With BioEurope Around the Corner: Are Your Meeting Requests Getting Rejected or Never Answered?

Any business development executive on the out-licensing or sell side will be familiar with the phenomenon. You’ve carefully crafted your messaging, detailing what you can offer, your science is sound, the demand is there you hear time and again, but after sending out 20 meeting requests to potential partners, you remain with 19 out of 20 meeting requests being declined or unanswered.   Why is that? Most business development representatives at pharmaceutical companies come to partnering conferences with a specific mission, for example to find a phase I/II small molecule for a specific cancer indication. If your offering’s description does not immediately fit into that specific bucket or a close adjacency that rings a bell, the likelihood of a meeting is diminished.   What can you do about it? Be really on point: the longer your meeting request, the more the message can get diluted. Especially companies with a platform and a few internal programs tend to have lengthy descriptions explaining all they can do. And thus, a platform to identify novel targets in bladder cancer can suddenly also identify targets in chronic kidney disease, auto-immune related complications, and identify a suitable therapeutic molecule, all while shortening timelines from target to clinic at lower cost and lower risk. In the eye of the beholder, you went from a drug developer with a great technology for a specific program, to a unfocused biotech that never actually advances its programs, or even a service provider. Understand the need: a bit of legwork gets you far. What is the company looking for? If you have a platform for molecules to difficult targets,...

Key Takeaways from Global Perspectives on Early-Stage Investment and Partnering 2018

With over 130 Life Sciences entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and strategists in attendance, the Global Perspectives on Early-Stage Investment and Partnering summit, hosted by Novateur Ventures and Accel-Rx was recognized as a “first of its kind” event held in Vancouver on October 3, 2018. In the midst of the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens, 6 expert panelists from leading Pharma and Venture Capitals, from across the US, Europe and China discussed topics pertaining to how life sciences start-ups and early-stage innovators should structure themselves to partner with big pharma or seek funding from venture capitals. Discussions revolved around the key factors that would help determine whether a funding or partnering opportunity was appropriate, at what stage, and what facts potential partners and investors would find valuable. Key Takeaways What You Need to Know About Pharma as a Partner and Investor Important to complete due diligence prior to seeking a meeting with Pharma Approach the Pharma company that is right for the product, based on: The Pharma company’s current interests (who have they been seeking to partner with, what products are they licensing, and very importantly, are they showing signs of staying in the space for the long-term 5 years or more) Identify and work with Advisors who have experience in vertical, product development and product commercialization Ensure you have data to back up your science Prove that you are actively seeking to identify weaknesses in your product, through vigorous testing Invest in building relationships with key partners Demystifying Chinese Venture Capital Presence in China is not a requirement to seek investments for Chinese VCs Seeking to invest in ventures with novel...

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...