New Swiss biotech fund

Newly formed HBM BioVentures plans to raise a CHF750m ($420m) fund for investment in private as well as public pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Zürich-based HBM BioVentures, a new biotech investment firm, is hoping to raise CHF 750m ($420m) to invest in private and public biotech and pharmaceutical companies. HBM was founded by Henri Meier, erstwhile finance director of Roche Holding

According to HBM’s Andreas Wicki, about half of the $420m will be invested in privately held companies. “A significant portion of the fund will go into private equity,” he said. “Although this may diminish over time.” The rest will go into quoted companies.

HBM itself has a stock market listing planned. “HBM will be listed in a few years at the latest, in order to get more liquidity for the investors,” said Wicki.

Wicki said that investments would be broadly life science-based. “Pharmaceutical companies will make up between 60 and 70 per cent of the portfolio, about 15 per cent will be invested in platform technology and between five and 10 per cent will go into medical technology,” he said. The firm will split its investments between companies in the US and Europe.