Partners HealthCare System announced today the closing of $171.1 million in capital to invest in early-stage life sciences companies, which are a critical segment of the state’s innovation economy.

The funds raised include $66.1 million in outside capital for Partners Innovation Fund II and a $105 million commitment from Partners institutions to Partners Innovation Fund. The capital commitments to Partners Innovation Fund include two $50 million commitments each from The Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. The investment strategy will focus exclusively on medical innovations created in the Partners system.

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Partners Innovation Fund was launched in 2008 by Partners HealthCare with $35 million in capital. Since its inception, Partners Innovation Fund has invested in 32 companies. Notable successes include CoStim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pioneer in next generation immuno-oncology drugs (acquired by Novartis Inc.); Adheron, a company developing potential treatments for a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibrotic diseases (acquired by Roche); and Editas Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: EDIT), a market leader in revolutionary CRISPR gene editing technology. Partners Innovation Fund will continue to execute the fund’s investment strategy of launching and backing innovative healthcare companies that address unmet medical needs and improve healthcare delivery. Investments will be diversified across key industry sectors, including therapeutics, diagnostics, health care IT and medical devices. The fund will leverage its position within Partners’ pre-eminent research and healthcare provider ecosystem to identify leading-edge technologies invented by investigators.

Partners Innovation Fund II is anchored by several pharmaceutical industry leaders, including Astellas Pharma Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, ShangPharma Corporation, and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group.

“We are delighted to have the support of global market-leading strategic investors to leverage Partners intellectual assets, scientific talent, and clinical expertise,” said Roger Kitterman, Vice President of Partners Innovation.

“Bringing discoveries, inventions and innovations from our world-class research community to the market benefits patients, always our primary focus, as well as the life sciences sector so important to the state’s economic future,” said Anne Klibanski, Chief Academic Officer of Partners HealthCare. “This collaboration underscores Partners’ commitment to promote the commercialization of inventions and discoveries originating from the Partners community and to translate those discoveries into treatments for patients.”