Recovering scientist turned early stage VC A biotech optimist fighting gravity

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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Finding Success In Failing Early: All About Execution
March 18, 2015

In a period of surging optimism for our industry, it’s easy to forget that historically most of the therapeutic projects we undertake don’t make it to the market (see the data here if you absolutely have to remind yourself of

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Biotech CEOs: Observations In Thermodynamics And Kinetics
March 16, 2015

A great CEO makes all the difference, and a poor one destroys a ton of value. But recruiting great CEOs is often hard, especially when picking, as is most often the case, from a list of potential first-time CEOs. How


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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Nature Biotech Honors Some Of 2014’s Best Academic Startups
March 6, 2015

This afternoon Nature Biotechnology published its annual review of the “some of the best that academic research had to offer the startup world in 2014.” The article, in the March 2015 issue, covers the editors’ selections of the top startups

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Rare Diseases, Rare Opportunities
March 4, 2015

Last week on February 28th – as I sat down to write this short blog– was Rare Disease Day 2015. Rare diseases, and there are estimated to be 7000 of them, impact almost 30 million people in the US alone, according to


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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Public Pool Or Private Beach
February 23, 2015

Three years ago, I was walking across One Kendall Square in pursuit of a late lunch and bumped into a friend – another biotech CEO. I was a year into my role as CEO of Idenix, a publicly traded biotech


Better Living Through T-cells
February 19, 2015

Every week it feels like there’s yet another big event happening in the engineered T-cell therapy space. Recently it’s been biotech-pharma partnering (link). Before that it was the biggest biotech IPO of the year (link). And before that, it was


Data Snapshot: Dwarfed By Big Pharma, Biotech By The Numbers
February 16, 2015

Biotech fills the news these days – whether it’s the announcement of exciting new clinical data, another high-flying IPO, or a big M&A deal. Amidst the significant “share of voice” in the coverage of young and emerging biotech in the

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Learnings From a Reluctant Entrepreneur
February 11, 2015

I am a scientist by vocation and training and an entrepreneur by accident.  I got into the business of starting companies when I decided almost a decade ago that I wanted to work on a new crazy therapeutic modality and the

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Where Does All That Biotech Venture Capital Go?
February 9, 2015

Venture capital investing in biotech has long been hard to disaggregate: how much goes to “early stage” vs “late stage”, how much goes to CNS vs oncology, discovery vs Phase 3, etc… Today BIO’s David Thomas and Chad Wessel have