Venture Finance in Biotech
- Venture-Backed Biotech Today: Reflections On Exits, Funding, and Startup Formation – Insightful overview of the current state of venture funding in biotech. A key take-away: there’s more money flowing into the sector, but it’s not funding any more early-stage startups than in the bottom years of 2008/2009.
- Big rounds push 2014 biotech venture funding to near-record $6B – Life sciences companies received 20% of tracked venture capital in 2014.
- The Lone Biotech Bear? – Four reasons to be cautious about the prospects of the coming new dawn for biotech.
- Foundation receives $3.3-billion windfall for Kalydeco – The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s venture philanthropy strategy pays off in spades.
- Funding Clinical Trials: Challenges for Small Biotechs – Great overview of the sources of funding for clinical trials available to biotech startups in Canada.
- Antibiotics “a terrible business model” for Pharmas expert tells Davos – Pharma representatives, the WHO, and academics all agree: antibiotics development should be largely driven by government and non-profits. This needs to be backed up by funding, though, and raises the question of how government & non-profit funders can retain control over pricing when industry is partnered with to scale up production.
Crowdfunding in Biotech
- Crowdfunding boosts research into Parkinson’s drugs – U.K. scientists use equity crowdfunding to finance a drug re-purposing startup.
- Crowdfunding A Patent-Free Drug For Treating Cancer – An interesting initiative to crowdfund a xenograft study to test a patent-free anti-cancer compound. This is where I see crowdfunding being most useful in biomedical research at the moment: funding modest (~ $50,000) preclinical studies that help to de-risk the further development of a specific compound.
- Crowdfunding Case Study: How to build a $500 Million Biotech in Silicon Valley, Without Silicon Valley” – A fascinating account of how Sanovas Inc. raised $20 million without depending on institutional investors. Is their use of impact investors willing to invest with Self-Directed IRAs a new form of equity crowdfunding in biotech?
- List of Crowdfunding Platforms for Scientific Research – Of the 6 science-focused equity crowdfunding platforms on this list, 5 cater to healthcare and biotechnology startups. This illustrates the level of interest about crowdfunding in biotech today.
Tags: antibiotics, biotech, biotechnology, cancer, crowdfunding, cystic fibrosis, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, drug development, drug patents, drug repurposing, Kalydeco, Parkinson's disease, patent-free, venture capital, venture philanthropy
I’ve updated the Funded Science list of crowdfunding platforms for scientific research. Interestingly, health-related portals dominate the list, with over 50% of platforms focusing on drug and/or medical device development.
Portals will be added to the list as they come online. Please let me know if I’m missing any: email@example.com.
List of Crowdfunding Portals for Scientific Research
|Portal||Research Area||Crowdfunding Model||Portal Fee||Based in...|
|Abundance Energy||Clean tech/renewable energy||Equity-based (for-profit)||No Investor Fee||United Kingdom|
|ADHD Fund||Health (ADHD)||Donation-based (non-profit)||n/a||Netherlands|
|AngelMD||Health (General)||Equity-based (for-profit)||No Investor Fee||USA|
|B-a-MedFounder||Health (Medical Devices)||Equity- or Rewards-based (for-profit)||4.5%-10%||Cyprus|
|Capital Cell||Health + Biotech||Equity-based (for-profit)||5%-7%||Spain|
|The Common Good||Health (Prince Charles Hospital Foundation)||Donation-based (non-profit)||n/a||Australia|
|Consano||Health (General)||Donation-based (non-profit)||No Fee||USA|
|DigVentures||Archaeology||Donation-based (for-profit)||4%-9%||United Kingdom|
|Donors Cure||Health (General)||Donation-based (non-profit)||8%||USA|
|Funds4Research||Health (Rare Diseases)||Donation-based (non-profit)||n/a||Spain|
|Fiat Physica||Physics & Astronomy||Donation-based||15%||USA|
|FundScience Australia||General||Donation-based (non-profit)||No Fee||Australia|
|FutSci||General||Donation-based (for-profit)||7%||United Kingdom|
|HealthFundr||Health (General)||Equity-based (for-profit)||Variable||USA|
|HealthiosXchange||Health (General)||Equity-based (for-profit)||Variable||USA|
|MyPharmaCompany||Health||Royalty-based (funds specific products)||n/a||France|
|MyProjects||Health (Cancer)||Donation-based (non-profit)||No Fee||United Kingdom|
|Poliwogg||Health & Life Sciences||Equity-based (for-profit)||No Investor Fee||USA|
|Rare Genomics Institute||Health (Rare Diseases)||Donation-based (non-profit)||No Fees||USA|
|Research Funder NI||Health (Cancer)||Donation-based (non-profit)||No Fees||United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)|
|Science Starter||General||Donation-based (non-profit)||n/a||Germany|
|ScienceVest||Life Sciences||Equity-based (for-profit) - accredited investors only||15% carried interest on investments under US$50,000||USA|
|ShareIn||General (Tech & Health)||Equity-based (for-profit)||3%-5%||United Kingdom|
|Sound Affects||Health (Cancer)||Donation-based (non-profit)||10%||USA|
|Springboard Equity||Health||Equity-based (for-profit)||n/a||USA|
|StartACure||Health (Cancer)||Donation-based (non-profit)||5%||USA|
|TechnoFunding||General||Donation-based (for-profit)||5%||United Kingdom|
|Wellfundr||Health||Donation-based + Equity-based (for-profit)||5%||France|
Science Philanthropy News
- At ALS Association, Fundraising Success Begets Fundraising Success – Fundraising momentum from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge persists.
- What a Great Myeloma Initiative – Crowdfunding to Find the CURE! – Interesting new crowdfunding initiative to support myeloma research.
- Young Silicon Valley billionaires pioneer new approach to philanthropy – Chronicles the focus on measurable impact that guides tech leaders’ approach to charitable giving and science philanthropy.
- A Shake-Up as the Financial World Infiltrates Philanthropy – Interesting take on the growing use of donor-advised funds in philanthropy. For an example in science philanthropy, check out Benefunder, which uses a donor-advised fund model to crowdfund scientific research.
- Biggest Gifts of Year Topped by New $1-Billion Foundation – 5 of the top 10 U.S. philanthropic gifts in 2014 went to healthcare initiatives.
Science Funding Trends
- Freezing Out Young Scientists – New research shows the growing funding crunch faced by young scientists and its negative impact on scientific innovation.
- Sex, Startup Investing, and Raising Children: The Future of Health Startup Investing – Great primer by Healthfundr on the value of equity crowdfunding platforms for angel investors.
- Tech Giants Quietly Investing in Synthetic Biology – Why Intel and Microsoft are investing in synthetic biology.
- McKesson launches new venture fund for health care startups – Focus will be on health-tech, analytics, and eHealth solutions.
- Ten years in, California’s stem cell program is getting a reboot – More on the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s efforts to re-brand into CIRM 2.0 with a renewed focus on getting stem cell therapies into the clinic. This may lay the groundwork for a successful ballot initiative to extend CIRM’s funding. My paper in Science and Public Policy shows how important the perception that CIRM would lead to treatments for degenerative illnesses was to Proposition 71’s electoral success.