By: Erin Bryan
On Thursday, March 30th, MBBP kicked off an Innovations in Life Sciences event at the Cambridge Innovation Center by hosting a panel entitled “Money and Molecules: Early-Stage Life Science Financing“. The panel included Jeffrey Arnold, President & CEO of Arnold Strategies, LLC; Timothy Sullivan, Partner at Aju IB Investment; John Tagliamonte who serves on the Advisory Board of Cocoon Biotech; Caleb Winder, Managing Director of Excel Venture Management; and MBBP’s own John Hession as moderator.
The panel provided a discussion on financing strategies for young life science companies, ranging from how to get in the door with investors to what will make your company attractive for financing. It may be surprising to many, but the entire panel echoed the fact that the financing process will take longer than is generally expected. If available, it is recommended to seek grant and other non-dilutive funding in addition to any equity financing.
The panelists identified a number of factors that they consider when a company is seeking financing, including how well the company has examined the market, identified a regulatory and a reimbursement path, understood the economics of the customer, and filed for patent protection. Additional considerations include how well the company will fit with the portfolio strategy of the investor, and how complete the management team is. Many investors will also be looking to see where in the pipeline the company’s research currently is. In general, investors want to see that the company has at least reached the molecule stage and has some small animal data supporting its research, although exceptions may always be made depending on the strength of the management team, the marketing opportunity, and the science.
These were merely a few of the interesting points discussed by the panel. Save the date for our next life sciences panel “Strategic Alliances: Pot of Gold or Pretty Poison?” (the 4th in the Life Sciences Series), which will be hosted at MBBP’s Waltham office on Friday, April 28. The panel will discuss strategic alliances between big pharma and small biotech.