Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today announced that it has agreed to acquire Clarus, a leading global life sciences investment firm that has raised $2.6 billion since its founding. Clarus, with offices in the life sciences hubs of Boston and San Francisco, is focused on funding growth-stage investments, often in partnership with major biopharmaceutical companies through R&D collaborations. These investments bring to market promising new medicines that improve patients’ lives. Clarus is led by a team of seasoned experts who have invested in more than 50 companies in the biopharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic sectors—as well as across multiple disease areas, primarily in the oncology space.
This acquisition launches Blackstone Life Sciences, an industry-leading private investment platform with capabilities to invest across the life-cycle of companies and products within the key life sciences sectors. The business will fill a critical void in the industry, which is seeing unprecedented growth, but lacks the necessary funding to bring medicines and healthcare technologies to market. Blackstone Life Sciences will build on Clarus’ significant domain expertise and record of success, and Blackstone’s experience, operating platform and global scale, to jointly advance breakthrough products to address unmet medical needs.
Jon Gray, Blackstone President and Chief Operating Officer, said: “This is a unique moment where rapid advancements in science and technology are creating unprecedented innovation and unparalleled impact on human health. Private capital can play an important role in accelerating the lengthy clinical development process to help bring vital, but underfunded, drugs to market. Building on the foundation of the world-class Clarus team, Blackstone Life Sciences is uniquely suited to provide much needed capital and expertise to this sector.”
Joe Baratta, Global Head of Private Equity at Blackstone, added: “Clarus’ investment model— working in partnership with major biopharmaceutical companies to provide them with necessary capital and operating expertise to expand their development budgets and bring medicines to market— is consistent with our investment philosophy across our various businesses. Drawing on the expertise of the Clarus team, we are excited to partner with companies across the industry to develop and commercialize important medicines and technologies that will make a measurable difference in people’s lives.”
Upon closing of the transaction, Nick Galakatos, PhD, Managing Director of Clarus, will become Head of Blackstone Life Sciences. Galakatos co-founded Clarus in 2005 and has over 30 years of experience in the healthcare sector. Clarus’ team includes both clinical and investing experts with deep experience in the industry, including prior sector experience with 10 of the world’s leading life sciences companies.
Galakatos said: “We are excited to join Blackstone and anchor a dedicated life sciences investing business. The firm’s unmatched global scale, strong operating platform and track record in growing businesses, together with Clarus’ deep industry expertise, make this new platform an ideal partner to the industry that will bring significant benefits to investors seeking exposure to life sciences. We look forward to building on Clarus’ success with the added power of Blackstone.”
Blackstone has extensive experience and capabilities in the healthcare sector, including investing over $19 billion in healthcare and healthcare-related transactions across more than 40 deals, and other investments across the firm, and is the second largest owner of life sciences office space in the world.
Blackstone’s acquisition of Clarus is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.