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Posts Tagged ‘@Biotech News’


37th Annual J.P. Morgan HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE: News at #JPM2019 for Jan. 8, 2019: Deals and Announcements

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

From Biospace.com

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Update: FDA, bluebird, Moderna and the Price of Coffee

Researcher holding test tube up behind circle of animated research icons

Tuesday, January 8, was another busy day in San Francisco for the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. One interesting sideline was the idea that the current government shutdown could complicate some deals. Kent Thiry, chief executive officer of dialysis provider DaVita, who is working on the sale of its medical group to UnitedHealth Group this quarter, said, “We couldn’t guarantee that even if the government wasn’t shut down, but we and the buyer are both working toward that goal with the same intensity if not more.”

And in a slightly amusing bit of synchrony, U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s keynote address that was delivered by way of video conference from Washington, D.C., had his audio cut out in the middle of the presentation. Gottlieb was talking about teen nicotine use and continued talking, unaware that his audio had shut off for 30 seconds. When it reconnected, the sound quality was reportedly poor.

Click to search for life sciences jobs

bluebird bio’s chief executive officer, Nick Leschlygave an update of his company’s pipeline, with a particular emphasis on a proposed payment model for its upcoming LentiGlobin, a gene therapy being evaluated for transfusion-dependent ß-thalassemia (TDT). The gene therapy is expected to be approved in Europe this year and in the U.S. in 2020. Although the price hasn’t been set, figures up to $2.1 million per treatment have been floated. Bluebird is proposing a five-year payment program, a pledge to not raise prices above CPI, and no costs after the payment period.

Eli Lilly’s chief executive officer David Ricks, just days after acquiring Loxo Oncologyoffered up projections for this year, noting that 45 percent of its revenue will be created by drugs launched in 2015. Those include Trulicity, Taltz and Verzenio. The company also expects to launch two new molecular entities this year—nasal glucagons, a rescue medicine for high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and Lasmiditan, a rescue drug for migraine headaches.

CNBC’s Jim Cramer interviewed Allergan chief executive officer Brent Saunders, in particular discussing the fact the company’s shares traded in 2015 for $331.15 but were now trading for $145.60. Cramer noted that the company’s internal fundamentals were strong, with multiple pipeline assets and a strong leadership team. Some of the stock problems are related to what Saunders said were “unforced errors,” including intellectual property rights to Restasis, its dry-eye drug, and Allergan’s dubious scheme to protect those patents by transferring the rights to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in New York. On the positive side, the company’s medical aesthetics portfolio, dominated by Botox, is very strong and the overall market is expected to double.

One of the big areas of conversation is so-called “flyover tech.” Biopharma startups are dominant in Boston and in San Francisco, but suddenly venture capital investors have realized there’s a lot going on in between. New York City-based Radian Capital, for example, invests exclusively in markets outside major U.S. cities.

“At Radian, we partner with entrepreneurs who have built their businesses with a focus on strong economics rather than growth at all costs,” Aly Lovett, partner at Radian, told The Observer. “Historically, given the amount of money required to stand up a product, the software knowledge base, and coastal access to capital, health start-ups were concentrated in a handful of cities. As those dynamics have inverted and as the quality of living becomes a more important factor in attracting talent, we’re not seeing a significant increase in the number of amazing companies being built outside of the Bay Area.”

“Flyover companies” mentioned include Bind in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Solera Health in Phoenix, Arizona; ClearDATA in Austin, Texas; Healthe, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota; HistoSonics in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and many others.

Only a month after its record-breaking IPO, Moderna Therapeutics’ chief executive officer Stephane Bancelspent time both updating the company’s clinical pipeline and justifying the company’s value despite the stock dropping off 26 percent since the IPO. Although one clinical program, a Zika vaccine, mRNA-1325, has been abandoned, the company has three new drugs coming into the clinic: mRNA-2752 for solid tumors or lymphoma; mRNA-4157, a Personalized Cancer Vaccine with Merck; and mRNA-5671, a KRAS cancer vaccine. The company also submitted an IND amendment to the FDA to add an ovarian cancer cohort to its mRNA-2416 program.

