Hopp stays the course

CureVac reflects dievini Hopp high risk-high reward investment strategy

Despite experiencing mixed results over the past year, the Hopp family remains committed to placing big bets on innovative biotechnologies. In the latest example, the firm provided CureVac GmbH with €80 million to generate Phase IIb survival data for an mRNA cancer vaccine, which it hopes will attract a partner for Phase III testing.

SAP AG co-founder Dietmar Hopp was a business angel to biotech companies for four years before pairing up with advisory firm dievini GmbH in 2005 to form dievini Hopp BioTech Holding GmbH & Co. KG as the Hopp family investment vehicle.

Since then, the firm has invested more than €800 million ($1 billion), mostly in European companies with a focus on innovative products for cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and personalized medicine, as well as molecular diagnostics and drug delivery.

dievini Hopp was particularly active in 2005-06, when the firm made initial investments in the majority of its 16 existing portfolio companies.

Of the 13 names in its portfolio in 2006, 12 remain in one form or another, including nine in which the firm has increased its stake.

In addition, one of its cancer companies was folded into another when Wilex AG bought Heidelberg Pharma AG last year. Three new names have been added to the list, and a stake in another company was bought and quickly sold for a profit (see "Hopp's Investment Portfolio," A14).

"What we have said all along is that returns will be

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