Category Archives: Exits IPOs M&As

Biotech IPO Performance: Discerning Market Or Rising Tide?
March 20, 2015

As anyone following the biotech sector knows, the market for new public offerings has been incredibly strong over the past couple years. And the larger cap stocks in the sector have also outperformed, propelled by product launches and exciting clinical

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Buying Time in 2014: Comparative Holding Periods For VC-Backed M&A Events
March 13, 2015

Over the past decade, in contrast to widely held misperceptions, the Biotech sector has witnessed time-to-IPO metrics very similar to other venture sectors, as I recently blogged on regarding the 2014 IPO Class (here). What wasn’t covered in the prior post was

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Tortoise & Hare Revisited: “Time To IPO” For VC-Backed Startups
February 24, 2015

Getting a drug from discovery to market requires more than a dozen years, so you just can’t do biotech in a 10-year venture fund – it just takes too long, right?  Fortunately, wrong.  The data just don’t support this premise, although this

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Data Snapshot: VC-Backed BioPharma M&A 2014
February 3, 2015

Similar to this time last year, when IPOs were capturing everyone’s attention, M&A in biotech has been delivering real value.  This morning HBM Partners released their outstanding report on BioPharma M&A in 2014 (here), and the conclusions are in line

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Venture-Backed Biotech Today: Reflections On Exits, Funding, and Startup Formation
January 22, 2015

Biotech is definitely red-hot, and has been for the past eight quarters. Immuno-oncology, cancer metabolism, gene therapy, orphan diseases, NASH, autoimmune – there’s a broad range of disease settings that are capturing the excitement and imagination of investors today. With some


The Biotech Cross-Over Phenom: Biomarker Of Quality?
November 7, 2014

As one of big drivers behind the recent IPO window, cross-over investing into private biotech companies by both mutual fund and hedge fund investors has become increasingly commonplace over the past couple years.  As described at the BIO Investor meeting

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Acquisitions As The Silent Partner In Biotech Liquidity: IPO vs M&A Exit Paths
October 27, 2014

With the biotech IPO window still open for business, and valuations of the recent classes of 2013 and 2014 remaining robust, all eyes have been focused on this part of the value chain.  Significant mezzanine pre-IPO rounds are getting done


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


Biotech Analyst Optimism: Price Targets Post-IPO
August 29, 2014

Getting high quality analyst coverage of your company as a recently minted IPO is important for communicating the rationale and excitement around your story. Thoughtful analysts can evangelize (or punish) companies they believe in (or not). But understanding the relationship


Data Insight: The Return Distribution Of BioPharma VC Financings
August 11, 2014

Return distributions in venture capital across different sectors have been a frequent source of commentary, and new data from Correlation Ventures provides further substrate for that theme. I’ve highlighted data from Correlation Ventures (CV) in the past, looking at top

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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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Zafgen Supersizes Its Obesity-Focused IPO: An Early Investor’s Reflections
June 25, 2014

Last week we priced the IPO for Zafgen – embarking on a new phase for the company (here).  Upsized at the top of the range, the offering is a testimony to the great team and exciting story at Zafgen. In line

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Pushing Forward With Collaborative R&D Models In Biotech: Roche-Spero And Biogen-Ataxion
April 9, 2014

With today’s announcement of Roche’s deal with Spero Therapeutics LLC (here), and last month’s news regarding Biogen’s deal with Ataxion (here), we’ve added further momentum to our strategy of working closely with larger BioPharma partners to create innovative “external R&D”

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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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Immuno-Oncology Startup CoStim Pharmaceuticals Acquired By Novartis
February 18, 2014

Today Novartis announced its acquisition of CoStim Pharmaceuticals, a young biotech company focused on next generation approaches in the exciting immuno-oncology field (here).  Their oncology capabilities and commitment to anti-cancer immune mechanisms made them an ideal partner for us at

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Biotech IPO Returns: Great, Good, And Not So Good
February 10, 2014

The biotech IPO bonanza appears to be continuing into 2014, with over thirteen offerings already this year.  We’re just now completing the busiest two week period in biotech IPOs ever.  Another dozen or so companies appear likely to price IPOs

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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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The Arteaus Therapeutics Story: R&D Externalization with Eli Lilly
January 13, 2014

