VC fund briefs, week of Oct. 15, 2007

New Leaf branches out with second fund

New Leaf Venture Partners

has closed its second fund with $450 million in capital commitments. The bi-coastal firm was founded in 2004 by the life sciences team of Sprout Group, the longstanding affiliate of DLJ (and later Credit Suisse).

The firm, with offices in New York and Menlo Park, Calif., closed its inaugural fund in August 2005 with $310 million. Late last year, New Leaf had a big liquidity event with the $480 million sale of Cerexa to Forest Labs. That deal could grow even larger, with $100 million in possible milestone payments. Cerexa, which develops treatments for life-threatening infections, raised $50 million from New Leaf, Canaan Partners, Domain Associates, Frazier Healthcare and Technology Ventures, Montreux Equity Partners, Pappas Ventures and OrbiMed Advisors, among others.

EPVC suspends fund-raising

Enterprise Partners Venture Capital

, a La Jolla, Calif.-based venture capital firm focused on life sciences, has indefinitely suspended fund-raising for its seventh fund, according to Private Equity Insider.

The firm also has parted ways with Managing Directors Marios Fotiadis and Kleanthis Xanthopoulos, who both were hired within the past year. Enterprise Partners Venture Capital was founded in 1985 and most recently raised about $350 million for it sixth fund in 2001.

Carlyle closes on $605M

The Carlyle Group

has closed its third Carlyle Venture Partners fund with $605 million in capital commitments. Its previous Venture Partners funds raised $210 million in 1997 and $602 million in 2002.

The new fund will be broader in strategy than its predecessors, by investing in a mix of early stage, expansion stage growth equity and growth buyout opportunities.

“As traditional buyout funds have gotten significantly larger, there is an attractive opportunity to acquire growing businesses using modest leverage in a way that provides an attractive risk-reward tradeoff for investors,” said Brooke Coburn, co-head of Carlyle Venture Partners, in a statement.

Ascension rises to secure $200M

Ascension Health Ventures

has closed its second fund with $200 million in capital commitments. The St. Louis-based firm launched in 2001 with $125 million in backing that was funded solely by the Catholic health system Ascension Health to invest in medical device, health care technology and health care services companies.

The firm’s second fund expanded the LP base to include Catholic Health Initiatives and Catholic Health East.

Village wraps up $104M

Village Ventures

has closed its second fund with $104 million in capital commitments. The Williamstown, Mass.-based firm focuses on early-stage opportunities via both its own fund and a network of affiliate funds.

DFJ goes to Israel

Tamir Fishman Ventures

has agreed to become Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s network partner in Israel, and to re-brand as DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures.

SouthWest Michigan aims to raise $50M

Regional business development organization SouthWest Michigan First has held a first close of $17 million toward its first life science venture capital fund, SWMF Managing Director Patrick Morand told VentureWire.

SWMF established this fund because of the strength of the life science community around it, Morand said. The Kalamazoo, Mich., region is the headquarters for medical technology company Stryker Corp. and was the former base for pharmaceutical company Upjohn Co.

SWMF expects to invest it in 15 companies at most with an initial investment size that will range from $300,000 to $3 million, while the firm will reserve the right to participate in additional financings.