Credit: © Robert Plotz - Fotolia
Investing in Biotech
- Trends Show Crowdfunding To Surpass VC In 2016 – Crowdfunding industry estimated to grow to $34 billion in 2015, as compared to an average of $30 billion per year in venture capital investment and an average of $20 billion annually in angel investment. 2015 estimate for equity crowdfunding is $2.5 billion invested worldwide. Early days yet, but crowdfunding looks set to play a major role in fundraising for new ventures going forward.
- The Equity Crowdfunding Dilemma: Public or Private Fundraising? – Many startups are choosing to take advantage of equity crowdfunding in a private setting by fundraising from a closed group of accredited investors, and are not taking full advantage of the new exemption for public solicitation.
- Top 15 Corporate Venture Funds: – Lists the 15 largest venture funds run by large pharmaceutical companies. The largest is the Novartis Venture Fund, with over $1 billion in committed capital. Big Pharma has increasingly been outsourcing its R&D to biotech startups and academia, typically acquiring the technology once its a fair way down the development pipeline (often after the Phase II trial stage). These venture funds form a key part of that strategy.
- The “risk-narrative” for impact investments – Andrew Wong (formerly of Experiment.com) expands on his risk-based segmentation for impact investments. If equity crowdfunding is going to work for healthcare and biotech, it’s likely going to require significant numbers of accredited investors willing to take on “Catalytic” (i.e., venture philanthropy) and “Venture” impact investments.
- Google Is Now Alphabet, And That Spells Big Things For Healthcare – Why is Google transitioning into a holding company structure? Dan Diamond argues that this new model will facilitate the company’s investments in cutting-edge health technology, including Calico (the biomedical spin-off focused on aging) and Google Ventures, which invested 36% of its dollars in healthcare in 2014.
- First Round 10 Year Project – First Round Capital analyzed the data on the 300 companies and 600 founders it has invested in since 2005, and lists the 10 key findings.
Recent Deals in Biotech
- Gates, Google Join $120 Million Funding for Genome Editing Firm – Editas Medicine, George Church‘s genome editing spinoff gets a huge investment from Bill Gates and Google Ventures, among others, to help further develop the Crispr/Cas9 gene editing technology.
- Despite regulatory troubles, DNA testing firm 23andMe raises more money – 23andMe‘s regulatory dispute with the FDA is in the process of being resolved (it gained its first FDA approval for a genetic test kit earlier this year), and the company has now raised a fresh $80 million, though this is still $70 million short of its $150 million goal for this financing round.
- This Medical Charity Made $3.3 Billion From a Single Pill – Tells the story of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation‘s remarkably successful venture philanthropy model. It parlayed $150 million in financial support for Vertex Pharmaceuticals since the late 1990s into a share of the revenue from Kalydeco (ivacaftor) – the blockbuster CF drug that went on the market in 2013. The foundation recently sold its royalty rights for $3.3 billion, which it has said it will reinvest in more research.
- Aspect Biosystems Announces Seed Funding – Vancouver-based UBC spinoff Aspect Biosystems secures seed funding and announces major deals for its bio-printing technology with two pharmaceutical companies.