Posted by: Audrey Erbes | December 2, 2012

Impact of Decreased VC Funding on Future of Biotech Startups?

Luke Timmerman sent out a worrying blog regarding future of Biotech Startups. He did a survey in 5 top clusters to identify the top new startups. Quote I thought it might be hard for people outside of top-tier hubs like Boston and San Francisco to fill in the blanks. But when I circulated the question last week to 12 people who are extremely well-connected in five major U.S. biotech startup clusters, I got very little back in the way of substantive answers. The incomplete responses say everything you need to know about the barren landscape for biotech startups in 2012…Any way you choose to look at it, there is so little money now being put into biotech startups that any rational person has to wonder where the new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics are going to come from in the 2020s and beyond.”

He received listing of  these eight for Boston—Warp Drive Bio, Visterra, Annovation Biopharma, RaNA Therapeutics, Synchroneuron, Neurovance, Alcresta and Rs3 Bioscience. For San Francisco, there were five including: Global Blood Therapeutics, Myokardia, Cerephex, GeneWeave Biosciences, and Atreca. See full article “The Few and the Proud: The Biotech Startup Class of 2012,” Nov. 26, 2012 blog.

His definition of an exciting startup is one that has:

  • Big idea
  • Credible founders
  • At least $5 million in a first-time financing in 2012

Although his survey isn’t very scientific in the methodology used, it still raises concern for future of our industry.

My experience suggests that now that the “amateurs” have left the VC field, those remaining will do much better as they did in the late 1990s. Many experienced professionals in the field agree that there was just too much money chasing too few good deals. If the early startups can get funding through the serious, experienced VCs in our space and new vehicles such as QB3, then the future looks much brighter. Another recent posting supports this opinion.

Highlights: Upcoming Meetings This Week

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Dec. 4, 2012, Topic: “New skills wanted! Reinvent your life science profile to stay in the game;” Speaker: Olivier Roth
  • BayBio, Tuesday Morning, Dec. 4, 2012, Topic: “Novo Nordisk Partner Day: Partnering for innovation in protein-based therapeutics and technologies”
  • Cooley LLP, Tuesday Morning, Dec. 4, 2012, Live Webcast: “Advertising Law: What’s New for 2013 and Beyond?”
  • WIB San Francisco Bay, Wednesday Evening, Dec. 5, 2012, Event: “WIB-San Francisco Bay Area’s Annual Holiday Party”
  • EMBS, Wednesday Evening, Dec. 5, 2012; Topic: “Skin-Inspired Electronic Sheets With Touch, Chemical And Biological Sensors;” Speaker: Zhenan Bao, Department Of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
  • UC Berkeley Extension Course, “Life Science Business Development” (formerly known as Biotechnology Business Development); Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6-7, 2012; Instructor: Audrey S. Erbes; Guest Speakers: Thomas L. Gutshall, Chairman as well as Co-Founder of Cepheid; Harold (Hal) Etterman, MBA, CEO, Knight Financial Plans & Services, LLC; Carolyn Feamster, MBA, a business strategy and analysis consultant; Gilbert R. Mintz, Ph.D., President of GRM Associates; Ginger Dreger, J.D., M.S., Partner in Arnold & Porter LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group; Chris Dokomajilar, Manager, Senior Biopharma Analyst at Deloitte Recap LLC
  • Merrell Datasite, Thursday Morning, Dec. 6, 2012, Topic: “What is a Virtual Data Room;” Speakers: David Yeary, Vice President of Sales-Life Sciences, Merrill DataSite® and Jim Snaza, International Sales and Operations, Merrill DataSite®
  • Pharmaceutical Executive, Thursday Mid Day, Dec. 6, 2012; Event: PwC Webcast: From vision to decision – Pharma 2020
  • VC Task Force, Thursday Evening, Dec. 6, 2012, Event: “Life Sciences Investor Pitch;” Moderator: Meredith L. Warshaw, PhD, CSO, Molecular Image and Chair, Life Sciences, VC Taskforce; Panelists:  Klaus Hambuschen, The Angels’ Forum , Don Ross, Health Tech Capital, Jose Bolanos, MD Foundry, Benjamin Pensak, Morgan Lewis
  • Medtech Frontiers, Thursday Evening, Dec. 6, 2012, Topic: “The Role of the Research Commons in Clinical Research;” Speaker: John Wilbanks, Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetworks and a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • UC Berkeley BioExec Institute, December 6-7, 2012, Program: Module C: Growing Value
  • CACO, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, Topic: “Biomarkers: overview and applications in clinical trials and clinical molecular diagnostics,” Speaker: Ann Kapoun (Oncomed)

Upcoming UC Berkeley Life Science Courses

  • UC Berkeley Extension Course, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6-7, 2012; Course: “Life Science Business Development,” (formerly known as Biotechnology Business Development); Instructor: Audrey S. Erbes; Guest Speakers: Thomas L. Gutshall, Chairman as well as Co-Founder of Cepheid; Harold (Hal) Etterman, MBA, CEO, Knight Financial Plans & Services, LLC; Carolyn Feamster, MBA, a business strategy and analysis consultant; Gilbert R. Mintz, Ph.D., President of GRM Associates; Ginger Dreger, J.D., M.S., Partner in Arnold & Porter LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group; Chris Dokomajilar, Manager, Senior Biopharma Analyst at Deloitte Recap LLC

Dates and Time: Thursday and Friday, Dec. 6-7, 2012; 8:30 am – 5:00 pm for intensive classroom sessions and balance of term for working on term project with assist of access to Deloitte Recap Explorer and BioCentury; Location: Downtown University of California, Berkeley Extension, 425 Market St., 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105; Cost: Fall term—fee: $895, (EDP 408294). Register at http://extension.berkeley.edu/catalog/course2005.html

  • UC Berkeley Extension, Thursday Evenings, Feb. 14-28, March 7-14 and 28, 2013;  Topic: “Life Science Product Marketing;” Instructor: Audrey S. Erbes, Ph.D.; Guest Speakers: Deb Donovan, Director of Marketing at Avantis Medical Systems; Christian Schuler, Partner, Simon Kucher; Stanley Skrzypczak, M.S., M.B.A., SeniorDirector, Commercial Development, Genomic Health; Charles Versaggi, President, Versaggi Biocommunications; Steven Wong, Senior Consultant, Plan A

Dates and Time: Thursday evenings, Feb. 14-28, March 7-14 and 28, 2013; 6:00 – 9:00 pm; Location: UC Berkeley Extension, 1301 Shoreway Road, Suite 400, Belmont, CA 94002; Fee: (Fee and EDP number to be announced in December—fee was $695 in 2012); See more details and register at http://extension.berkeley.edu/catalog/course135.html in early December.

You can download the details for these events as well as others through Feb. 2013 by right clicking on Audreys Picks Dec. 2, 2012.

You can download the  JobsThatCrossedMyDesk Dec. 2, 2012 by right clicking on the highlighted title. This list also includes jobs listed during the previous two weeks.

Audrey

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