(Bloomberg) -- European life sciences venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners has launched a new investment strategy focused on digital medicine.

The fund has raised €150 million ($162 million) at its first close, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because it was private.

The digital medicine strategy follows a minority equity investment by Apollo Global Management Inc. last May. The alternative asset manager committed to invest as much as €1 billion in managed capital in Sofinnova’s investment funds. 

“In these current times, I’m sure aware, it can be quite tricky to raise money,” Antoine Papiernik, chairman and managing partner of Sofinnova, said in an interview. “So when you have a very strong partner who not only puts their own money into the funds, but also helps us reach out to their best clients, I think this is a very positive development for us.”

Under the new strategy, Sofinnova said it has led investments in three Europe-based companies in the digital medicine sector: a €13.8 million series A funding at AI-powered digital health platform Kiro; a €12 million series A round at deepcOS, which has developed a radiology AI operating system; and a $5 million seed round at BioCorteX, whose platform models drug-bacteria interactions.

“We like to think of ourselves as first movers in this domain,” said Edward Kliphuis, a Sofinnova partner. “We identify early-stage companies with founders that really have the ability to bring the innovations to product market fit.” 

Sofinnova, founded in 1972, is based in Paris, London and Milan. While 70% of its investments are focused on Europe, the firm is also eyeing the global market, according to partner Simon Turner. 

The firm was an early investor in Swiss biotech company Actelion Ltd., which sold to Johnson & Johnson for $30 billion in 2017. Based in Europe, Kliphuis and Turner will lead the new investment strategy. 

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