Merck KGaA Expands Corporate Ventures Fund
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Merck KGaA has increased its commitment to its corporate ventures fund, Merck Ventures BV. Four dedicated investment teams will focus on healthcare, life science, performance materials, and new businesses. The total volume of the newly setup corporate ventures can reach up to EUR 300 million ($340 million) once fully invested, doubling the volume of the previous biopharma venture fund of EUR 150 million ($170 million).

“Our biopharma venture fund has been very successful to date. Now we are applying this successful approach to all three business sectors of our company,” said Stefan Oschmann, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Merck KGaA. “The new fund now reflects our businesses and, with its fourth arm, is open to investing in new businesses as we scout continuously for innovative ideas, for example in the area of digitalization.”

With its four teams, the new corporate ventures fund follows the former biopharma venture blueprint of Merck KGaA, which has been in place since 2009. The biopharma fund was at the basis of several success stories such as Galecto Biotech (galectin modulators for the treatment of severe diseases), Asceneuron (company spin-off developing innovative drugs to help people with Alzheimer's disease), and Metabomed (novel drugs against targets in the field of cancer cell metabolism), among others.

Each investment team under the new corporate ventures fund has the capacity to engage in seed-stage company creation, early-stage syndicated investments, and Merck KGaA, spin-off creation and funding. Like the former biopharma venture fund, the new corporate ventures fund is managed by a global team headed by Roel Bulthuis.

Source: Merck KGaA

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