One interesting bit of trivia, supplied on Twitter by Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, this year at the conference, 33 female chief executive officers were presenting corporate updates … compared to 19 men named Michael. Well, it’s a start.

And for another bit of trivia, Elisabeth Bik, of Microbiome Digest, tweeted, “San Francisco prices are so out of control that one hotel is charging the equivalent of $21.25 for a cup of coffee during a JPMorgan conference.”

Other posts on the JP Morgan 2019 Healthcare Conference on this Open Access Journal include:

#JPM19 Conference: Lilly Announces Agreement To Acquire Loxo Oncology

36th Annual J.P. Morgan HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE January 8 – 11, 2018

37th Annual J.P. Morgan HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE: #JPM2019 for Jan. 8, 2019; Opening Videos, Novartis expands Cell Therapies, January 7 – 10, 2019, Westin St. Francis Hotel | San Francisco, California

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The Vibrant Philly Biotech Scene: Focus on Vaccines and Philimmune, LLC

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D

I am intending to do a series of posts highlighting interviews with Philadelphia area biotech startup CEO’s and show how a vibrant biotech startup scene is evolving in the city as well as the Delaware Valley area. Philadelphia has been home to some of the nation’s oldest biotechs including Cephalon, Centocor, hundreds of spinouts from a multitude of universities as well as home of the first cloned animal (a frog), the first transgenic mouse, and Nobel laureates in the field of molecular biology and genetics. Although some recent disheartening news about the fall in rankings of Philadelphia as a biotech hub and recent remarks by CEO’s of former area companies has dominated the news, biotech incubators like the University City Science Center and Bucks County Biotechnology Center as well as a reinvigorated investment community (like PCCI and MABA) are bringing Philadelphia back. And although much work is needed to bring the Philadelphia area back to its former glory days (including political will at the state level) there are many bright spots such as the innovative young companies as outlined in these posts.

First up I got to talk with Florian Schodel, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Philimmune, which provides expertise in medicine, clinical and regulatory development and analytical sciences to support successful development and registration of vaccines and biologics. Before founding Philimmune, Dr. Schodel was VP in Vaccines Clinical Research of Merck Research Laboratories and has led EU vaccine clinical trials and the clinical development of rotavirus, measles, mumps, hepatitis B, and rubella vaccines. In addition Dr. Schodel and Philimmune consult on several vaccine development efforts at numerous biotech companies including:

 

\His specialties and services include: vaccines and biologics development strategy, clinical development, clinical operations, strategic planning and alliances, international collaborations, analytical and assay development, project and portfolio integration and leadership.

Successful development of vaccines and biologics poses some unique challenges: including sterile manufacturing and substantial early capital investment before initiated clinical trials, assay development for clinical trial support, and unique trail design. Therefore vaccines and biologics development is a highly collaborative process between several disciplines.

The Philadelphia area has a rich history in vaccine development including the discovery and development of the rubella, cytomegaolovirus, a rabies, and the oral polio vaccine at the Wistar Institute. Dr. Schodel answered a few questions on the state of vaccine development and current efforts in the Philadelphia area, including recent efforts by companies such as GSK’s efforts and Inovio’s efforts developing an Ebola vaccine.

In his opinion, Dr. Schodel believes our biggest hurdle in vaccine development in a societal issue, not a preclinic development issue. Great advances have been made to speed the discovery process and enhance quality assurance of manufacture capabilities like

however there has not been a great history or support for developing vaccines for the plethora of infectious diseases seen in the developing world. As Dr. Schodel pointed out, there are relatively few players in the field, and tough to get those few players excited for investing in new targets.

 

However, some companies are rapidly expanding their vaccine portfolios including

 

 

Why haven’t 3rd world countries developed their own vaccine programs?

 

  1. Hard to find partners willing to invest and support development
  2. Developing nations don’t have the money or infrastructure to support health programs
  3. Doctors in these countries need to be educated on how to conduct trials, conduct vaccine programs like Gates Foundation does. For more information see Nature paper on obstacles to vaccine introduction in third world countries.

