Category Archives: Uncategorized

Soccer, The World Cup, And Biotech
June 30, 2014

Soccer is a fantastic sport – eleven players on a side, a hundred yards of pitch, one ball, and lots of emotion. Watching the World Cup this year has been fun; our children are just now old enough where they

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Top 10 Little White Lies Told At The JP Morgan Healthcare Conference
January 9, 2014

Next week kicks off the biggest healthcare investor meeting of the year in San Francisco.  It’s a giant circus of activity revolving around the Westin St Francis in Union Square, with more than 10,000 people gathered from biotech, pharma, startups,

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Introducing Atlas’ Biotech Seed Class of 2013
December 17, 2013

Seed-led venture creation is our focus at Atlas, and, with the closing of our new fund, 2013 has been a very active year for us.  As part of a year-end reflection, it’s a good opportunity to present a quick sketch

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Blogging on Biotech: Reflections And A ‘Best of’ List
October 17, 2013

For the past 2.5 years I’ve been experimenting with this blog, covering topics about biotech startups, the pharma industry, and venture capital – so I thought it would be a good time for reflection. In my first blog post in

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Want Better Odds? Get a Pharma Corporate VC to Invest
May 22, 2012

Pharma corporate venture was back in the biotech news today with the release of Burrill & Company’s June 2012 report.  An interesting article by Vinay Singh evaluated the impact of Pharma corporate venture capital (CVC) investing, and the key takeaway

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Return of the Jedi: Stromedix Acquired by Biogen
February 14, 2012

Biogen just announced its acquisition of Stromedix for up to $562M. Another solid M&A exit in biotech emphasizing how innovation matters. With a very different model than Avila Therapeutics, an exit we announced in January, Stromedix is a biology-focused, asset-centric

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Two (Micro) Reasons to be Excited About RNA Therapeutics
October 18, 2011

Like many technologies that move from hot discoveries on the cover of Nature to the practical ugly sausage-making of drug development, RNA-based therapeutics have been widely derided of late.  It seems everyone from Wall Street to Pharma to venture capital

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Billion Dollar Policy Ideas for Supporting Biotech Innovation
September 14, 2011

Amidst talk of the need for renewed economic stimulus and the desire for America to invest in innovative industries, I thought I’d highlight two practical tax policy ideas for how to accelerate biotech sector growth: enabling NOL tradability and creating

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Change Starts at the Top: Imperative to Bring Biotech Voices to Pharma Boardrooms
July 19, 2011

Most of Big Pharma have been trying to reinvent themselves as nimble Biotechs, at least in the eyes of Wall Street, in order to be perceived as being innovative R&D-driven companies.    Despite the restructurings, Big Pharma is struggling with that

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Biotech executive’s pay premium vs Tech: more cash, less equity
July 5, 2011

Compensation in startups is a subject where vague notions of the right comparable benchmarks (“the market rate”) and organizational inertia (“that’s what we’ve done before…”) come together to prevent useful transparency. Mountains of data are thrown at comp committees to

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Contrave: Latest Casualty in the FDA’s War Against Obesity Drugs
June 9, 2011

Last week’s news about Orexigen’s Contrave obesity drug and its struggles with the FDA’s Division of Metabolic and Endocrinologic Products has left me puzzled.  Obesity is such an enormous epidemic, one has to wonder why the FDA is taking such

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Starting a biotech? Advice for how to pitch VCs.
May 17, 2011

Lots of great advice exists for tech entrepreneurs trying to pitch to VCs, but very little for the aspiring life science entrepreneur, especially for therapeutics startups.  Since that’s the type of deal we invest a good portion of our fund

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Blackberries, Multi-tasking, and Information Overload
April 28, 2011

Two recent observations prompted me to think about a topic broader than just the life sciences: the information intensity of the world we live in and some of the unhealthy behaviors it has fostered. I met with a biotech entrepreneur

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Bubbles? Big rounds? Not in the Life Sciences
April 26, 2011

There’s been talk about a “bubble” in venture capital recently.   If there is one to debate, its not in the life sciences. While we’ve been relatively steady on an annualized pace in 2009 and 2010, we are down considerably

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Academic bias & biotech failures
March 28, 2011

I just met with an entrepreneur who was the founding CEO of a company created around an academic lab’s discoveries. It was fascinating new approach to drugging hot receptor targets.  To protect the innocent I won’t mention the names, but

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There’s a first time for everything
March 3, 2011

I’ve decided it’s time to experiment with blogging about the biotech venture ecosystem.  I’d like to call it a “pilot study”.  If it ends up being safe and effective over the next few months, I’ll continue.  If not, I’ll terminate

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