Australia’s Emerging Start-ups Make a Mark at Digital RESI June

28 May

By Gregory Mannix, Chief Conference Officer, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

Life Sciences Queensland has joined forces with LSN and the RESI conference to move the needle in the life sciences. They are sponsoring a delegation of constituent companies to participate in Digital RESI, as part of their active efforts to advance life sciences in their region.

Aptly titled Australia’s ‘Sunshine State’, Queensland has a globally competitive life sciences sector with significant financial investment and support from the state government to harness the region’s unique capabilities in biomedical R&D and infrastructure.

Government initiatives, like Advance Queensland, are aimed at harnessing the opportunities available in science and innovation to grow and diversify the state’s economy, create jobs, and secure a long-term financial future in the life sciences. As a result, Queensland welcomes a wide array of global start-ups, SMEs and larger companies, to establish business operations in the state and undertake research and clinical trials, by partnering with many world-class universities and research organisations.

Life Sciences Queensland (LSQ) is an industry-led peak body supporting Queensland’s broad life sciences industry. Representing more than 170 industry members, LSQ aims to influence public policy and grow industry businesses to create a dynamic, internationally competitive and sustainable life sciences sector in Queensland. LSQ members forge new frontiers in fields critical to human health, sustainable development and economic prosperity — spanning medical devices and diagnostics, medicines, agricultural and marine biotechnology, animal health and bioenergy.

One of many initiatives by LSQ to nurture the state’s life sciences industry is the LS Catalyst program, run in partnership with Advance Queensland. The program is committed to supporting and growing the entrepreneurial culture and start-up ecosystem in the life sciences sector by providing companies with opportunities at all stages of the innovation spectrum. The program aims to create a unique roadmap with customised solutions for each new start-up or SME through quality access to mentors, training, and introductions to investors and business networks.

Foxo Technology, Nadu and Specialist Airway Solutions are just three participants in the LS Catalyst program to benefit from opportunities to partner with investors and present a pitch at this year’s Digital RESI Virtual Conference. In addition to pitching, LS Catalyst program participants OrthoDx and QHeart Medical will also participate in the conference’s prestigious Innovation Challenge Final.

VP R&D and Quality of QHeart Medical Dr. MadhusudanRao Neeli recently shared his thoughts heading into the conference.

“QHeart Medical is very excited to be part of the RESI Life Science Investment Conference and to have competitively ranked in the top 35 companies for the Innovation Challenge Final,” Dr Neeli said.

A supporter of initiatives aimed at cultivating opportunities for start-ups and small business, LSQ is proud to champion the potential of Queensland’s biotechnology sector to feed, fuel and heal the world through initiatives like the Digital RESI Virtual Conference in 2020.

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Life Sciences Queensland

LSQ is a Member based organisation that is working for the life sciences industry in Queensland. LSQ recognises and supports the Queensland Government’s commitment to work with industry, to build infrastructure and attract world-class individuals to form the basis of a life sciences industry in Queensland. As an industry-led vehicle, which promotes and supports all segments of the life sciences industry, LSQ works to enhance Queensland’s national and international reputation as a centre of commercial and research excellence in life sciences.

Foxo

On average, doctors spend 66 minutes on hold, send and receive 75 emails between staff and their network, and experience missed calls, messages, and errors that impact efficiencies and patient safety every single day. The lack of a wide-reaching collaborative healthcare network continues to lock communication and health information in silos behind primitive systems. Foxo presents national and global health with an interoperable, collaborative platform (desktop/mobile) that enables real-time messaging between clinicians, nurses, teams, departments, and organisations. Built on scalable infrastructure, easy to deploy, and approved by Qhealth, Foxo features the requisite tools, integrations, and workflows required for powerful, fast, borderless clinical communication.

Nadu

Nadu, be nice to your nose! Nadu is a range of self-administered nasal cleaning & medicinal delivery devices that reduces symptoms of respiratory diseases such as chronic sinusiuts, allergic sinusitus, hayfever, cystic fibrosis, influenza as well as removing allergens & air-borne pathogens. The hand-held devices are easy to travel with and provide real-time data to health care professionals such as ENTs, doctors and allergists. The patent-pending capsule technology allows for the delivery of medication and the tracing of dose, frequency and type straight to the Nadu App. The Nadu technology is based on a parallel innovation model; allowing us to develop multiple-time-use devices for the developed world and single-time-use sterile medicinal delivery devices for disaster relief and pandemic management to reduce risk of disease transmission, manage air-quality issues and reduce respiratory infections.

OrthoDx

SynvIchor by OrthoDx is a molecular diagnostic designed to differentiate between sterile and infection causes of joint inflammation. This technology leverages the host immune response to report to the physician whether the cause of the patient’s joint pain is inflammatory or infective. The difference in treatment is significant. This means antibiotics are reserved only for those that need it. The diagnostic is rapid (less than 3hrs) reliable (works in every patient with an intact immune system) and accurate (high negative predictive value).

