Boehringer more than doubles VC fund with boosted focus, reach

The German pharma is boosting its funds to around $300 million.

Boehringer Ingelheim is deepening its venture fund pockets from €100 million to a meatier €250 million ($300 million) as it looks to change up its investment strategy.

The so-called Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (a.k.a. BIVF) gets more cash in the pot as it looks to broaden its portfolio to include regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and digital health, as well as boosting its presence in the U.S. and new staffers. It has previously focused predominately on cancer and European biotechs.

“The additional funds will be used to invest in promising early stage start-up companies, focusing on regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and immuno-oncology among others, as well as growing the portfolio in the U.S. and opening doors for the BIVF in digital health,” the German pharma said in a statement. “The significant additional funding goes along with a doubling of the number of investment managers.”

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The BIVF already has a portfolio of 21 biotech and early stage startup companies, including German cancer immunotherapy player Rigontec (recently bought out by Merck) and Austria’s ViraTherapeutics and its studies into oncolytic virus therapies. It also has Swiss-based Okairos, which, due to its work on T-cell based vaccines for major infectious diseases, as well as cancer, was later bought out by GSK (and a former Fierce 15 winner).

The fund actively works to spin-out and create companies from academia, developing projects over a five- to seven-year time period, with initial investments in seed or series A funding.