Italy. The fund will invest in companies at the forefront of innovation, with a focus on Europe, and Italy in particular, which remains underserved in terms of Venture Capital funding.

The Purple Fund is the second venture capital fund dedicated to life sciences launched by Panakès Partners. Panakès’ first fund, raised in 2016, supported companies in the medtech sector. To-date it has invested in 12 portfolio companies, which have collectively received almost €200 million in funding.  Thanks to this financial support, these companies have already brought five innovative medical products to the market and have a further ten products in active clinical trials.

The Purple Fund has been backed by investors from the first fund as well as new investors. The Fund’s two anchor investors are EIF and the Fund of Funds FoF VenturItaly managed by CDP Venture Capital SGR. The EIF investment is backed under both the InnovFin Equity initiative from the European Commission under Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, as well as the pan-European Guarantee Fund (EGF). 

These anchor investors have been joined by several Italian banking foundations and pension funds, as well as numerous Italian companies and family offices in the Life Sciences sector. These include Menarini, the Cogliati family (Elemaster Group), the Colombo family (SAPIO Group), the Rovati family (Rottapharm Biotech), the Petrone family (Petrone Group), the Re family (Digitec Group), the Bassani family (Movi Group) and others.

The Purple Fund will invest mainly in Series A funding rounds, as well as later stage opportunities. The majority of investments will be in companies developing innovative therapeutics and products in the fields of biotechnology, diagnostics, and medical devices.

The fund aims to support the growth of entrepreneurial companies who will reshape healthcare globally by addressing real medical needs, saving lives and providing a better quality of life for patients. By achieving these goals, the fund aims to generate value for both investors and for society as a whole.

We are delighted with the successful first close of our new Purple Fund, and we would like to thank the high-quality investors who have trusted us. Over 500 innovative life science companies have already submitted funding requests to us in the first six months of 2021,said Fabrizio Landi, President of Panakès and a founding partner of the firm alongside Diana Saraceni and Alessio Beverina. “The fund will remain open for additional subscribers until the end of the year, with a new target of €180 million. By expanding into the biotech sector, we hope to contribute to the growth of companies active in the development of new therapies and vaccines,” concluded Landi.

Panakès has established a strong track record and solid international credibility since it was created a few years ago, also with the support of the CDP Group.” commented Enrico Resmini, Chief Executive Officer of CDP Venture Capital SGR. “We are delighted to invest in Panakès’ second fund, as it extends its activity into biotechnology, a sector where long-term planning and the availability of capital is essential to finance the R&D that is expected to lead to the innovative new therapies of tomorrow.”

Alain Godard, Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF/FEI), added: “We are happy to once again support Panakès after our previous investment in its first fund. Panakès has managed to build a strong brand in Italy and beyond thanks to its expertise in identifying and investing in novel medtech opportunities. With the extension of its investment strategy into biotech and the resulting growth of the team, Panakès will be able to further support European Life Sciences companies, and particularly those in Italy, which have exceptional R&D but are strongly underserved in terms of Venture Capital funding. We are glad to be able to use both the InnovFin mandate from the European Commission and the direct backing of EU Member States under the European Guarantee Fund to further support this exciting market segment.”

To support its expansion into the biotech sector, Panakès intends to recruit three new professionals with significant experience in drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry to its existing team, which is currently made up of 11 professionals. Recently Barbara Castellano has been promoted to the role of Partner, while the management team of the SGR has been strengthened with the arrival of a new CFO, Lorenzo Giordano, and a Financial Assistant, in the person of Andrea Steffanini.

Panakès Advisory Board has also been expanded and strengthened with the appointment of Biotech and Digital Health industry experts Fabio Pammolli, Professor of Economics, Finance, and Management Science at Politecnico di Milano, and Sergio Abrignani M.D. Ph.D.  Full Professor at the National Institute of Molecular Genetics (​INGM) in Milan.

Background Information

About Panakès

Panakès Partners is a Milan-based venture capital firm that aims to improve the lives of people around the world by providing the most promising companies and teams with the financial and corporate support needed to build the next generation of companies bringing revolutionary technologies and products to the field of life sciences. Panakès was founded in 2015 by Fabrizio Landi, Alessio Beverina and Diana Saraceni.

About CDP Venture Capital SGR – Fondo Nazionale Innovazione

CDP Venture Capital is an asset management company (70% owned by CDP Equity and 30% owned by Invitalia) with over 1 billion euro of assets under management. It aims to make Venture Capital a strategic pillar to Italy’s economic development and innovation, creating the conditions for a comprehensive and sustainable growth of the Venture Capital ecosystem. It operates through a series of funds that aim to support startups in all their life cycle stages, making both direct and indirect investments.

About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. The EIF investment is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020, the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020). Through or alongside selected Venture Capital (VC), Business Angels (BA), Technology Transfer funds and funds-of-funds, the EU provides risk capital financing to enterprises, research organisations, universities in their proof-of-concept, pre-seed, seed, start-up and other early-stage phases allowing them to set up or reach their next stage of development. The EIF participation is also backed under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), which was set up by the EIB Group with contributions from Italy and other EU Member States to shield companies suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. Using nearly EUR 25 billion in guarantees, the EGF allows the EIB and the EIF to quickly make loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, equity and other financial instruments available to mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. The EGF is part of the European Union’s recovery package aiming to provide a total of EUR 540 billion boost those parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst.

Press Contacts

EIB Group:
Tim Smit, Tel: +352 691 28 64 23, t.smit@eib.org, Follow us on Twitter

Panakès Partners: news@panakes.it

MEDiSTRAVA Consulting:
Sylvie Berrebi, David Dible – Tel: +44 (0)20 7638 9571, panakes@medistrava.com

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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