 

Lastly, Dr. Schodel touched on a growing area, cancer vaccine development. Recent advances in bladder cancer vaccine, cervical, and promising results in an early phase metastatic breast cancer vaccine trial and phase I oral cancer vaccine trial have reinvigorated this field of cancer vaccinology.

 

Historic Timeline of Vaccine Development

vaccine development timeline

Graphic from http://en.pedaily.cn/Item.aspx?id=194125

 

Other posts on this site related to Biotech Startups in Philadelphia and some additional posts on infectious disease include:

 

RAbD Biotech Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia

LytPhage Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia

Hastke Inc. Presents at 1st Pitch Life Sciences-Philadelphia

1st Pitch Life Science- Philadelphia- What VCs Really Think of your Pitch

The History of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology in the late 19th and 20th Century

 

 

 

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4:00PM 11/12/2014 – 10th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference at the Harvard Medical School, Boston

REAL TIME Coverage of this Conference by Dr. Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN – Director and Founder of LEADERS in PHARMACEUTICAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, Boston http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

4:00 p.m. Panel Discussion Novel Approaches to Personalized Medicine

Novel Approaches to Personalized Medicine

Genetic and genomic knowledge is helping the development of new drugs, therapies and prognostic tests. As a result, there are new approaches, new partnerships and new business models that are emerging. In some cases, diseases that were considered incurable not too long ago are now being tackled with highly targeted therapies. In other cases the uncertainties associated with assessing potential aggressiveness of disease are being eliminated. This panel will provide examples of new business paradigms that are emerging from the application of personalized medicine.

Novel Approaches to Personalized Medicine

Moderator:

Meghan FitzGerald, Ph.D. @cardinalhealth
President, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions

Chief Genome Officer – next steps in companies, Genomics Index will replace the Biotech Index

Most Interesting person in Genomics: Marc Levin,

Panelists:

2. Chris Garabedian @Sarepta
President and CEO, Sarepta

  • Applications of genomics to Infectious diseases, therapeutics – design of drugs, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD)
  • technology safe working, one drug very effective, 60 alternative drugs, not enough patients to power clinical trials

 

4. Shawn Marcell
President & CEO, Metamark Genetics

  • Prostatic Cancer – Use of genomics tools to diagnose and treat Prostate cancer
  • US market is the best for Genomics innovations because venture capital Market is mature, FDA is negotiable, CMP well established
  • Business model: platform, good test big market, commercialize, clinical data — PM has a different Business model: Delivery of Test results need to be different
  • IPO 2016

 

1. Scott Schell, M.D., Ph.D. – surgical oncology @KEWGroup
President and CEO, KEW Group

  • Large scale platform, strategic partnerships with Oncology Practices,
  • Immuno oncologists, repository of data
  • 80% of cancers are treated in the community 20% at Academic centers. Integration of knowledge, patients wish to stay in the community
  • phase I approval at record high levels

3. Gabriel Bien-Willner, M.D., Ph.D. @MolecularHealth
Medical Director, MolecularHealth, Inc.

  • Diagnostics Tools in Analytics. Clinicians do not have the training in Genomics – position firm to create Lab reports and consulting MDs using Analytics for Clinicians

 

 

– See more at: http://personalizedmedicine.partners.org/Education/Personalized-Medicine-Conference/Program.aspx#sthash.qGbGZXXf.dpuf

@HarvardPMConf

#PMConf

@SachsAssociates

@cardinalhealth

@Sarepta

@KEWGroup

@MolecularHealth

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11:30AM 11/12/2014 – 10th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference at the Harvard Medical School, Boston

REAL TIME Coverage of this Conference by Dr. Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN – Director and Founder of LEADERS in PHARMACEUTICAL BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, Boston http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

11:30 Personalized Medicine Coalition Award &  Award Recipient Speech

Presentation of Personalized Medicine Coalition’s 10th Annual Award for Leadership in Personalized Medicine.

