A Boston-based asset management firm specializing in health care investing said today it has closed a biotechnology fund to new investors.

MPM Capital’s BioEquities Fund has garnered more than $400 million since it started in March of last year, the company said. The assets now total more than $450 million. The fund shut down to new investors Jan. 2.

Portfolio manager Kurt von Emster said the firm is closing the fund to new investors to ensure it doesn’t become too unwieldy. "We want to make sure that in an industry where there’s only $400 billion in market capitalization we’re not taking too much of that," he said. "We’ve limited ourselves to a half billion. This is a size that feels comfortable and we want to maintain that size"

Von Emster said in an interview this morning that, until November of 2001, he managed a biotech fund at Franklin Templeton. That fund grew to $1.7 billion, which he said proved "too large to do a lot of the smaller-cap investing, which is something we want to be able to do here at MPM."

The firm, with additional offices in San Francisco and Munich, Germany, oversees more than $1.2 billion in assets. Its BioEquities Fund invests primarily in publicly traded biotech stocks and is supported by a team of five analysts and 18 executives who work in the biotech industry, the company said.

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