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...

More Than Engaging with Government – Let’s Work Together

Vancouver, B.C., November 7, 2017 On November 2, 2017, I had the pleasure and opportunity to represent LifeSciences BC board, together with Nancy Harrison, Chair, Board of Directors, Dr. Lesley Esford, President & CEO, along with other board members, Dr. Pieter Cullis and Scott Phillips. Our visit included breakfast with the NDP caucus and lunch with the Liberal caucus, where Dr. Esford presented an overview of the life sciences sector in B.C. What we shared with government were several impressive and enlightening facts: There are 450 life science companies in B.C. Vancouver is rated as “Best City in the World” to start a new Business by CityUp Index and was rated by as the “#1 Best Startup Ecosystem” by Startup Genome to support entrepreneurs and raise seed rounds in Canada. B.C. is the only province in Canada, to develop and launch several novel products generating billions of dollars in cumulative revenue. Reflecting that B.C.’s life science companies have a track record of taking blockbuster products with historic regularity, from idea to market.A few of these products are: Visudyne® by QLT Taxus® by Agniotech Mozobil® by Anormed Vyxeos®, developed by Celator (recently acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals) and soon to be launched. B.C. is the only province and Vancouver one of the few cities in North America, except Boston and San Francisco, with three companies, Zymeworks, Innovative Targeting Solutions and Abcellera, signing global partnerships with 15 of the world’s largest global pharma companies, worth billions of dollars. In 2017, B.C. had the largest IPO in recent Canadian Biotech History when Zymeworks raised $80M. Several other companies including Aurinia, Arbutus and Aquinox...