- As Versant Ventures, a venture capital firm with a good track record, was consolidating funding for its fifth biotech fund, Bayer invested $25 million. The new fund is estimated to be in the $300 million range.
- The latest fund from Versant is their fifth. Their fourth fund closed with $500 million in 2008.
- The relationship between Bayer and Versant is based on a 'build-to-buy' approach to buying and funding start-ups, with input from a large pharma.
Based on the its relationship with Versant, Bayer has an option deal that allows it first dibs on nascent companies that focus on eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Bayer is aware of the growing wave of next-generation medical technology opportunities. Recently, Bayer completed a $252 gene-therapy million deal with Dimension Therapy.