Darmstadt, Germany, May 16, 2013 – Merck announced today that it will increase its commitment to its strategic corporate venture capital fund MS Ventures to € 100 million. MS Ventures was originally established in March 2009 with a € 40 million commitment to invest in emerging biotechnology companies.
Since its foundation, MS Ventures has become an important component of the Merck Serono division’s window to companies receiving funding through venture capital and developing next generation platforms and products. Today’s prolonged and increased commitment secures a long term mandate and will allow MS Ventures to significantly expand its investment activities while still focused on Merck Serono’s core research areas. Merck will create a dedicated investment affiliate, MS Ventures, for these activities.
“Biotech companies and their venture capital investors are a critical source of ideas and innovation for our industry,” said Stefan Oschmann, Merck Executive Board member and CEO of the Merck Serono division. “Our continued commitment to MS Ventures underlines our dedication to work closely with the innovation ecosystem of venture capital, entrepreneurs, biotech companies and universities to create the next generation of technologies and drugs that have the potential to improve patient outcomes.”
“Leveraging respective capabilities of companies that receive seed funding through MS Ventures and of our internal organization, enables us to facilitate development of innovative drugs with a greater level of clinical and commercial differentiation,” said Roel Bulthuis, Head of MS Ventures. “We believe that we can provide unique insights and access to capabilities to optimally position these companies for future deals. There is tremendous synergy with traditional venture capital investors and aligned focus to shape the future pipeline for our industry.”
In addition to the € 100 million strategic venture fund, MS Ventures also manages the € 10 million Merck Serono Israel BioIncubator Fund as well as portfolio companies funded through the € 30 million Entrepreneur Partnership Program established to fund spin-offs from Merck Serono.
Companies wishing to submit proposals or to receive additional information can contact MS Ventures, contact details are provided at www.ms-ventures.com
About MS Ventures
“MS Ventures” is the strategic corporate venture capital fund of Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of Merck. The fund was established in March 2009 and focuses primarily on early stage investments. MS Ventures has a strategic mandate and invests in companies that develop products and/ or technologies that could benefit patients in therapeutic areas relevant to Merck Serono. MS Ventures has a total of € 140 million under management for strategic investments, investments through its Israel BioIncubator and for spin-offs from the Merck Serono organization.