Personalized Medicine Coalition Award Recipient

Mark J. Levin
Co-Founder and Partner
Third Rock Ventures, LLC

Presenter:

Brian Munroe
PMC Founder and Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
Endo

 Award in Science, Business Policy to individual to lead PM – Mark Levin

 

 

  • was at Ely Lilly in the 70s leading supplier of Insulin in the 20s and antibiotics in the 30s,Factor 8, pain drugs, chemotherapy
  • was at Genentech – Human growth Hormone and Human Insulin — both are PM, Interferon,
  • was at Mayfield Ventures
  • was at Millenium, CEO, early 90s, monoclonal antibodies
  • 2000 discussion on the need for PMC
  • Founder of Foundation Medicine – molecular informatics – expands therapeutics and PM
  • NOW — with Third Rock Ventures, LLC

 

Mark Levin – award acceptance speech – Team accomplishments most important

We need to thank the patients participating in Clinical Trials

  1. How I got involved in personalized medicine (PM): High School – Human Biology
  2. Genetics – drive
  3. PM – All diseases – genetic disorders — combination with extreme phenotyping, Muscular Dystrophy – splicing a gene for treatment
  4. Drugability and PM – gene therapy, replace factor, deliver a gene to the brain and the drug. inside CSF
  5. Gene editing – deliver to the Brain correct the gene in the Brain – therapy for ALS, Schizophrenia – understanding the genes involved in this disease, same
  6. Cancer cure – treatment of combination therapies several at the same time vs present time treat one other emerges
  7. cancer vaccine
  8. Sample of blood – proteomics — in Annual Exams at MDs Annual physical
  9. Convergent — comparison of Mutation across to 1000 patient’s mutations
  10. Future is MOST exciting
  11. Challenges of the Future: Biology and Technology, cells in microbiome, 10 million genes, SYSTEM BIOLOGY — will lead the way,
  12. FUNDING SCIENCE via NIH Scientist is the most important National task
  13. Preventative and Prognostics Medicine -need be part of DRUG development
  14. Justification – maximize value for patient vs $$ spent – maximum value – waste and no leadership
  15. Concern — Affordability of Healthcare to All, access to care vs economic Inequality
  16. Leadership and Management: We truly need NATIONAL CONVERSATION — with a Leader with set of goals to solve a problem in certain time
  17. Insurance, Pharma, HMO — budget challenge — attendees inn the room, need to provide leadership at the National Level

 

– See more at: http://personalizedmedicine.partners.org/Education/Personalized-Medicine-Conference/Program.aspx#sthash.qGbGZXXf.dpuf

 

@HarvardPMConf

#PMConf

@SachsAssociates

@VCapitalGuide

@hgbc_harvard

@MassBio

@MALifeSciences

@FierceBiotech

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Track 9 Pharmaceutical R&D Informatics: Collaboration, Data Science and Biologics @ BioIT World, April 29 – May 1, 2014 Seaport World Trade Center, Boston, MA

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

April 30, 2014

 

Big Data and Data Science in R&D and Translational Research

10:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Ralph Haffner, Local Area Head, Research Informatics, F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

11:00 Can Data Science Save Pharmaceutical R&D?

Jason M. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Vice President,

Scientific Informatics & Early Development and Discovery Sciences IT, Merck

Although both premises – that the viability of pharmaceutical R&D is mortally threatened and that modern “data science” is a relevant superhero – are

suspect, it is clear that R&D productivity is progressively declining and many areas of R&D suboptimally use data in decision-making. We will discuss

some barriers to our overdue information revolution, and our strategy for overcoming them.

11:30 Enabling Data Science in Externalized Pharmaceutical R&D

Sándor Szalma, Ph.D., Head, External Innovation, R&D IT,

Janssen Research & Development, LLC

Pharmaceutical companies have historically been involved in many external partnerships. With recent proliferation of hosted solutions and the availability

of cost-effective, massive high-performance computing resources there is an opportunity and a requirement now to enable collaborative data science. We

discuss our experience in implementing robust solutions and pre-competitive approaches to further these goals.

