February 07, 2024

Scion Life Sciences Launches with Oversubscribed $310 Million Fund to Create and Build Exceptional Biotech Companies

Scion debuts as a biotech company formation specialist, dedicated to creating clinically important medicines and with the right structure and resources to support its most promising portfolio companies through to maturity as late- or commercial-stage biopharmaceutical enterprises

NEW YORK, NY, February 7, 2024 – Scion Life Sciences (“Scion”), an affiliate of Petrichor, is a New York City-based life sciences venture capital firm dedicated to founding and building exceptional biotechnology companies that discover, develop, and seek to commercialize clinically transformational or curative new medicines, today announced the final close of its inaugural fund, which was oversubscribed with $310 million in capital commitments.

Scion was founded and is led by longstanding partners and experienced company-builders and investors Samuel W. Hall, PhD, and Aaron M. Kantoff, together with Tadd S. Wessel, founder, and Managing Partner of Petrichor. Scion’s mission is to create medicines that cure or transform the clinical management of serious and life-threatening diseases and this overriding objective informs every aspect of the firm’s strategy and approach. Scion forms and builds companies around translational innovations with the right bone structure to become clinically important medicines and is structured to support portfolio companies with the long-term capital and operational resources required to realize the mature clinical potential of the therapies they discover and develop. Scion is able to make initial investments as small as a few thousand dollars in early-stage incubation efforts but is resourced to cumulatively deploy $60 million or more over the life of each portfolio company investment and to support promising portfolio companies from pre-seed stage through to IPO and beyond.

Scion’s strategic and pragmatic approach to investment and innovation is honed by experience, supported by historical industry data, and actualized through disciplined and scaled capital deployment. The firm leverages an asset selection strategy built on three investment pillars to mitigate risk and increase the probability of delivering transformational medicines for patients:

  • Invest in therapeutic modalities and enabling technologies that are sufficiently mature to make clinically important medicines today or in the near term
  • Invest in therapeutic areas, diseases, and drug targets where deep understanding of the underlying science makes powerful intervention possible
  • Focus on clinical problems that can be addressed with the resources available to an independent biotechnology company

“We believe that solving clinically important problems is the fundamental driver of value creation in the life sciences industry and that sustained, long-term support is critical to building companies capable of generating these solutions,” said Sam Hall, PhD, co-founder, and Managing Partner of Scion Life Sciences. “These convictions determine where we invest our capital and human resources and how we build our portfolio companies.”

Scion has established an experienced team of scientific, medical, financial, technological, and operational leaders that enable an active approach to founding and building companies and to create or refine innovative therapeutic substrate internally. The Scion team has begun investing its inaugural fund with four promising company formation efforts underway. Details of the fund’s growing portfolio will be disclosed subsequently as ongoing company builds mature and additional efforts are initiated.

To further enhance capabilities, the team also established Scion Innovations to provide in-house R&D capabilities and operational resources. This equips Scion with the information and technology to make efficient, objective decisions and helps to ensure that only programs with exceptional potential mature into full-scale portfolio company investments.

“We build companies with the primary objective of creating important new medicines, not exits,” added Aaron Kantoff, co-founder, and Managing Partner of Scion Life Sciences. “Our proactive and data-driven approach to company building allows us to generate a concentrated portfolio of best ideas, optimized to yield real medicines that change the lives of patients and caregivers. This objective, along with our long duration fund structure, enable us to build sustainably operating biotechnology companies, that are capable of ascending to valuations in the tens of billions as they commercialize clinically transformational new medicines.”

“We appreciate the trust of our limited partners that share the Scion team’s conviction in the profound economic and societal value creation potential of clinically important new medicines,” said Tadd Wessel co-founder, and Managing Partner of Scion Life Sciences and Petrichor. “Sam and Aaron have established themselves as exceptional investors and company builders and the outlier success of the companies they have previously built together provides impressive validation of their unique approach. I and the entire Petrichor team are delighted to partner with them in building Scion.”

