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Lightstone Ventures raises $172m for first early stage life sciences fund

2 May 2014

US life sciences investor Lightstone Ventures (LSV) has closed its first fund on $172m.

The fund will target investment opportunities in early-stage biotechnology and medical device companies.

Lightstone has made three investments to date – Catabasis, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for inflammatory and metabolic diseases; FIRE1, a Dublin-based company focused on therapeutic devices for major unmet needs; and EarLens, which is developing a novel hearing technology that provides users with improved speech recognition.

“Our strategy is to invest in life science companies with novel, disruptive technologies led by exceptional entrepreneurs,” said founding LSV general partner Mike Carusi. “We see tremendous opportunity in our focus areas thanks to a reinvigorated biotech and device IPO market, improvements at the FDA, greater clarity with the Affordable Care Act, and interest from the large corporate players to invest in and acquire innovative venture-backed companies.”

The Lightstone team — led by general partners Mike Carusi, Chris Christofferson, Jean George, and Hank Plain — has been working together for more than a decade while at Advanced Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. Recent deals include M&A transactions: Ardian and Plexxikon, as well as a strong run of IPOs: GI Dynamics, Zeltiq, Verastem, Portola Pharmaceuticals, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Acceleron Pharma and Five Prime Therapeutics.

The team also includes partner Jason Lettmann and venture partners Alain Baron and Jim Broderick. The firm has offices in Palo Alto, Boston, and Boulder.

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