Merck Serono to invest $55M in start-up biotechs

Merck Serono, a division of Germany's Merck KGaA, has set aside $55 million for a new venture fund that will invest in start-up biotech companies at a time many developers are starving for cash. And Merck Serono Ventures will keep its sights fixed firmly on new biotech companies that could prove instrumental in advancing therapies for its core focus: neurodegenerative diseases, oncology and autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

"Biotech start-up companies are an important element in scientific innovation," said Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive vice president of research and development at Merck Serono. "Merck Serono's venture capital fund will provide the opportunity to support scientific excellence in our core fields of interest and provide start-up companies with the opportunity to interact early on with our organization."

"The creation of a venture capital fund underlines our commitment to be 'Best Partner' for biotech entrepreneurs and their investors," said Vincent Aurentz, executive vice president of portfolio development at Merck Serono. "This activity complements our toolkit of collaborative approaches to build a high-quality portfolio with our partners."

New ventures looking for a partner with deep pockets can check here.

- read the release for more