Philip caught up with Markus Hosang to find out which companies the VC is keeping an eye on after its next round of fundraising.
General Partner, Markus Hosang has a strong background in pharma and VC, which serves him well when searching through the bustling biotech industry in Europe. BioMed Partners is a very active fund based from Basel, Switzerland, which has raised over CHF 320M (€280M). So far, it has invested over CHF 200M (€175M) in 36 companies at an early to mid-stage of development.
Its portfolio will grow further once their third investment round closes in early 2018. An impressive CHF 75M (€66M) had been raised at first closing earlier this year, but the company is pushing for closer to CHF 150M (€131M), which would give them “more room for more companies.”
In fact, BioMed Partners has already kicked off its next round of investments, having come across a couple of biotechs that meet its requirements: “We go for high medical needs, very innovative modalities or companies.” Cardior, a spinout from Hannover Medical School that focuses on microRNA for the treatment of heart failure caught their attention: “it has very nice pig animal data… so we’re very hopeful that this will be a nice value inflation point in a few years time.”
It has also invested in Amal Therapeutics, based in Geneva, Switzerland, which focuses on immunotherapies for cancer, by “following the trends, but also having some very unique selling points.”
Philip quizzed Markus on his thoughts on the recent acquisition of Actelion by Johnson & Johnson. He was confident that the acquisition would not lead to jobs leaving the Basel area, pointing out: “I do know the Actelion team very well, my former life was with Roche… It’s a very strong team and don’t forget, while J&J has bought the commercial assets, they left the entire R&D pipeline separate.”
Finally, Philip tapped into Markus’ knowledge of the Swiss biotech scene to find out what makes the country such a powerhouse in the industry. “We do have good spinouts, and Switzerland has a good base thanks to our good universities, ETH, EPFL and ETH Zurich.” Talking specifically about Basel, the home of BioMed Partners, Markus told us: Basel is an excellent place to be for life sciences, for investors – having the big two or three, Roche, Novartis – behind them… has advantages that are quite unique.”