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Jun 17, 2013

Top 20 Corporate Venture Funds

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Top 20 Corporate Venture Funds

That “cha-ching” you hear? That’s the sound of one of these firms making an investment. [© romantiche - Fotolia.com]

  • Following is our list of 20 venture funds established by 16 top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies based on revenue. The funds are ranked by total size, except for funds that disclose resources by the total size of annual award, which are ranked separately. Funds that do not disclose either total size or total annual giving are unranked.

    Corporate venture funds are listed with their name; resources; current portfolio (mostly companies, though some funds invest in other funds); figure or range of investment per company, with ranges for initial investments where provided; investment preferences; and year established. Data for the list originated with the websites of the funds, with the findings emailed to corporate spokespeople for verification and, more often than not, updating with current figures on portfolio companies and investment ranges. In some cases, results vary with earlier-published figures or information.

    The data appears to show a “sweet spot” for corporate venture funds of between $100 million and $250 million; ten of the 20 funds listed had total resources in that range.

    The list does not include funds formed jointly by corporate venture funds and venture capital firms, mostly to develop early-stage companies and their therapeutics. A sufficient number of such funds have been created to warrant a possible separate list—especially in recent months, as biopharmas have scrambled to cut internal R&D costs. Also not included in the list is the former Biogen Idec New Venture Fund, which the company shut down in 2011, along with a startup incubator, in a shift of resources to internal R&D projects, as GEN reported at the time.

  • #20. SR One (GlaxoSmithKline)1

    Resources: $30 million to $50 million in five or six companies a year; more than $680 million invested since 1985

    Current portfolio: 31 private and public companies

    Amount of investment: Ranges from thousands to millions1

    Investment preferences: Innovative technologies across therapeutic areas

    Year established: 1985

  • #19. Pfizer Venture Investments

    Resources: Annual budget of $50 million for private investments.

    Current portfolio: Number of companies unavailable2

    Amount of investment: Up to $10 million per round in selected companies in any stage of development, with a strong focus on growth stage opportunities.

    Investment Preferences: A broad array of healthcare related areas, including therapeutics, platform technologies, diagnostics, drug delivery, pharmaceutical services, healthcare IT, and other technologies impacting drug discovery and development.

    Year established: 2004

  • #18. Novo Ventures

    Resources: Up to $140 million invested annually. Current invested cost of the Novo Ventures’ portfolio is $470 million.

    Current portfolio: 40 companies

    Amount of investment: Investments typically range from an initial $5 million to $30 million per transaction, with capacity to make follow-on investments. May invest at any stage of development: Seed capital, venture capital, IPOs, and public companies

    Investment preferences: Companies that specialize in development of new drugs, new procedures for diagnosis and control of diseases, development of medical devices and instruments, and industrial biotechnology. Fund seeks promising life science companies—private and public—whose products or research address medical, scientific or environmental needs

    Year established: 2000

  • #17. Novartis Korea Venture Fund

    Resources: Commitment of $20 million over five years

    Current portfolio: Three companies

    Amount of investment: Ranges from $1 million to $3 million

    Investment preferences: Novel therapeutics and platforms for human and animal health, with a focus on diseases prevalent in Asia

    Year established: 2008

  • #16. Merck Serono Entrepreneur Partnership Program (Merck KGaA)

    Resources: €30 million ($39.6 million) fund created following the decision to close Merck Serono’s Geneva site, in order to limit the impact on local employment. “Additional projects are in the process of being evaluated and will be announced in the course of 2013,” Merck Serono said January 233,4

    Current portfolio: Six companies as of May 15, all spun off by Geneva-based Merck Serono contractors or employees

    Amount of investment: Figure or range unavailable

    Investment preferences: Support for creation of spinoff companies

    Year established: 2012

  • #15. Strategic Investment Group (Shire)

    Resources: $50 million in initial capital funding

    Current portfolio: Number of companies unavailable2

    Amount of investment: Typical initial investment of $2 million to $5 million per company per round.

    Investment preferences: A broad range of therapeutic areas of interest including, but not limited to allergy, central nervous system (CNS) and neuropsychiatry, gastrointestinal, hematology, and orphan genetic diseases. SIG also pursues investments in “white space” technology, areas outside the traditional bounds of its existing businesses. SIG co-invests as part of a syndicate usually consisting of a mix of venture capital partners and other corporate strategic investors. The typical investment target is a private company pursuing Series A/B/C financing.

