Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund to Invest $130M in Boston Area
German giant to venture into Hub
Dec. 04, 2013 (BOSTON HERALD)--The venture arm of one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies is opening its first U.S. office in Kendall Square, pledging to make $130 million in investments to life sciences companies.
"We chose Boston because it is unique," said Martin Heidecker, who will lead the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, an affiliate of Ingelheim, Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim, citing the area's renowned universities and established biotech companies.
Heidecker said he will invest in early stage life sciences startups, and expects to give about $13 million to each company to help them grow and develop their technologies.
"We have a long-term perspective," Heidecker said, adding there is no time limit for the fund to be invested.
Although the main goal is to invest in companies that can eventually be acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim, Heidecker said he believes the products he ends up investing in will be difference-makers regardless of his parent company's involvement.
"The products result in solving the medical problems we have in the future," such as cancer, Alzheimer's and dementia, he said.
One of the reasons the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund is different is its penchant for molding companies, Heidecker said.
"This is very hands on, very early" in a company's life, he said.
Although Heidecker will look for companies to invest in around the country, locating the office in Cambridge will naturally mean more investment in the local area, said Peter Abair, director of economic and global affairs for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. The average investment in Bay State biotech companies was about $8 million last year, he said.
"We do know venture capital does tend to stay close to where the VC firms can keep an eye on the companies," Abair said.
Heidecker, who has been in Cambridge for a month, said he has already found companies he is interested in backing.
"There will be investments in the near future," he said.
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Posted: December 2013