Category Archives: New business models

Cell And Gene Therapy: An “Outside-In” Technology Evolution
November 12, 2015

The exciting renaissance in cell and gene therapy over the past five years has yielded some of the most innovative medical advances in the industry’s pipeline today.  There are now multiple stories of patients getting “cured” of rare diseases, responding

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External Innovation: Force Multiplier For R&D
June 26, 2015

External models of R&D innovation are the rage in Pharma today, as they should be – the future of our industry depends on a great deal more rather than less collaboration. In a very healthy way, lots of experiments are


Biotech’s Virtual Reality
June 4, 2014

Much has been written about the merits and demerits of the virtual biotech model.  In essence, a virtual biotech outsources all non-core activities and rejects the need for in-house laboratories.  Instead, a small internal team manages execution outside the company,


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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Unlocking The Promise Of Biotech Startups: Learnings From Mars, Goliath, and Evolution
March 5, 2014

As an early stage biotech investor, the future of the industry and its structure are clearly important things to think about – especially since most of the drug programs our new startups are working on won’t get launched, if they


The Nimbus Experiment: Structure-Based Drug Deals
June 27, 2013

A couple years ago we unveiled a new startup called Nimbus Discovery LLC which was experimenting with a new model that combined three key elements: Schrodinger’s cutting edge in silico drug screening and design platform, a truly virtual and globally

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Welcoming Amgen & Novartis As Partners In Atlas IX
May 16, 2013

Today we announced a pair of Corporate Strategic Partnerships (CSPs) with Amgen and Novartis, as part of our closing of Fund IX, with the aim of working closely with them during our venture creation process of starting new biopharma companies. 


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


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


Corporate Pharma VCs: Preferred Partners, Big Funds
January 23, 2012

Corporate venture capital’s role in the new biotech ecosystem couldn’t be understated today.  They are a major syndicate partner for those of us in the early stage arena, and we couldn’t power up our startups without them. I’ve written on


An Early Stage Investor’s JPM Reflections: Themes, Notes, and Quotes
January 13, 2012

Flying home from JPM 2012 and thought I’d share a few reflections from our early stage venture perspective on what we heard (or didn’t) around the year’s kickoff biotech event. While most of the attendees were focused on Inhibitex and


Shire & Atlas: Introducing Our New Strategic Alliance For Rare, Orphan Diseases
December 15, 2011

Today we announced a new strategic alliance with Shire Pharmaceutical’s to identify new opportunities for early stage venture creation aimed at addressing rare genetic diseases.  This collaboration brings unique expertise from Shire’s Human Genetic Therapies group together with our company creation


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


Debunking Corporate Venture Capital in Biotech
September 25, 2011

Corporate venture capital’s rise to prominence in biotech over the past few years is now a well worn subject.  It was yet again debated this week at the Windhover PSA meeting, in part triggered by the recent widely-covered launch of

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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”.


Structuring a Biotech Liquidity Thesis
May 25, 2011

We all recognize that realizing value from a biotech company has historically been geared to one of two paths, IPO or M&A, and that they’ve both been getting tougher.  There’s been a number of articles recently about some of the


Academic-Pharma Deals: A threat or opportunity for VC?
April 19, 2011

Academic-industry partnerships are popping up all over the place these days to fund early stage programs as part of ‘”open innovation” initiatives and “external sourcing” of new pipeline projects.   Here’s a non-exhaustive list of a few such deals this year


Monsanto & Atlas: Exploring “seeds” together
April 14, 2011

Today we announced a novel alliance with Monsanto to identify new life science technologies and explore the potential for creating/investing in new seed-stage startups around them.  It’s an exciting collaboration that brings a complementary set of interests, capabilities, and access


Discovering Nimbus.
March 10, 2011

Bill Gates has just backed one our new startups – Nimbus Discovery LLC – as part of an extension to the seed tranche. Here’s the press release. It might come as a surprise to some, but Bill Gates has been a long-time