Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, announced the creation of ExploreBio, a pre-seed-investment vehicle by four investment funds targeted at early-stage companies in the biotechnology landscape in Israel.
For this purpose the strategic corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has partnered with Arkin Holdings, Pontifax and WuXi AppTec to create the €20 million pre-seed investment vehicle.
ExploreBio is an initiative comprising pre-seed investments and management services for proof-of-concept-experiments in biotechnology. Additionally, companies benefiting from the ExploreBio initiative will be given the opportunity to work at the BioIncubator facilities of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in Yavne, Israel. Interested parties should submit their investment proposal here.
With the new ExploreBio initiative, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and its three partners aim to engage with start-up companies in which it would otherwise be too early to invest. A second advantage for the four partners is being able to leverage the consortium’s resources and their strong relationships to work with the investments more closely and effectively. ExploreBio complements the activities of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in helping early-stage companies in Israel to mature. The company set up PMatX last year and has been running its BioIncubator in Yavne since 2011.
The site of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in Yavne houses the company’s Healthcare and Life Science incubator called BioIncubator. This successful undertaking was started in 2011 and has committed to invest up to €10 million until 2018 in biomedically focused start-up companies in Israel.
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, employs more than 300 people in Israel, mainly scientists, and has sites in Yavne, Herziliya, Rehovot, and Jerusalem. All three of its business sectors, Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials, have R&D sites in Israel.