    Year established: 2011

  • #14. Takeda Ventures (TVI; formerly Takeda Research Investment)

    Resources: $54 million under management; evergreen fund structure

    Current portfolio: 13 companies

    Amount of investment: Up to $5 million per financing event; Seed stage to mid-stage financings

    Investment preferences: Up to a 15% equity interest as co-investors, where lead investors would include venture capital firms, private equity funds, angels, or institutional investors. Presently concentrating on drugs and biotherapeutics to treat cancer, metabolic disorders (obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemias), cardiovascular disorders, chronic inflammatory and immune disorders (particularly for gastrointestinal and bone and joint diseases) and diseases for the central nervous system (specifically Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia). Additional areas of strategic importance are regenerative medicines, RNA and DNA modulation, novel vaccines technologies, and innovative protein and peptide biotherapeutics. TVI does not invest in anti-infective diseases, medical devices, or diagnostics platforms

    Year established: 2001; name changed in 2011

  • #11. (tie) Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures (formerly Genzyme Ventures)

    Resources: $100 million strategic corporate venture capital fund

    Current portfolio: Nine companies since 2007

    Amount of investment: $5 million maximum in a company per round, $15 million maximum over its lifetime.

    Investment preferences: Direct investment in early-stage innovative life science companies that demonstrate promise to deliver breakthrough products that may be future Sanofi pipeline candidates. Fund seeks investments that align with Sanofi’s current and future areas of business interest. Sanofi cites as areas of focus animal health, cardiovascular disease, degenerative diseases, diabetes, immune-mediated diseases, infectious diseases, multiple sclerosis, oncology, ophthalmology, rare diseases, and vaccines, while Genzyme specializes in rare diseases and neuroimmunological disorders such as multiple sclerosis

    Year established: 2001 (as Genzyme Ventures)

  • #11. (tie) MP Healthcare Venture Management (MPH; Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Group)

    Resources: $100 million. Firm is a jointly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp.

    Current portfolio: Eight companies

    Amount of investment: $5 million per company.

    Investment preferences: Seed to late-stage life sciences companies based principally in North America and Europe, usually as part of an investment syndicate with other leading VC firms. MPH invests in companies developing novel therapeutics (small molecule and biotherapeutics), technology platforms, diagnostics, and vaccines. MPH is interested in novel drugs and diagnostics in various disease areas, including cardiovascular, immunology, and inflammation, metabolic disease, nephrology, neuroscience, and stroke

    Year established: 2006

  • #11. (tie) Lilly Asian Ventures

    Resources: $100 million

    Current portfolio: 11 companies

    Amount of investment: $5 million to $15 million per company

    Investment preferences: Companies with potential to be top-ranked in its category in China, whether a drugmaker or pharmaceutical service provider, and potential to conduct business outside China

    Year established: 2008

  • #9. (tie) MS Ventures (Merck KGaA)

    Resources: €100 million ($132.1 million), announced May 16; fund launched with €40 million ($52.9 million)5

    Current portfolio: 12 companies

    Amount of investment: Figure or range per company unavailable2

    Investment preferences: Primarily early-stage investments in companies that develop products and/ or technologies that could benefit patients in therapeutic areas relevant to Merck Serono. Company’s core therapeutic areas include Autoimmune & Inflammatory diseases, endocrinology, fertility, neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, and rheumatology.

    Also manages €10 million ($13.2 million) investment to provide seed funding, plus access to Merck Serono’s Inter-Lab Research and Development Center in Yavne, Israel, for Israeli startups with potential for developing innovations with future application in the company’s areas of focus. The first startup has moved to Inter-Lab: “The goal is to have at least six startups working to transform the ideas of Israeli scientists into new medications or technologies by 2018.” according to a May 15 report in company online publication “M: The Explorer Magazine.” 

    Year established: 2009

  • #9. (tie) Boehringer Ingelheim Ventures

    Resources: €100 million ($132.1 million)3

    Current portfolio: Eight companies and one fund-in-fund investment

    Amount of investment: Opening investments of up to €2 million ($2.6 million) per venture at the early stage, with subsequent staged investments intended to align with each venture’s progress, up to a total of €10 million ($13.2 million) to €15 million ($19.8 million) per venture over the life of a company

    Investment preferences: Significant enhancements in patient care through innovative and pioneering science including (but not limited to) addressing underexplored targets and indications, T-cell and other next-generation vaccines, next-generation NBEs such as cancer immunotherapeutics, regenerative medicine, and new platforms for identifying targets and biomarkers

    Year established: 2010


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