Merck Global Health hires new head of VC investments


Merck & Co‘s venture investment arm, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, appointed Francesca Domenech Wuttke as a managing director. Wuttke, who previously led Almiral, S.A.‘s medical M&A team, will oversee venture capital investments, with a focus on digital healthcare innovation.

Press Release

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, the venture investment arm of Merck & Co (known as MSD in Europe and Canada), has appointed Francesca Domenech Wuttke, Ph.D. as a managing director. Dr. Wuttke will lead venture capital investments, focusing on digital healthcare innovations, for Merck GHI in Europe, based in Barcelona, Spain.

“Merck GHI has been active in Europe in the past, but we believe the current rate of innovation across Europe merits a deeper and more strategic focus,” Merck GHI President Bill Taranto said. “We are pleased to add Dr. Wuttke to our team given her broad healthcare expertise in both the U.S. and Europe.”

Dr. Wuttke has more than 20 years of international clinical, commercial, strategic and deal-making experience. She has worked with diverse organizations, including start-ups, private equity, consulting firms, both large and specialty pharmaceutical firms, and in academia. Most recently Dr. Wuttke led Barcelona-based Almiral, S.A.’s Corporate Development Strategy team in the transaction of M&A opportunities in the medical device and pharmaceutical arenas.

Before that, Dr. Wuttke worked at Novartis global headquarter in Basel Switzerland, where she was responsible for the assessment and development of novel commercial models based on cell and gene therapies and also managed the company’s cell therapy assets. Prior to that, Dr. Wuttke sourced and executed on structured finance transactions at Symphony Capital in New York and licensed and spun-out university inventions at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, also based in New York.

She began her career managing clinical trials at Beth Israel´s AIDS Clinical Trials Unit in New York City. Dr. Wuttke holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a B.A. from Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences.

About Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (GHI)

Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (GHI) provides growth capital to healthcare technology companies worldwide while leveraging the vast R&D-based, global resources of Merck. The fund invests in breakthrough healthcare solutions that advance Merck’s mission to discover, develop and provide innovative products and services to save and improve lives. Founded in 2010, the fund has made more than 30 investments in digital health and has $500 million under management. For more information, please visit www.merck.com/ghi.