QHeart Medical

QHeart Medical is a private Australian medical device company developing and commercializing a novel therapy device for highly unserved moderate heart failure. Also referred to as preserved ejection fraction heart failure (HFpEF), this subset of patients represents 40-50% of patients and is a significant unmet clinical need as there are currently no suitable therapies for this patient population. HFpEF patients have increased aortic stiffness by 88% relative to young controls, and increased pulse pressure and heart rate. Our core value is to reduce the high cost of treatment and improve the quality of life for patients suffering from moderate heart failure and we are competitively positioned to serve this need with the BioQ CA disruptive technology. The BioQ CA device has been validated in animal and pilot human testing, has 3 issued and 2 pending patents for global markets, and has an experienced management team and partnership with leading research and manufacturing groups.

Specialist Airway Solutions

Specialist Airway Solutions is developing the D-FLECT deflectable-tip bougie designed to help anaesthetists successfully intubate the difficult airway. The D-FLECT bougie is a novel single-use tracheal tube introducer that can negotiate the highly angled curves of a difficult airway. Upward deflection of the tip allows the bougie to be easily inserted into the trachea to facilitate faster intubation. Successful intubation during anaesthesia or critical care is vital to prevent complications, which can be catastrophic. There is a vast unmet need for an improved introducer as 50 million intubations are conducted annually worldwide, of which up to 30% are considered difficult.

 

Interview with SOLA Biosciences: How They Secured 26 Investor Meetings at Digital RESI April

28 May

Keizo Koya

By Claire Jeong, Vice President of Investor Research, Asia BD, LSN

Claire Jeong

As many of our readers are aware, the LSN team is busily preparing for the upcoming Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference from June 8th – 10th. This will be our third digitally run RESI, and we have been impressed by everyone’s dedication and support for our conferences.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Keizo Koya, CEO of SOLA Biosciences. SOLA Biosciences attended the last digital RESI conference in April and was one of the highest performing companies at the conference with 26 confirmed investor meetings. I was able to learn more about SOLA Biosciences’ proprietary platform technology and hear about the factors that contributed to his success in securing an impressive number of meetings at the last RESI.

Mr. Koya delivers a very positive message and is exemplary of how businesses should be moving forward during these times. We hope you enjoy this read!

Claire Jeong (CJ): Could you briefly introduce SOLA Biosciences and the company’s technology?

Keizo Koya (KK): SOLA Biosciences was established in 2016 based on the research Dr. Akinori Hishiya started working on in 2010. The science he was working on was very fascinating to me, but when I first met him, I was working for a different biotech company, so I spent time with him on weekends to help move the research forward. Very promising data was generated, and we moved the science into Strategia Therapeutics, which is a consulting company I founded in 2012 to start a new, innovative model for drug R&D, and help support Asian-based pharmaceutical companies in the USA. We filed for patents, published research findings in scientific journals, then spun out SOLA Biosciences.

SOLA Biosciences developed a novel, “Engineered Chaperone” technology that can control cellular protein folding of disease-causing proteins. The technology is designed to harness the power of the patient’s own chaperones to repair and prevent protein misfolding. This is a platform technology, as it can potentially be applied for any types of conformational diseases (proteopathies) such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, ALS, and more. We are taking a patient-centric approach and want to use our technology for life-saving therapies.

CJ: How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted your business?

KK: Fortunately, the pandemic has not had a significant impact on our business.  Long before Covid-19, I had wondered whether it was necessary for all of the management team to be in the same location to discuss science and move business forward. I wanted to work with the best people from all over the world in the fields of research, manufacturing, development, etc., Therefore, for a few years I have been using platforms and approaches so that our team can work remotely anywhere in the world.

CJ: What was your initial thought when you heard that RESI shifted to a digital format? Did you have any concerns?

KK: Not at all. I thought it was a good idea. I saw LSN’s summary of the Digital RESI April event on LinkedIn, and it was wonderful to see people all over the world connect in virtual meetings for 48 hours.

CJ: Great! So how many meetings did you have at the last RESI event?

KK: We had 26 meetings in total.  For the people we could not schedule meetings during the conference, we had meetings after RESI.

CJ: Were these meetings with mostly investors, or did you meet with other groups as well?

KK: We focused on investors and pharmaceutical companies for this RESI conference.  Even though we did not have meetings with CRO companies, it is good to learn about them through the RESI list.

CJ: What do you think contributed to your success?

KK: The participants were interested in learning more about our unique technology platform and how it can be applied to conformational diseases such as Alzheimer’s which quite a few investors had interest in.

CJ: How are your follow-up discussions going?