12:00 pm Co-Presentation: Sponsored by

Collaborative Waveform Analytics: How New Approaches in Machine Learning and Enterprise Analytics will Extend Expert Knowledge and Improve Safety Assessment

  • Tim Carruthers, CEO, Neural ID
  • Scott Weiss, Director, Product Strategy, IDBS

Neural ID’s Intelligent Waveform Service (IWS) delivers the only enterprise biosignal analysis solution combining machine learning with human expertise. A collaborative platform supporting all phases of research and development, IWS addresses a significant unmet need, delivering scalable analytics and a single interoperable data format to transform productivity in life sciences. By enabling analysis from BioBook (IDBS) to original biosignals, IWS enables users of BioBook to evaluate cardio safety assessment across the R&D lifecycle.

12:15 Building a Life Sciences Data

Sponsored by

Lake: A Useful Approach to Big Data

Ben Szekely, Director & Founding Engineer,

Cambridge Semantics

The promise of Big Data is in its ability to give us technology that can cope with overwhelming volume and variety of information that pervades R&D informatics. But the challenges are in practical use of disconnected and poorly described data. We will discuss: Linking Big Data from diverse sources for easy understanding and reuse; Building R&D informatics applications on top of a Life Sciences Data Lake; and Applications of a Data Lake in Pharma.

12:40 Luncheon Presentation I:

Sponsored by

Chemical Data Visualization in Spotfire

Matthew Stahl, Ph.D., Senior Vice President,

OpenEye Scientific Software

Spotfire deftly facilitates the analysis and interrogation of data sets. Domain specific data, such as chemistry, presents a set of challenges that general data analysis tools have difficulty addressing directly. Fortunately, Spotfire is an extensible platform that can be augmented with domain specific abilities. Spotfire has been augmented to naturally handle cheminformatics and chemical data visualization through the integration of OpenEye toolkits. The OpenEye chemistry extensions for Spotfire will be presented.

1:10 Luncheon Presentation II 

1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Yuriy Gankin, Ph.D., Co. Founder and CSO, GGA Software Services

1:55 Enable Translational Science by Integrating Data across the R&D Organization

Christian Gossens, Ph.D., Global Head, pRED Development Informatics Team,

pRED Informatics, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Multi-national pharmaceutical companies face an amazingly complex information management environment. The presentation will show that

a systematic system landscaping approach is an effective tool to build a sustainable integrated data environment. Data integration is not mainly about

technology, but the use and implementation of it.

2:25 The Role of Collaboration in Enabling Great Science in the Digital Age: The BARD Data Science Case Study

Andrea DeSouza, Director, Informatics & Data Analysis,

Broad Institute

BARD (BioAssay Research Database) is a new, public web portal that uses a standard representation and common language for organizing chemical biology data. In this talk, I describe how data professionals and scientists collaborated to develop BARD, organize the NIH Molecular Libraries Program data, and create a new standard for bioassay data exchange.

May 1. 2014

BIG DATA AND DATA SCIENCE IN R&D AND TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH

10:30 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

John Koch, Director, Scientific Information Architecture & Search, Merck

10:35 The Role of a Data Scientist in Drug Discovery and Development

Anastasia (Khoury) Christianson, Ph.D., Head, Translational R&D IT, Bristol-

Myers Squibb

A major challenge in drug discovery and development is finding all the relevant data, information, and knowledge to ensure informed, evidencebased

decisions in drug projects, including meaningful correlations between preclinical observations and clinical outcomes. This presentation will describe

where and how data scientists can support pharma R&D.

11:05 Designing and Building a Data Sciences Capability to Support R&D and Corporate Big Data Needs

Shoibal Datta, Ph.D., Director, Data Sciences, Biogen Idec

To achieve Biogen Idec’s strategic goals, we have built a cross-disciplinary team to focus on key areas of interest and the required capabilities. To provide

a reusable set of IT services we have broken down our platform to focus on the Ingestion, Digestion, Extraction and Analysis of data. In this presentation, we will outline how we brought focus and prioritization to our data sciences needs, our data sciences architecture, lessons learned and our future direction.

11:35 Data Experts: Improving Sponsored by

Translational Drug-Development Efficiency

Jamie MacPherson, Ph.D., Consultant, Tessella

We report on a novel approach to translational informatics support: embedding Data Experts’ within drug-project teams. Data experts combine first-line

informatics support and Business Analysis. They help teams exploit data sources that are diverse in type, scale and quality; analyse user-requirements and prototype potential software solutions. We then explore scaling this approach from a specific drug development team to all.

