MPM Launches Second Vehicle –

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MPM Asset Management has launched a sophomore effort, Bio Ventures II Group of Funds, targeted at $300 million to $400 million, a majority of which already has been soft circled, said Ansbert Gadicke, a general partner at the firm.

The vehicle, expected to close at the end of the first quarter, will back about 30 seed- to mezzanine-stage companies with individual investments of $5 million to $20 million each.

MPM exclusively invests in health-care companies that produce pharmaceutical and biotechnology products or medical devices, and consumer health and e-health companies. MPM typically is the lead investor and, on occasion, acts as the sole investor in its deals.

MPM’s first vehicle, BioVentures I Group of Funds, closed on $230 million in 1998 and is 80% committed. At press time, the firm had backed 21 companies, investing between $5 million and $15 million over several rounds of financing. The firm expects to invest the vehicle in a total of 25 companies, 80% in the United States and the remainder in Europe. The fund is expected to be completely invested or committed by mid-2000.

Members of the firm meet annually with a five-person scientific advisory board composed of academic leaders in the scientific and medical fields who offer advice about products and technologies expected to achieve breakthroughs in the upcoming year.

Some 90% of limited partners in the first fund are from Europe and the remaining are in the United States Only 60% of the second vehicle, however, will be from Europe, with the remaining L.P.s from the United States. Most existing investors will return for the second fund and will be joined by newcomers.

MPM currently has three general partners: Ansbert , Luke Evnin, Michael Steinmetz and Gadicke. But Kurt Wheeler, a yet to be hired partner and a fifth partner will join the list of general partners in time to invest the second fund.

Most recently, in July one of the firm’s portfolio companies, U.S.-based BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., a developer of carbohydrate enzyme therapeutics, held an initial public offering.