HealthCare Investment Corp. said Friday that it has raised $188million in a first closing of HealthCare Ventures III L.P. andHealthCare Ventures IV L.P.

The final closing, scheduled for about July 1, is expected tobring the total funding to $217 million, said Wallace Steinberg,a partner at HealthCare Investment.

The two funds will work in parallel. HealthCare Ventures IVwas set up for the convenience of one of the fund's Europeaninvestors, Steinberg said.

The money will be used to set up about 35 companies.HealthCare Investment of Edison, N.J., is currently forming sixor seven companies, and anticipates starting a total of 15companies this year and about 20 in 1993-94, Steinberg said.

"We create most of our companies ourselves -- about 90percent of the companies in our portfolio we created," he said."Our biggest expertise is in managing health care companies."

The average size of the group's initial investment is about $4million to $5 million. "We don't use the term 'seed,' " saidSteinberg. "We don't even tiptoe into the tulips. When we gointo something, we do it in a significant way."

About three-quarters of HealthCare Investment's start-ups arein the bioscience area, including some device companies, withthe remainder in health care services.

Among the publicly held companies founded by HealthCareInvestment are MedImmune Inc., Genetic Therapy Inc.,Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Osteotech Inc. -- KarenBernstein

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.