 

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1st Pitch Life Science- Philadelphia: “Eavesdropping on Investors’ Closed Door Discussions”

Mid Atlantic Bio Angels group (MABA), an angel investor group focused exclusively on new and emerging life science companies hosted a meeting Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:30pm – 8:30pm Other Time Presented by:

 

“Eavesdropping on investors‘ closed door discussions” gives entrepreneurs the inside track on what happens after a start-up company presents to investors.  Typically, after a start up company’s team leaves the room investors have a private discussion about whether the opportunity merits further investigation and possible investment.  1st Pitch Life Science-Philadelphia offers local company presenters and audience participants the chance to listen in on these closed door discussions to learn what really matters to investors.  This event offers excellent networking opportunities for investors, university technology transfer professionals, entrepreneurs, and business professionals in the Philadelphia entrepreneurial ecosystem.   It provides a supportive learning environment for entrepreneurs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    “

For more information about Mid-Atlantic BioAngels and to make a submission for evaluation of your startup please visit their

website: http://bioangels.net/.

MABA: LinkedIn:
MABA: Twitter

 

Mid-Atlantic Bioangels was formed in 2013 to provide an unmet need in the Mid-Atlantic region for early-stage life-science entrepreneurship,  providing early life science entrepreneurs a venue to  present their companies, obtain funding and provide mentoring, feedback, networking, and information for corporate development.  A great article by  can be found here

http://tech.co/mid-atlantic-bio-angels-life-sciences-investors-2013-06

 

More information on the !st Pitch Life Sciences meetings can be found at www.1stpitchlifescienc.com.  Further information can be obtained at nfo@1stpitchlifescience.com.For sponsorship questions please email Bernie@bioangels.net.

Meeting Coverage

Three companies are to be presented

Hastke Inc is a device company with a best-in-class, real-time 3D visualization technology that can de-risk the drug development process for pharma.  In the future, their technology has the potential to become an important diagnostic tool for physicians.

LytPhage is a new biotech company using novel bioengineering to develop therapeutics to address the worldwide crisis of antibiotic resistant organisms.  They are developing a treatment for vancomycin resistant systemic infections with their platform, which can be adapted for other problematic organisms.

RAbD Biotech uses proprietary computational methods to design biologic agents capable of treating severe diseases.  RAbD’s lead product candidate is a potential first-in-class treatment for ovarian cancer, a disease characterized by late detection, few therapeutic options, and high mortality.

The meeting format includes:

  1. 15-20 minute meeting presentation
  2. group discussion/questions
  3. panel opinions (panel of experienced venture capitalists)

Notes from the meeting will be put in future postings.

Please also see Twitter handles for meeting coverage using the following hashtags and handles

 

hashtags                                                                                                   handles

             #MABA   #lifescience   #PHL   #biotech         #startup                                @BioAngelsGroup   @pharma_BI   @RAbDBiotech

              #VC  #venturecapital   # bioangels    #entrepreneur

              #angelinvestor 

 

The meeting had a live voting on Surveymonkey for each presentation using your smartphone.  The address for the voting was

www.1stpitchlifescience.com/vote

where event participants vote on each individual presentation and a “Best in Show”.

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The Bioscience Crowdfunding Environment: Will Crowdfunding be the Bigger, New VC

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

 

Pharmaceutical Consulting Consortium International Inc. (PCCI) recently presented their 7th annual Roundtable “CROWDFUNDING FOR LIFE SCIENCES: A BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS?”, a panel discussion on how this new funding mechanism applies to early stage life science companies and changes the funding landscape.

A major provision in the recently passed JOBS Act resulted in Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) rule changes revolutionizing the way companies can raise capital, with some figures in the range of $11 trillion dollars. Companies, startups, and entrepreneurs can, in a manner, now go directly to the individual investor and raise capital. This method is generally referred to as CROWDFUNDING.

