Corporate Life Sciences VCs on the Rise in New England—the List

9/3/08

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Genzyme Ventures — Cambridge, MA
Corporate parent: Genzyme
Fund size: $100 million
Description: This seven-year-old fund is best characterized as a weapon in the arsenal of tactics Genzyme (NASDAQ:[[ticker: GENZ]]) uses to further its well-known strategy of acquiring or licensing drug programs to grow its niche business in rare-disease treatments. (Recently, the company has begun to seek larger markets). By the way, it’s tough to get financing from this fund without Genzyme Chairman and CEO Henri Termeer’s personal stamp of approval.

MP Healthcare Venture Management — Boston, MA
Corporate parent: Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings
Fund size: $100 million
Description: Founded in 2006, MP Healthcare is just getting off the ground, building a team of both Mitsubishi executives from Japan and U.S. tech veterans. The fund has been quiet since I first came across it about a year ago, but it’s wired into the Hub’s venture capital scene through its limited partner status at Oxford Bioscience Partners.

Novartis Venture Funds — Cambridge, MA, and Basel, Switzerland
Corporate parent: Novartis
Fund size: $600 million
Description: The venture capital division of Swiss drug giant Novartis (NYSE:NVS) invests across the spectrum of life sciences startups, including those focused on biotech, diagnostics, and medical devices. The group recently established the Novartis Option Fund, armed with $200 million to purchase options to license certain programs at the startups in which the venture fund invests.

Partners Innovation Fund — Boston, MA
Corporate parent: Partners HealthCare
Fund size: $35 million (committed)
Description: Chances are your company doesn’t qualify for financing from this fund, which invests exclusively in startups with technology from Massachusetts General or Brigham and Women’s hospitals. The man with his hands on the purse strings is Robert Creeden, a former general partner of Boston venture firm Egan Managed Capital, who has served as managing director of the fund since its inception in 2007.

Siemens Venture Capital (Medical Solutions Fund)— Boston, MA
Corporate parent: Siemens
Fund size: $1 billion (Siemens VC total funds under management)
Description: Siemens‘s (NYSE:SI) medical fund, which reports to the industrial giant’s headquarters in Munich, invests in diagnostics, medical imaging, and healthcare IT firms in virtually all international markets (yet despite the Boylston Street address, no Boston-area investments are currently in its portfolio). Andrew Jay, a dentist-turned-financial-executive, is managing partner of this fund. His orders from Munich are to invest with both ROI and Siemens’ strategic mission in mind.

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