Importance of Women’s Leadership in Life Sciences

It wasn’t very long ago when, at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, presenters named Michael outnumbered female CEOs giving company presentations [1]. Of the presenters, there were 22 men named Michael, overshadowing the total number of 20 female CEOs. With 4 out of 9 panels including no women at all, as either moderators or panelist. This was only a year ago. JPM this January saw a slight shift in its presenter line-up, but 90% were still men, reported STAT [2]. It is interesting to note though, J.P. Morgan’s Executive Leadership Team itself is a good example of gender diversity, with 43.8% women [3]. As JPM is one of the largest annual gatherings in the world for biopharmaceutical executives, it serves as a window to the biotech and biopharma landscape as a whole. For many of us, the lack of women in leadership positions in the life sciences unfortunately doesn’t come as a surprise, even though there have been some positive trends in recent years. In 2004, a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal stated that “the gender gap in medical schools no longer exits,” [4] with a mean of 58% of women attending Canadian medical school classes, compared with a mean of 42% of men. Life sciences in general follow the same trend as medical student attendance. From 1991 to 2011, the amount of women in life science occupations almost doubled from 23% to 43%, accounting to Statistics Canada [5]. Despite these encouraging statistics, the increase in number of women in healthcare has not proportionally translated to leadership positions. I recently joined a board of a biotechnology company, Altum Pharmaceuticals, with...

Rewarding Summer for Novateur and Its Clients and Portfolio Investment Companies

It has been a rewarding summer for Novateur and its clients and portfolio investment companies! Despite the heat and the vacation season, this summer has seen a flurry of notable activities across the Life Sciences. We are excited to announce new Novateur services as well as to celebrate the success of Novateur clients and our investment portfolio companies in closing deals, partnerships, and investments. Congratulations to IRICoR, Feldan Therapeutics, Navigo Proteins, MetaOptima, Vasomune, Immune BioSolutions and AIT Therapeutics. In industry Review, we discuss a confluence of positive events that have created a perfect storm and the reasons why we encourage our clients to close partnerships and financings as quickly as possible. Confluence of positive events (outlined below) has created a perfect storm currently for our sector: Most active IPO market, as highlighted here by Renaissance Capital Large pharma’s healthy cash position due to Trump’s repatriation tax plan An industry friendly regulatory regime in the US, showcased by a record number of new drug approvals by the FDA A string of good news on a number of large (and often difficult) trials for both pharma and biotech, including successful Alzheimer trial by Biogen and positive Phase 3 trials by Pfizer/Lilly in pain. More than ever, it’s prudent for companies to get deals done or close financing quickly prior to the window closing. Two immediate concerns around the global markets heading to 2019: Upcoming mid-term elections in November and possible loss of the House by Republicans to Democrats may cause turmoil. This switch will likely strengthen the Russian collusion investigations and findings may impact financial markets. New US sanctions on Iran...

Go Luke! Luke Timmerman Is Hiking to the Top of Mt. Everest for Cancer Research

When I found out Luke Timmerman is raising funds for cancer research by hiking the tallest mountain in the world, admittedly I was both excited and jealous! I met Luke Timmerman when he gave an ever-engaging talk at a biotechnology investment conference in Toronto a few years ago and I have been subscribing to his newsletter, Timmerman Report, since. He is one of the most respected biotech journalists who has been writing — and in some cases predicting — many key trends and challenges about our space. We draw a lot of parallels to Luke’s journey at Novateur. As some may have noticed, since inception we have had the picture of Mount Everest on our website and believe every life science projects is similar to hiking the Everest for the first time. No matter how fit you are and how many mountains you have climbed, you need the experienced Sherpas to guide you to the top. Novateur provides the Sherpas to you to successfully complete your Everest life science journey.     Between March 27 and June 2, 2018, Luke will take on the most challenging task of hiking to the top of Mount Everest. As part of his challenge, he is raising funds for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. For those of you who may not know, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center in Seattle is the home of one of the leading clinical trial sites in the United States as well as the birthplace of several breakthrough cancer biotechs including Juno Therapeutics, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Rosetta InPharmatics (acquired by Merck) and Immunex (acquired by Amgen).     As part...

Off to a Fabulous Start for 2018

Attending both JP Morgan Conference in January and BIO CEO & Investor Conference in February confirmed several key points:   2018 will see more licensing deals and M&As With the new Trump tax regime there will be significant repatriation of cash by large pharma and biotechs to United States. There is an estimated $250B cash parked off shore by large pharma and biotech companies. This week several major pharmas announced billions of dollars in share buy back. We predict that there will be more licensing and M&A activity by large pharma and biotechs in 2018.   2018 will see more financing & IPOs Several of our clients have been able to raise financing in 2018 in both private and public settings. The general market sentiment, although sometimes choppy, seems positive. We encourage our clients to raise money when they can. It’s a good time now.   Pharma will start coming back to look at large target areas and traditional blockbusters We believe with the repatriation of cash, large pharma and biotechs appetite for larger and somewhat neglected target areas like cardiovascular, women and men’s health and CNS will grow. There will be return to larger trials to develop blockbuster drugs again.   FDA is more industry friendly than before We find FDA to be more open and flexible than ever before. According to a PWC report, there were fewer regulations announced by FDA in 2017. It is predicted that this trend will continue. This trend will encourage biotech and pharma companies to invest more and conduct more trials. We believe there will be more drugs and devices approved this...

Winding Down 2017 With Tremendous Gratitude

As we approach the end of 2017, we look back with tremendous gratitude for the many friends and supporters of Novateur, especially for our valued clients, whom we consider our partners. We had a great year and grew our practice in substantial ways in every possible metric. We worked with over 30 companies and investment groups conducting due diligence and providing product and project development advisory. We completed over 120 projects. Our clients raised over $100 M in capital, including one that successfully became public on a US stock exchange. Several companies also completed partnerships with larger pharma clients. We believe Novateur is the solution for the “talent” challenge in Canada and other geographies where there is dearth of seasoned development and execution expertise and lack of a track record. Novateur has a history of attracting world-class advisors. Only the very best join our team and work diligently to solve our client’s issues. Several of these world-class experts have become full time executives at Novateur and have relocated to Canada from the United States. We are pleased to contribute our part to reverse the Canadian “brain-drain”. With over 120 active advisors and over 1,000 global advisors in our network, we can solve any life science problem effectively and efficiently. Novateur is a very active and global group: Our advisors are part of many new start-ups and serve in active executive roles for our clients and partners. Our advisors attended over 200 conferences and seminars throughout the year and were speakers at several. I attended over 20 conferences and spoke at or chaired 6 conferences. Several of us participated in...