Today, we are excited to announce that we’ve successfully exited Arteaus Therapeutics to Eli Lilly (see announcement here, here).  It’s fair to say it’s been a superbly executed example of R&D externalization and a win–win for Lilly and Arteaus. Before

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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


2013’s Untold Biotech Story: Success Of The 2011-12 IPO Class
December 12, 2013

The past year has certainly been the most exciting one for Biotech IPOs since 2000, with dozens of new offerings and compelling therapeutic narratives.  But focusing on these new IPOs misses an equal if not more exciting story: the significant

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Biotech IPOs: The Exit Challenge As Lockups Expire
October 31, 2013

Six months ago the biotech industry was on the verge of a sizzling season for IPOs, and since then, on average, we’ve seen one new biotech IPO per week.  Valuations of many of these offerings have been impressive, and this


Insider Participation Drops As Biotech Offerings Up
October 6, 2013

As you might expect given the strong IPO market, biotech venture investors are doing less of the heavy lifting in support of their portfolio companies during this receptive climate than in the past few years. Biotech insider participation was the

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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


Winners’ Circle: New Insights Into BioPharma Venture Returns
September 17, 2013

Successful deals in venture capital take on a life of their own, especially the rare massive outlier return.  Unfortunately for venture capitalists, Facebooks and Twitters are very rare. Understanding the nature of “winners” requires a good grounding in what a


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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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


VC-backed Biotech Holding Periods: Tortoise or Hare?
May 8, 2013

Biotech just takes too long, especially when compared to the overnight success of technology ventures, or so the oft-cited criticism of venture-backed biotech’s perceived longer holding period goes. Despite being a well-accepted belief  held by most venture professionals, LP’s, and


Preclinical Biotech Structured Deals: Reflections on 2013’s Solid Start
March 1, 2013

Several preclinical-stage biotechs have opted for the early Pharma structured buyout as their exit path in recent weeks: Resolve Therapeutics with Takeda, Zacharon with Biomarin, RQx Pharma with Genentech, and Lotus Tissue Repair with Shire. Here are the quick takes


Biotech M&A in 2012: The Good, Bad, and Ugly
January 30, 2013

The numbers are in on the 2012 Pharma/Biotech M&A performance, at least according to our friends at HBM Partners.  They’ve released another well-annotated deal report and database. The quick summary from a venture-backed biotech perspective: it was a good year


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


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


NextWave of Pharma Innovation?
November 8, 2012

Medical innovation is the key to addressing the big unmet needs in neurodegeneration, metabolic and heart disease, cancer, among many other conditions.  Not only do new therapeutics and devices aimed at this diseases offer clinical promise, but they also can


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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Biotech M&A Earnout Payments, Data Redux
September 12, 2012

Earnout deals are back in the news with an interesting report from Shareholder Representative Services, or SRS, a firm who specializes in working for the selling party’s shareholders to follow up post-acquisition to ensure that escrows are paid, diligence is

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The Quiet Outperformance of Recent Biotech IPOs
August 1, 2012

Biotech IPOs have long been viewed with skeptism, especially over the past few years in comparison to the high-flying media darlings in the Tech space.  But recently a number of the social media phenoms have fallen from grace: Groupon is

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Reflections on Oncology’s Recent Biotech IPOs: CLVS, MACK, & TSRO
June 28, 2012

Three late stage oncology deals have made it through the IPO gauntlet in the past six months: Clovis Oncology in November 2011, Merrimack in March 2012, and just yesterday Tesaro.  Almost all came out of their offerings unscathed, unlike most

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Biotech M&A: Quietly delivering returns in 2012
June 19, 2012

Time and again, life sciences VC deals have been outscoring their better-capitalized, super-hyped and oft-praised colleagues who do deals in the tech side of the asset class. – Jonathan Marino in a PE Hub Post titled “Quietly, VCs in Life

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Biotech Past, Biotech Present: Reflections on the IPO Window of 1991-1994
May 2, 2012

Twenty years ago the biotech world was in the midst of one of the best IPO windows in its history.  Nearly a hundred biotech companies went public from 1991-1994, including a number of the great companies that have become household


The Biotech Venture Capital Math Problem
March 15, 2012

Everyone has heard of the monster returns to some venture funds from high-flyng social media and technology companies: Facebook’s potential 800x for Accel, Google’s 350x for KPCB and Sequoia, Zynga’s 100x+ for Union Square, Foundry, and Avalon.  These single big