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New Swiss biotech fund aims for E150m

Three partners, including the former manager of BB Biotech and the former head of Aventis' R&D in Europe and Japan, have set up Brilleon Capital.

Brilleon Capital AG, based in Pfaffikon, Switzerland, has announced that it intends to raise a E150m multi-stage biotech fund.

The three partners, who have collectively made 30 biotechnology venture investments totalling more than E115m and have more than 49 years of biotech experience, are hoping to exploit the still strong demand for specialised VC funds dedicated to the biotech sector.

Dr. Andreas Bremer managed BB Biotech for four years before founding Brilleon last year and was also the co-founder of MPM Bioventures I. Dr. Fredrik Buch joined the business this year after helping to raise Healthcap IV, the E320m biotechnology VC fund that was closed in September 2002. The third partner is Dr. Rainer Henning who managed Aventis` R&D in Europe and Japan for more than a decade. He also discovered two drugs that now generate well over E1 billion in combined annual sales.

The presence of an affiliate of Brilleon in San Francisco and a largely US-based advisory board  is seen as a distinctive feature, enabling the firm to not only gain exposure to early stage companies in Europe but also more mature businesses on the West coast of the US. The firm says it plans to build a multi-stage portfolio of early- to mid-stage European and late-stage North American biotechnology companies, with the expectation to invest in 12 to 15 companies investing between E7m and E12m in each.