2016/06/08

Merck Expands its Investment Fund Merck Ventures

  • Existing biopharma venture fund renamed and expanded to all Merck business sectors
  • Newly established teams will focus on each of the three existing Merck business sectors as well as new businesses
  • Total fund size doubled to up to € 300 million

Darmstadt, Germany, June 8, 2016 – Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced an increased commitment to its corporate venture fund under the new Merck Ventures roof. Four dedicated investment teams will focus on Healthcare, Life Science, Performance Materials and new businesses. The total volume of the newly set-up corporate venture fund of Merck can reach up to € 300 million once fully invested, doubling the volume of the previous biopharma venture fund of € 150 million.

“Our biopharma venture fund has been very successful to date. Now we are applying this successful approach to all three business sectors of Merck,” said Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Merck. “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 Merck Ventures fund follows the former Merck biopharma ventures blueprint, 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 (Merck 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.

“The investments of Merck Ventures will be aligned with the strategic interests of Merck, though formally separated by a Chinese wall,” said Roel Bulthuis, Managing Director of Merck Ventures. “With our infrastructure of a leading science and technology company we provide start-ups with the support they need to make their vision a commercial success.”

The investment teams come with significant domain expertise and will provide a tailored investment approach across industries. Each team has the capacity to engage in seed-stage company creation, early-stage syndicated investments and Merck spin-off creation and funding. Like the former biopharma venture fund, the new Merck Venture fund is managed by a global team headed by Roel Bulthuis.

About Merck Ventures
Merck Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck‘s core business areas. From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. Merck Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. Merck Ventures has a significant focus on early-stage investing and company creation including the creation of spin-offs to leverage Merck‘s science and technology base.

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About Merck
Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 50,000 employees work to further develop technologies that improve and enhance life – from biopharmaceutical therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD televisions. In 2015, Merck generated sales of € 12.85 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the company operates as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma and EMD Performance Materials.

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