26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Jasper Bos, M Ventures

Jasper Bos, formerly vice-president at M Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of Germany-based drugs group Merck, ascended to senior vice-president and managing director of the unit earlier this year.

The promotion came in the wake of the departure of the unit’s former head Roel Bulthuis who left in late 2018 to join Netherlands-based venture capital fund Inkef Capital as head of healthcare.

Bos said at the time: “What excites me most about my work for M Ventures is the active role we play in our portfolio companies, which is all about supporting our entrepreneurs in realising their ambitions and dreams.”

A month after Bos assumed the post, the unit has participated in a €20m ($22.6m) series A round for Netherlands-based autoimmune disease therapy developer Calypso Biotech. Inkef Capital, where Bulthuis is managing director, co-led the round.

Calypso is developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies to treat diseases or conditions caused when the immune system attacks the body. It was spun off from Merck subsidiary Merck Serono in 2013 with $3.2m in seed funding.

Bos joined Merck’s previous biopharmaceutical fund of M Ventures in 2009 and transitioned to vice-president leading the healthcare team for the current fund in 2016.

At M Ventures, Bos supported, among others, the early successful investments and exits in Switzerland-based reproductive health company ObsEva, which listed on Nasdaq and Denmark-based cancer treatment developer EpiTherapeutics, which was acquired by biopharmaceutical company Gilead.

Bos was also an initiator of Netherlands-based central nervous system disorder therapy developer Prexton Therapeutics, which was acquired early 2018 by pharmaceutical firm Lundbeck for close to $1.1bn and which won the GCV M&A Exit of the Year award in January.

Bulthuis, a serial winner of the GCV Powerlist 100 awards, had originally set up what was then called MS Ventures in 2009 and in 2016 saw the evergreen strategic venture fund double to €300m ($337m) and broaden from a focus as one of the leading early-stage investors in the healthcare field to all areas of interest for the parent company.

When Bulthuis departed the unit, he had celebrated more than a decade at Merck, as before establishing its venture fund he was responsible for negotiating a range of licensing deals for subsidiary Merck Serono. Previously, he was director in the biotech investment banking team at Fortis Bank.

Each of the business sectors in Merck have dedicated funds. These funds have a starting capital of €50m ($56m) and a target size of €100m ($112m) evergreen, which, along with an existing fund, would take the total under management to €450m ($505m).

M Ventures also includes the Bioaccelerator Fund in Israel and the €30m Entrepreneur Partnership Program to fund spinouts from the parent company.

Before joining Merck Serono in 2009, he had worked in the Investment Fund for Health in Africa, PharmAccess Foundation, the Netherlands Vaccine Institute and National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

Bos holds a degree in corporate finance from Amsterdam Institute of Finance, a master of science in pharmacy and a PhD in pharmacy and pharmaco-economics from University of Groningen.