As explained by Mark Roderick, moderator for the meeting, there are two main types of approved crowdfunding:

  • Donation-based Crowdfunding – Popularized by the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, this method of raising capital can accept small donations from anyone for an idea/project to be completed. The donor may either get a free token of appreciation or access to enjoy the fruits of the project, for example, a watching a movie funded by the donor. Some scientific researchers have used Kickstarter as a method to fund their research.
  • Investor-based Crowdfunding– This type of crowdfunding involves the actual transfer of securities, and investors must qualify according to rules set by the SEC and go thru brokers, or portals, like the bioscience and healthcare internet portal Poliwogg.

Investor-based crowdfundingwas discussed at the meeting.  There are five different mechanisms with this type of funding: Title II (Rule 506c), Title II, Title IV, Existing Regulation A, and Rule 504. The main focus of the meeting was on Title II as, according to Mr. Roderick, involves the mechanism most suited for biotech startups, while rules for Title III still need to be finalized.

Title II crowdfunding requires that “accredited” or “qualified” investors (those who make at least $200,000/year or net worth $1 million US) go through licensed dealer internet nodes (or Portals) like Poliwog. The Portal will have lists of startups they deem legitimate which investors can choose from. For instance the Epilepsy Foundation uses Poliwog to fund certain projects.

The panelists discussed matters including:

  • How crowdfunding is different than other mechanisms like venture capital
  • What are the regulations and financial responsibilities for both biotech and crowdfunder
  • Liabilities
  • Due-diligence issues

The panelists included:

  1. Mark Roderick, moderator. Mark is an attorney at Flaster/Greenberg PC (@CrowdfundAttny on Twitter) and has developed great experience and expertise in the details of crowdfunding. He maintains a Crowdfunding blog www.crowdfundattny.com, which contains information and links about the JOBS Act and crowdfunding.
  2. Barbara Schiberg, Managing Director at BioAdvance, a Mid-Atlantic bioangel investment community.
  3. Samuel Wertheimer, PhD, CIO Poliwogg, a crowdfunding internet portal.
  4. Darrick Mix, Partner, Duane Morris LLP, corporate lawyer with experience in the JOBS act
  5. Donlon Skerret, PCCI President and CEO of NanoScan Imaging and serial entrepreneur

The Opportunity

 

 crowdcrowdingoutVC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent estimates place Title II Crowdfunding capacity to $1 Trillion.

Venture Capital (VC) had estimated only $5 Billion bio-investment in 2013.

Where does the rest go?

 

Mr. Skerret noted that bioangels can only take you so far but thinks that crowdfunding may fill this “valley of death”.

Liabilities

 

Crowdfunding is SELLING SECURITIESso there is liability, disclosure and nondisclosure issues.

Title II contains 580 pages of regulations and SEC needs a licensed intermediary.

 

Due-Diligence

 

Barbara Schiberg also noted that with VCs or bioangels groups you also get s support network, basically their rolodex of contacts and KOL’s and experts. With Crowdfunding like Poliwog they just handle linking investors with entrepreneur. Any contact is done through social media and the crowd.

 

BioAdvance hires experts – may take months to years to get expert opinion

 

Poliwog only has responsibility to investor to make sure company is legitimate. They don’t do extensive due diligence like bioangels. Most crowdfunding do not have extensive networks of professionals.

 

 

To obtain a video recording of this meeting and get more information please go to PCCI’s web site at http://www.rxpcci.com/meetings.htm.

 

Other posts on this site related to FUNDING and Bio Investing include:

 

PCCI’s 7th Annual Roundtable “Crowdfunding for Life Sciences: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters?” May 12 2014 Embassy Suites Hotel, Chesterbrook PA 6:00-9:30 PM

10 heart-focused apps & devices are crowdfunding for American Heart Association’s open innovation challenge

Importance of Funding Replication Studies: NIH on Credibility of Basic Biomedical Studies

Partnerships & Funding

Updated: Investing and Inventing: Is the Tango of Mars and Venus Still on

Transforming Biotech & Pharma: LinkedIn is the Quiet Force by Timmerman

Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute in NYC: Postdocs keep exclusive license to their IP and take a fixed dollar amount of Equity if the researchers create a Spinoff company

 

 

 

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