Category Archives: Capital efficiency

BioPharma M&A: Capital Efficiency Drives Returns
May 15, 2015

Amidst lofty public markets and robust fund flows, it’s easy to forget the importance of equity capital efficiency in building new biotech companies. But like gravity, it’s a fundamental principle and rests at the heart of generating quality returns in


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


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


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


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


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


Biotech’s Capital Intensity Challenge: A Post-Mortem on 2007’s Biggest Deals
August 29, 2012

“Raise all the money you can whenever you can, and then raise some more”.  “The more a company raises, the more successful it is”.  Resumes boasting about how much an executive has raised in their prior companies.  These sentiments are


Virtues of Differing Biotech Worldviews
March 27, 2012

Debating the merits of various biotech business models is in vogue today, in part as a response to the proliferation of experiments around the right form and function of the companies themselves.  An often asked question: are we supporting CEOs


Solving Biotech’s “Asymmetry of Maturity” Challenge
December 6, 2011

Biotech’s high risks have led to the conventional wisdom that it’s valuable to construct a diversified portfolio of products at the company level.  Reinforced by the “show me multiple shots on goal” mantra of the capital markets, many product-focused biotech


Biotech Models: Virtual Reality vs Virtual Mythology
November 10, 2011

Virtual research-stage biotechs seem to be all the rage these days.  And they do offer interesting investment theses in some settings and with particular assets.  But there are a bunch of myths about going virtual that deserve attention. But before


Culprits of Biotech’s Malaise: Let’s Also Look in the Mirror
October 12, 2011

Malaise and despair seem to have taken over the biotech venture and startup community of late. “Venture’s stress” is the cover story of BioCentury.  Biotech VCs are so distraught they are taking the case to Washington DC to lament the fate


Early Stage Biotech Financing: Fewer, Leaner, and Better?
October 2, 2011

With lots of venture investors fleeing early stage biotech over the past few years, many have questioned where the next vintage of great startup companies will come from.  This theme was touched on a few weeks ago in my post


Four Types of “Premature Scaling” in Biotech
September 2, 2011

Earlier this week the Startup Genome project released a report on the DNA of internet startups.  Essentially what attributes lead to success or failure.  One of the things they found was that 74% of startups failed because of “premature scaling”.


SmartCells, Smart Story: Lean Biotech, Large Return
June 13, 2011

Todd Zion, the founder of the adjustable insulin company, SmartCells, has done wonders for the Boston Life Science angel community – and reinvigorated their interest in funding therapeutics companies.  It’s a great story and Todd deserves the attention he’s been


Double-dipping in the Life Sciences
May 8, 2011

Understanding the impact of different venture capital deal terms is not well appreciated by most Life Science entrepreneurs, especially in the early stage ecosystem.  Moreover, knowing what the “market rate” for these terms are is rarely data-driven and often more


Trophies for the biggest biotech venture financings?
March 7, 2011

Everyone in biotech talks about capital efficiency these days. Doing more with less financing, more disciplined tranching of rounds, leaner organizations, lower expenses, etc.  But paradoxically, as a sector, there’s universal praise and admiration for those individuals and companies who