Boehringer Ingelheim Demonstrates Continuous Commitment to Its Venture Fund and Fostering Innovation by More than Doubling Funding to 250 M

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  • The Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF) extends its  investment focus to include regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and digital health 
  • BIVF increases its presence in the United States and adds new staff members 
  • Through its successful investments in immune-oncology, the BIVF has helped the company elevate its presence across the global healthcare ecosystem and establish a new focus area
Ingelheim, Germany and Boston, MA, USA – 3 January, 2018 - Boehringer Ingelheim today announced an increase in funding for its corporate venture fund, known as the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF), from EUR 100 to 250 million. The additional funds will be used to invest in promising early stage start-up companies, focusing on regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and immune oncology among others, as well as growing the portfolio in the U.S. and opening doors for the BIVF in digital health. The significant additional funding goes along with a doubling of the number of investment managers.
 
We at the BIVF are inspired by the opportunity to increase investments and work across some of the most promising areas of biomedical research to date,” says Frank Kalkbrenner, M.D., Corporate Vice President and Head of the BIVF. “We are thrilled to be opening a second U.S.-based office in 2018, which will allow us to collaborate more closely with biotech and start-up companies on the West Coast. This also brings us one step closer in our quest to be at the centre of the global digital health transformation.”
 
The expansion builds on the BIVF’s existing portfolio of 21 biotech and early stage start-up companies focused on various therapeutic areas of interest, including immune-oncology. Recent successes of the portfolio include: 
 
  • Rigontec is a forerunner in accessing the retinoic acid-inducible gene I pathway, part of the innate immune system, as a novel and distinct approach in cancer immunotherapy to induce both immediate and long-term anti-tumor immunity. Rigontec was acquired by Merck (known as MSD outside of the U.S. and Canada) in September 2017, with an upfront payment of EUR 115 million and additional contingent payments of up to EUR 349 million.
  • ViraTherapeutics specializes in the development of oncolytic virus therapies. In 2016, BIVF entered into an option agreement with a transaction value of up to EUR 210 million, including co-funding of development activities of ViraTherapeutics’s VSV-GP. 
  • Okairos is pioneering the development of T-cell based vaccines for major infectious diseases, as well as cancer. In 2011, one year after the BIVF was founded, the first investment was made in Okairos. The company was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2013, creating the first successful exit for BIVF. 
 
“The key differentiator for Boehringer Ingelheim’s Venture Fund lies in the close and trusted relationships with the portfolios and entrepreneurs with whom we are privileged to work with,” added Kalkbrenner. “Through these connections, we’ve successfully developed a number of biotech start-ups – from creation to exit – and we look forward to the ground-breaking work that lies ahead. We are a team that welcomes new adventure and risk-taking, if it means delivering novel solutions that will one day help patients everywhere lead healthier lives.” 
 
Boehringer Ingelheim’s innovation strategy furthers its commitment to push the boundaries of biomedical research and development by accelerating the delivery of first in class breakthrough therapies for patients in need. The BIVF invests in the development of pioneering science, which offers the potential to provide significant benefits for patients, creating options for Boehringer Ingelheim to expand into new areas. It actively works to spin-out and create companies from academia, developing projects over a five to seven year time period with initial investments in seed or series A funding. Staged investments start with EUR 0.5-3 million and can amount to up to EUR 10-15 million in funding. 
 
Boehringer Ingelheim
Innovative medicines for people and animals have for more than 130 years been what the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim stands for. Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies and to this day remains family-owned. Day by day, some 50,000 employees create value through innovation for the three business areas human pharmaceuticals, animal health and biopharmaceutical contract manufacturing. In 2016, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of around 15.9 billion euros. With more than three billion euros, R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.6 per cent of net sales.
 
Social responsibility comes naturally to Boehringer Ingelheim. That is why the company is involved in social projects such as the “Making More Health” initiative. Boehringer Ingelheim also actively promotes workforce diversity and benefits from its employees’ different experiences and skills. Furthermore, the focus is on environmental protection and sustainability in everything the company does. 
 
More information about Boehringer Ingelheim can be found on www.boehringer-ingelheim.com or in our annual report: http://annualreport.boehringer-ingelheim.com 
 
About Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund
Created in 2010, the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF) invests in groundbreaking therapeutics-focused biotechnology companies to drive innovation in biomedical research. BIVF is searching for significant enhancements in patient care through pioneering science and its clinical translation by building long-term relationships with scientists and entrepreneurs. BIVF’s focus is to target unprecedented therapeutic concepts addressing high medical needs in immuno-oncology, regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and digital health. These may include novel platform technologies to address so far undruggable targets, new generation vaccines and/or new biological entities, such as oncolytic virotherapy.
 
BIVF takes an active role with its portfolio companies – delivering significant added value through its own extensive drug discovery, scientific and managerial expertise. BIVF has €250 million under management and currently supervises a portfolio of more than 20 companies.
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