Netherlands-based VC firm BioGeneration Ventures (BGV) achieved the final close of its third fund today at €82m ($95m) with investors including the European Investment Fund (EIF), the EU agency responsible for financing SMEs.

BGV III’s final close was backed by pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson, through its corporate venturing arm Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC.

Private equity firm Schroder Adveq and employee benefit and compensation plans agency Man Pension Trust also joined the fund, which had a target size of $57m.

EIF committed cash as part of a $75m close in June 2017, participating through its InnovFin Equity Facility, which is aimed at pre-seed and seed-stage startups in industries including life sciences and clean energy, and its Dutch Venture Initiative II (DVI-II).

DVI-II is a fund of funds that backs businesses in the ICT, life sciences, cleantech and medical technology sectors, managed by EIF and backed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

BGV III seeks to identify early-stage opportunities in the biotechnology sector – particularly in the areas of, therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics – across Europe, with a focus on the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.

The fund has made five investments to date – Germany-based immuno-oncology company Catalym and Netherlands-based autoimmune diseases therapy developer Escalier Biosciences, drug discovery company Scenic Biotech, haematology treatment producer VarmX and medical device maker Mellon Medical.

Edward van Wezel, managing partner of BGV, said: “Over the last years, BGV has proven that investing in early stage companies is critical in developing innovative science to meet patients’ needs; it can be financially very attractive as well.

“We believe that support and close collaboration from Bristol-Myers Squibb and JJDC illustrate the increasing interest in early stage innovation. This also demonstrates the unique position that BGV has reached in this arena.”