Brilleon takes on biotech

A new Swiss firm Brilleon Capital is looking to raise EURO150 million for a biotech-focused venture fund, Next Level. The fund will focus on early- to mid-stage investments in Europe and late stage investments in North America.

Brilleon expects to invest in 12 to 15 companies, making an average commitment of EURO7 million to EURO12 million. The fund’s multistage portfolio will focus on investments in drug discovery, drug development and enabling technology companies. Its strategy is to balance risk by combining investments in young, high-growth European companies with lower risk investments in later stage North American companies.

Around two-thirds of the fund will be invested in early stage companies and one-third in later stage, which will include mezzanine financing and some non-tradable securities in public companies.

Headquartered in Pfffikon, Switzerland, the firm will also have an affiliate in San Francisco to carry out deal sourcing, due diligence and administrative duties. Brilleon has been set up by three partners Dr Andreas Bremer, Dr Fredrik Buch and Dr Rainer Henning.

Together they have 15 years of investment experience in the public and private biotechnology industry and 49 years experience in medicine, drug discovery and development. They have been involved in 30 venture capital investments in biotech companies, seven of which went public.

Buch was previously a partner at HealthCap, a Nordic VC focused on life sciences and was at SEB Investment Management where he supervised the SEB Healthcare Fund.

He also has senior management experience with pharmaceutical companies including Pharmacia-Upjohn. Bremer served as managing director of AP Asset Management and prior to that he managed BB Biotech and co-founded BB Bioventures, a joint venture with MPM Capital. Although Bremer says it’s too early to suggest a time scale for the fund raising he reports that feedback from potential investors has been consistently positive.