Any molecule early in development is not yet an asset, but it is already a “cash burner.”
Yesterday, RE:INVENTION attended Prescience International‘s “Catalyzing Life Science Startups” event at San Diego’s Janssen Labs. Moderator Diego Miralles, Head of the Janssen R&D West Coast Research Center and Janssen Healthcare Innovation, led a rockstar panel comprised of Rowan Chapman (Mohr Davidow Ventures), David Coats (Correlation Ventures), Anand Mehra (Sofinnova Ventures), and Pratik Shah (Thomas, McNerney & Partners). It was a sell-out event — not uncommon for the Prescience International team. They’ve already established a proven life science research center and incubator innovation business model with the San Jose Biocenter.
Noteworthy attendees? Ruprecht von Buttlar (CONNECT). Chris Steinhardt (a Partner at Knobbe Martins). Bright folks from Big Pharma (no surprise: big pharma + small biotech company = perfect marriage. The small biotech company gets money to fund development of its breakthrough technology and the large pharmaceutical company gets a blockbuster product).
We were excited to learn more about the evolution of biosciences venture funding, particularly since venture financing for biotech and life sciences has been in decline due to the global financial crisis and poor returns from stock offerings. We fondly recalled Paul Singh’s recent tweet: “VCs 5 years ago: “how do you make money?” VCs today: “how do you acquire customers?”
Ironically, not one of the VCs on the Prescience panel mentioned customers. Not once.
What the panel DID discuss…
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