Ebb & Flow

Dietmar Hopp, the German business angel and billionaire co-founder of software giant SAP, has completed the first phase of his entry into the European biotech sector and is now looking to consolidate his investments. In the past four years Hopp has invested more than E200 million ($253 million) in 12 biotech and two medtech companies. Now he is preparing to earmark funds to develop two portfolio clusters - cancer and CNS diseases (see "An Angel's Collection").

"It is not our intention to just grow the number of companies in the portfolio, but instead focus on our investments and develop them further by bringing products through the pipeline into the marketplace, finding appropriate business partners and taking companies to the capital markets, achieving successful exits and then re-investing in other companies," Hopp told Ebb & Flow.

Hopp said he is willing to put in another E50 million ($63.3 million) to beef up the portfolio.

At the heart of the cluster strategy are investments in companies of different degrees of maturity. Two of them - cancer companyGPC Biotech (FSE:GPC; GPCB) and neurology play Lion (FSE:LIO), are already public. "We want to establish platforms that have a pipeline of early through to late-stage opportunities and an opportunity to cross-fertilize ideas and experience so that the companies in the cluster can learn from each other," said Hopp.

The investor recognizes

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