HBM launches second biotech fund

Swiss-based HBM Bioventures is looking to raise E200m to invest in privately-held businesses in the US and Western Europe.

HBM Bioventures, the later-stage biotechnology investor based in Baar, Switzerland, has launched its second biotechnology private equity fund.

HBM Bioventures II is seeking to raise up to E200m for its second fund, which unlike the first will focus solely on private equity investments. Fund I divided its investments between public and private companies, specialising in biotechnology, emerging pharmaceutical, medical technology and related industries.

The new fund is expected to primarily make direct investments in the US and Western Europe, although the firm has previously combined its direct investments with commitments to specialised, regional early-stage investment vehicles, including Munich-based biotech investor Heidelberg Innovation and AM Pappas, which primarily invests in biotech opportunities in south-east USA.

HBM is still investing its first fund of SFr750 (E500m) which it raised in 2001. Investors in the first fund included Swiss private bank Julius Bar & Co.

A spokesperson for BHM, which is quoted on the Swiss stock exchange declined to comment further on the launch, stating only that the fund was scheduled to hold a first close before the end of 2002.