About Scion Life Sciences

Scion Life Sciences, an affiliate of Petrichor, is a life sciences venture capital firm committed to meaningfully improving human health through long-term ownership of clinically transformative therapies. Our team of experienced innovators, company-builders and investors is founding and building exceptional biotechnology companies to discover, develop, and commercialize clinically transformational or curative new medicines. We aim to support impactful and sustainable advancements with a strategic and pragmatic approach to investment and innovation. For more information, please visit www.scionlifesciences.com.

About Petrichor

Petrichor partners with world-class healthcare managers and businesses to provide customized investment structures and support. The Petrichor team has completed over 125 investments representing more than $6 billion in invested capital and has held over 55 board seats. Petrichor maintains a deep in-house understanding of healthcare products and services, including scientific, technical, and commercial expertise. This healthcare expertise, together with a breadth of experience investing across sectors, geographies, and capital structures, provides a unique combination to help build successful companies. For more information, please visit www.petrichorcap.com.

About the Scion Life Sciences Leadership

Samuel W. Hall, PHD

Sam is a founder and Managing Partner of Scion. He has more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences across roles as an investor, scientist, and entrepreneur. From 2013 until October 2019, Sam was a Partner at Apple Tree Partners (ATP), where he focused on creating and building therapeutics companies. During his tenure at ATP, Sam contributed to the formation, financing and build-out of Syntimmune (acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals), Stoke Therapeutics (NASDAQ: STOK), Chinook Therapeutics (acquired by Novartis), Marengo Therapeutics and Ascidian Therapeutics and served as a member of each company’s Board of Directors.

Prior to joining ATP, Sam was an immunologist at the University of Cambridge. Prior to returning to academia, Sam was a member of the investment team at Symphony Capital and began his career as an investment banker at Citigroup.

Aaron M. Kantoff

Aaron is a founder and Managing Partner of Scion. He has spent over a decade specializing in founding, building, and investing in life sciences companies, focusing primarily on therapeutics. Aaron currently serves as a board member of Tourmaline Bio (NASDAQ: TRML), where he has been serving since the company’s inception. Previously, he was a Venture Partner at Medicxi, where he was a founding board member of Centessa Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: CNTA) and assisted the team with other privately-held therapeutics investments. Before joining Medicxi, he was a co-founder and board member of RayzeBio (NASDAQ: RYZB), which was recently acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY).

From 2011 until 2019, Aaron was a Partner at Apple Tree Partners (ATP), a New York-based life sciences venture capital firm. At ATP, Aaron was a key member of the therapeutics investment practice, playing a leading role in assembling several ATP portfolio companies, and most notably, serving on the boards of Akero Therapeutics (NASDAQ: AKRO), Corvidia Therapeutics (acquired by Novo Nordisk) and Syntimmune (acquired by Alexion), as well as two privately-held companies (Marengo and Ascidian). During his time at ATP, Aaron was also a board observer at Stoke Therapeutics (NASDAQ: STOK).

Tadd S. Wessel

Tadd is the founder and Managing Partner of Petrichor, a private investment firm focused on the healthcare sector. He is also a founder and Managing Partner of Scion. Tadd has more than 25 years of healthcare finance experience, primarily focused on the life sciences sectors. Previously, he was a Partner at OrbiMed Advisors, where he led the build-out of the structured investment business. Prior to OrbiMed, Tadd was a Vice President at Fortress Investment Group focused on healthcare investments.

Tadd has served on more than 30 boards most recently including Aurion Biotech, Cryoport (NASDAQ: CYRX), and ITM. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the AIM at Melanoma Foundation, whose mission is dedicated to finding more effective treatments and, ultimately, the cure for melanoma. He also serves on the Board of the International Centers for Precision Oncology (ICPO) whose mission is to scale access of molecularly targeted precision oncology diagnostics and therapeutics for the benefit of cancer patients globally.

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