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...

Diagnostics: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

On October 26-27, I co-chaired an International Conference on “Companion Diagnostics & Biomarkers” in Porto, Portugal. The presenters included global experts in diagnostics including market leaders such as Unilabs, Agilent, Qiagen, ThermoFisher and Guardant Health. The Conference was initiated by the other Co-chair, Harry Glorikian, the author of Moneyball Medicine who delivered an engaging presentation predicting the future of medicine and digital health. Throughout the two days, impressive and informative presentations described the current status and the predicted future of diagnostics and digital health technology including the anticipated tsunami of future changes. I initiated the second day of the conference with an overview of the past, present and future of diagnostics, encompassing the best (and worst) examples of companion diagnostics (“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”). Click here to request the presentation. Presentation by Ali Ardakani, Managing Director of Novateur Ventures: “Can Companion Diagnostics Be a Guide to Cure? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – BioTech Pharma Summit 2017: Companion Diagnostics & Biomarkers October 26-27, 2017 — Porto, Portugal Ali Ardakani, Managing Director of Novateur, chairing the final plenary session of the BioTech Pharma Summit 2017: Companion Diagnostics & Biomarkers October 26-27, 2017 — Porto, Portugal Here are some summarized highlights from the conference: Diagnostics will be playing an ever-encompassing role in therapeutics development and commercialization. Both EMEA and FDA are encouraging more “targeted therapeutics” with companion diagnostics. Digital Health and digital diagnostics will represent a tremendous new growth sector and will become an integral part of our health care system. Embracing this market dynamics sooner will lead to better health outcomes and reduced costs. Diagnostics...

Why Did We Go Fishing with Roche Venture Fund?

We were delighted to host Karl Handelsman, Partner at Roche Venture Fund in Vancouver last week. Over 100 participants came to his talk at BC Cancer Agency where he talked about “Winning Strategies for Biotech Startups”. Afterwards, we held a private dinner where he met several companies he had expressed interest in connecting with. The following day we went on a fishing trip with where Karl had an opportunity to connect with the biotech entrepreneurs one on one for several hours. Why did we invite Karl? We live in a geography where there is a dearth of Venture Capital funding. Most funds are located in San Francisco and Boston and unless our Canadian clients are visiting those cities on a regular basis, they would not have exposure to many VCs and family funds. We are spearheading an effort to create awareness on our innovators. If we can not all go down south, let’s bring up serious VCs to connect with our companies. Specifically, we liked Roche Venture Fund and Karl as they are interested in investing in companies that are developing early stage ground-breaking ideas. We have many of those in Canada. In addition, Karl in his previous life was involved in building a company that was sold to Amgen. We find VCs that were entrepreneurs in the past to be better investors or at least more understanding of the challenges of biotech entrepreneurship. Why did we go fishing with Karl? Investors invest in people with ideas, not just ideas. They need to meet you, feel comfortable with you and know that they can trust you. They need to...