Category Archives: Biotech financing

Startups, Exits, And Ecosystem Flux: Bullish For Biotech
September 8, 2014

The world is awash in cool new tech startups and poised for “A Cambrian Moment”, according to a recent special report from the Economist. For those that haven’t read it, it’s a very interesting set of articles about the trends

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VC-Backed Biotech IPOs: Valuations And Virtuous Cycles
August 4, 2014

As everyone in biotech knows, the last eighteen months have been an unprecedented time in the public capital markets.   2014 is on track to become the best year ever for life science IPOs, topping both 2013 and 2000.  Last week

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Lessons From An IPO
July 22, 2014

Raising money is a huge part of being a CEO, but nothing can fully prepare you for the experience of taking your company public.   Together with our team at Zafgen, I recently had the experience of taking our company public

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Framing Up Capital Efficiency In Early Stage Biotech
July 17, 2014

Capital efficiency has become a mantra at Atlas, one shared by a number of other early stage biotech investors. It’s a term often repeated in discussions about building young companies, and yet it has become clear that there’s no consistent

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Goldilocks & The Pace Of Biotech Startup Creation
June 11, 2014

How many new biotechs should the industry be starting per year?  It’s a perennially asked question, and obviously not one with an easy and straightforward answer. On the one hand, if you believe only transformational new ideas should get funding,

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Startup Tech Incubator Announces Biotech Experiments
April 28, 2014

Last week Y Combinator, the well-known and very successful technology startup incubator, announced that it was going to begin experimenting with biotech startups.  This announcement came as a surprise to many.  Several good posts on the subject appeared after a

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Tradeoffs and Timing: IPO vs. M&A Decision Making in Biotech
April 2, 2014

In light of the continued interest in biotech IPOs by the capital markets, there’s probably not a venture-backed biotech boardroom that hasn’t been discussing the merits of going public. Whether warranted or not, taking a company public via an IPO

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Encouraging Biotech Innovation
March 31, 2014

Let’s face it, biotech entrepreneurs are innovation junkies.  We desperately want to deploy the most novel technologies to solve difficult problems in medicine and deliver new, life changing medicines for patients who need our help.  Independent of additional factors that

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Biotech M&A: Steadily Delivering Returns in 2013
February 5, 2014

While all eyes have been on the raging IPO market in biotech over the past year, the private biotech M&A market has continued its fourth straight year of impressive results. Yesterday, HBM Partners released their always-excellent annual report (here) on

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JPM 2014: Broad Optimism About Biotech Innovation
January 17, 2014

The annual biotech pilgrimage to San Francisco has come to an end, and the upbeat, optimistic sentiment from #JPM14 bodes well as a barometer of the healthcare industry. Amidst the presentations and partying, there was lots of bullish thinking about

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Perspectives on VC-Backed Biotech: Looking Backward & Forward
January 3, 2014

Tis the season for reflecting and predicting, so I figured I’d follow the custom and share some of my thoughts about the state of biotech in 2013 and the year to come. Reflections on 2013. The Biotech IPO Returns.  This

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Crowdfunding: Angels in Biotech, or Devil in the Details?
December 11, 2013

In the tech-dominated venture capital world, 2013 could be called the year of the crowd.  With the JOBS Act and the emergence of credible platforms like AngelList, crowdfunding has come into the mainstream in a meaningful way. Social media, software,

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What’s Behind The Booming Biotech IPO Market
September 23, 2013

Biotech is back with a vengeance in this IPO window.  After a decade drought, we’ve witnessed over 30 new biotech offerings this year and more than $2.5B raised – the best IPO market since 2000.  In fact, it’s already the

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Ten Tips for Raising Startup Capital in Biotech
September 12, 2013

Summer is gone and the hectic autumn schedule is upon us (despite hitting 96F in Boston on Wednesday): back to the routine of board meetings, SABs, conferences, diligence sessions, and a ramped up travel schedule. Importantly, this also means that

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A View Through An Open Window For Biotech IPOs
July 9, 2013

For the first time in over a decade, there’s real talk about an open IPO window for biotech companies.  The NVCA’s second quarter update highlighted that venture-backed biotech outpaced all other industry sectors in the number of IPOs and the

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Foundings Matter: Thiel’s Law Applied To Biotech
June 11, 2013

Thiel’s law: A startup messed up at its foundation cannot be fixed. Much like an organism, the “DNA” of a startup gets encoded at the outset – which genes or attributes will really matter going forward, and the possible deleterious (or

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Debunking Myths About Biotech Venture Capital
May 22, 2013

There are lots of myths about venture capital and biotech in particular, as noted previously on this blog.  Many of these myths are deeply held beliefs about returns, what works and what doesn’t, and the state of the industry.  Told

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Life Science Venture Financing Terms: Favorable Five Year Trends
March 22, 2013

Euphoria in the markets seems like a common theme these days.  In fact, this week the NASDAQ Biotech Index (NBI) hit its all time high, even higher than in the 2000 genomics bubble.  It’s up 49% since Jan 2012.  Add

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Early Stage Biotech Showing Positive Signs of Scaling Its Wall of Worry
January 15, 2013

As 2013 begins, and the JPM conference is behind us, it’s a great time to reflect on the state of the biotech industry and the sentiments around early stage investing in particular.  While pessimism abounds in many corners about the

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Unleashing Biotech Innovation With The Currency of Entrepreneurship
December 5, 2012

The translation of cutting-edge science into new clinically-relevant therapeutics is the ultimate goal of many academic investigators, industry researchers, and investors.  This stage of R&D is the most challenging, and typically frought with scientific and technical risks: taking a new

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Gravity, Biotech Returns, and Why The Median Matters
November 25, 2012

Many venture-backed companies assume they can escape the gravity of historic valuation ranges, and an anecdotal few may accomplish the feat.  But figuring out how to live within its probabilistic reality is an important element of successful venture portfolio construction. A thesis

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Biotech IPOs Are Back! Maybe.
October 16, 2012

Two recent offerings, Kythera and Intercept, both ripped out of the gates with 20% rallies above their offer price last week.  A flood of new S1 filings is to be expected.  With all that inventory out there of emerging private

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New Data on Venture Capital Returns: Exits Are Indeed Improving
October 3, 2012

Correlation Ventures, a new analytics-driven venture firm, just came out with some interesting data on US venture capital returns over the past decade. Instead of taking a “birth” vintage approach to returns, which is the way venture fund vintages and

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New Biotech Corporate Structures: Possible Alternatives For Discovery Platforms and Product Financings
September 18, 2012

Not a biotech conference goes by these days without a discussion about new models for financing or exiting companies, and BioPharm America in Boston this week is no different.  I’m on a panel discussing the topic on Wednesday afternoon. New

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More Than Half of Biotech Venture Financings Are Early Stage Deals
July 26, 2012

Most readers won’t believe the title, or at least not if they’ve read much in the past few years about the anemic early stage biotech environment.  But hopefully this post will convince them. It all comes down to what do

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Where Is Everyone? Biotech’s Dwindling Number of Venture Firms
July 24, 2012

The past few weeks have been full of bad news about biotech venture: the numbers were abysmal as venture investments into biotech during the first half of 2012 were off some 40% from last year.  This drop can’t be a

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Venture Debt: Under-Appreciated Tool for Building Biotechs
July 11, 2012

Cash-burning R&D-stage biotechs have big appetites for cash, which is typically addressed with an equity-based diet.  It’s also supported through corporate partnerships and other less dilutive means such as grants and foundation funding.  But another important and often under-appreciated source

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