26 – 100 in alphabetical order: Jasper Bos, senior vice-president and managing director, M Ventures

Jasper Bos has been senior vice-president (SVP) and managing director (MD) of M Ventures, the corporate venturing unit of Germany-based pharmaceutical firm Merck Group, since January 2019, having previously been a vice-president for the unit.

Bos said in November 2018 at the time of his promotion appointment: “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.”

Bos joined M Ventures, then known as Merck Serono Ventures (MS Ventures), in 2009 and ascended to vice-president leading the healthcare team for the current fund in 2016. A month after Bos assumed the current SVP and MD posts, M Ventures participated in a €20m ($22.6m) series A round for autoimmune disease therapy developer Calypso Biotech. Inkef Capital, where former M Ventures head Roel Bulthuis is now managing director, co-led the round.

M Ventures has been active in the past year, most recently investing in SynSense, a neuromorphic computing technology developer spun out of ETH Zurich and University of Zurich, in May 2020. It has also backed cancer drug developer FoRx Therapeutics, quantum computing technology developer Seeqc, immuno-oncology drug developer Xilio Therapeutics, single-cell sequencing kit developer Scipio Bioscience, and iOnctura, which is a Merck spinoff that develops molecular drug developer.

The unit has also made a follow-on investment in internet-of-things technology provider Wiliot in February 2020, the year after it had backed its series B funding.

Regarding M Ventures’ role in the startup ecosystem, Bos said: “We admire entrepreneurs for their ability to turn science, technology and ground-breaking ideas into a product vision that could improve patient’s lives, disrupt industries or transform the way we live.

“We want to play our part in changing the world by providing these startups with the exceptional support they need to make their vision a commercial success. We help our companies interface with our parent company, providing unique access to the broad expertise and infrastructure of a leading science and technology company.”

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

Bos was also an initiator of 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 Global Corporate Venturing’s M&A Exit of the Year award in January 2019.

Bulthuis, a former GCV Powerlist mainstay, had originally set up the unit’s predecessor, MS Ventures, in 2009 and 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.

The unit has four dedicated funds: healthcare, life sciences, performance materials and new businesses. Merck’s strategic schemes also include Merck Accelerator and collaboration programs to accelerate innovation.

Before joining Merck Serono in 2009, Bos 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.

He studied corporate finance at Amsterdam Institute of Finance and earned a master of science in pharmacy and a PhD in pharmacy and pharmacoeconomics from University of Groningen.

GCV Powerlist 2020 PDF