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Institutional and private investors have given the Spanish biotech sector a powerful boost with the closing of a new €126.4 million (US$140 million) venture fund by local firm Ysios Capital.

According to the company news release, Ysios BioFund II Innvierteexceeded the initial fund target of €100 million (US$110 million), recruiting existing investors and multiple Spanish and European economic interest groups.

With our recent investments we have been able to attract specialized international funds and corporate venture funds to Spain, which represents an inflection point for the country´s biotech sector,” said Joel Jean-Mairet, partner at Ysios Capital, in a statement.

The firm now has €191.4 million (US$220 million) in assets under management across its two biotechnology funds. Biofund I closed in 2008with €67 million.

Both funds follow a similar strategy, investing in biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies, in either the start-up or development phase. The company says the portfolio will also maintain its European focus, with a “special interest in Spain.” The fund did not respond to questions sent in an email, including what this “interest” in that country specifically means.

The company appears to have slightly pivoted since the fund was first announced in 2014. Ysios Capital outlined its plan to “target companies in Europe and

North America.” In contrast, the company’s latest announcement strongly emphasizes it’s national and regional commitment.

“In 2015 alone, Ysios Capital portfolio companies in Spain have been capitalized with 100 million euros,” Jean-Mairet stated.

Either way, the group has successfully coaxed a number of institutions to the table, including the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Commission through InnovFin SME Venture Capital, a financial instrument developed under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.

This new deal with Ysios Capital targets small and medium-sized businesses, which often lack accessible financing options,” said Pier Luigi Gilibert, chief executive at the European Investment Fund. “With its unique position in the market, Ysios Capital will play a valuable role in helping Spanish start-ups and spin-outs. The EIF is pleased to be working with this fund, whose objectives are in line with our mission to support innovative small and medium sized businesses across Europe.”

CDTI (Spanish Ministry of Economy) also participated through itsINNVIERTE program, a 2012 initiative designed to stimulate investment in technology and innovation start-ups.

According to CDTI, the INNVIERTE program tries to address two roadblocks in the Spanish innovation system; poor translation of scientific research into commercially viable companies, and an inability for many Spanish companies to grow into global players.

The institutional investment in Ysios Capital may already be trickling down. Five companies have secured capital from BioFund II and more announcements are on the way, the firm stated in its announcement. Three of the five start-ups have headquarters in Spain.

In 2015, Ysios Capital lead a €36.6 million ($41.3 million) series C financing round for Sanifit, developer of an experimental therapy for cardiovascular complications in End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). According to the company website, Sanifit is based in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, with an additional office in San Diego, California.

Ysios Capital also led a €19.4 million ($21.7 million) series A funding round for Minoryx Therapeutics. Based in Barcelona, Spain, Minoryx develops drugs for a group of rare genetic disorders, known as ‘Inborn Errors of Metabolism.’ In a news release announcing the 2015 series A, the company said the funds would be used to complete the R&D team and move its lead candidate into clinical validation.

A fourth BioFund II start-up is located is in Switzerland, while the fifth,Aura Biosciences, is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Vennila is one of BioTecNika's Online Editors. When she is not posting news articles and jobs on the website, she can be found gardening or running off to far flung places for the next adventure, armed with a good book and mosquito repellant. Stalk her on her social networks to see what she does next.