KK: Most of the investors are still reviewing our platform technology and pipelines. Right after RESI, we followed up with all in more detail and we are moving forward under CDAs.  One group kindly let us know that our stage of R&D is still too early for them, which we fully respect their decision.

CJ: Given how the current situation is, it seems like RESI and other conferences will continue digitally. Do you think continuing this Digital RESI provides enough value for companies like SOLA?

KK: Absolutely. Even major conferences like ASCO are also converting to a digital format. The only missing part is actually meeting the people, which gives us an opportunity to get to know them better and show my passion for our projects. Traveling to meet new people and to discuss how to develop the drugs with them is very enjoyable.  But the digital format still provides a good alternative.

CJ: What advice would you like to provide, if any, to fellow entrepreneurs?

KK: I am still in the process of raising funds and continuously learning from fellow entrepreneurs, collaborators, and investors.  The main goal for many startups is to raise money and then exit.  If we find amazing investors/companies to transfer our technology to, who can develop our technology better than we can, then that is certainly the right strategy. It is also good to find collaborators and investors to work together if we can create synergy.  The ultimate goal is to use our technology to help patients. This is all part of a large process of all of us helping patients by doing what we can do well. With an open mind, we will be able to develop a good, long-term relationship with investors and/or collaborators to bring the needed medicine to patients.

Digital RESI June Gold Sponsor: BioHealth Innovation Announces 5 Panels Showcasing Central Maryland’s Vibrant Life Science Environment

28 May

By Bryanna Allison, Business Development Manager, LSN

BioHealth Innovation (BHI), central Maryland’s dynamic tech hub, will showcase its regional life science environment with 5 panels from the BioHealth Capital Region (BHCR). The LSN/BHI alliance works well because the Digital RESI format can increase both the reach of regional tech hubs and their visibility with the RESI global player attendees. Indeed, worldwide players seek technology partnerships with North American regional tech hubs. The 5 panels featured will allow the world to become more acquainted with this dynamic tech hub. Check out the descriptions of these panels below, and the organizations the speakers represent.

Great Investment Opportunities in the BioHealth Capital Region

While we adjust to a Covid-19 world, there continue to be great investment opportunities in the BioHealth Capital Region. Join BHCR CEOs as they make short introductions about themselves and companies. Join CEOs from American Gene Technologies International Inc., miRecule, Adaptive Phage, Healion Bio, KaloCyte, Emocha, Tailored Therapeutics, Inc., DEKA, and Ashvattha Therapeutics, Inc.

Raising Early Stage Capital in Difficult Times

Companies are still working to raise capital while we remain socially distant. Join us as we discuss how to best adjust and continue attracting investors to your business. Moderator, Rich Bendis, Founder, President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, is joined by investment experts from Alexandria Venture Investments, The BioHealth Capital Fund, Boston Millennia Partners, and JP Morgan.

Collaborating for Growth in the BioHealth Capital Region

Being able to collaborate with your business partners is as important today as it ever has been. This panel demonstrates the strong collaboration taking place in the BioHealth Capital Region. Led by Jarrod Borkat, Senior Director, External Partnerships & Collaborations, Emergent BioSolutions, Inc., the panel includes experts from Children’s National Hospital, George Mason University, AstraZeneca, and Immunomic Therapeutics.

International BioHealth Companies Entering the U.S. Market

Also known as “Soft Landing”, the ability for international BioHealth Companies to successfully enter the U.S. market and grow is a constant challenge. Having a partner in the U.S. to help with this process is critical to your business. Moderator, Rich Bendis, Founder, President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, discusses the topic with representatives from BHI, Gentian Diagnostics (Norway), Mimetas (Netherlands), and OnDosis (Sweden).

Advancing your Technology Through Non-Dilutive Grants

Keeping ownership of your company and technology, while raising growth capital, is an important topic for many entrepreneurs. Join our panel led by BioHealth Innovation Inc.’s Managing Director – Economic Development, Judy Costello, as she covers the ins and outs with participants who have successfully navigated these waters. Industry experts from Aperiomics, miRecule, Mimetas, SpineAlign, and TEDCO join the discussion to share their experiences.

Learn more about the Digital RESI – Three Day Conference Registration on June 8-10, 2020 ONLINE.

Hot Investor Mandate: China-Based Enterprise Seeks to Partner with Medtech Companies Across All Stages, with Strongest Interests in Class III Implantable Devices

28 May

A high-tech enterprise headquartered in China focuses on the R&D, manufacturing and sales of implantable medical devices. The firm is actively seeking external opportunities for investment and other types of strategic partnerships. With regards to investment, the firm will generally invest several millions of dollars per deal. The firm is open to global opportunities.

The firm is interested in expanding their business by investing and partnering with medical device companies. The firm is not interested in therapeutics, diagnostics, or digital health. The firm is most interested in Class III implantable medical devices, but will not exclude Class I or II. The firm is open to working with companies across all stages of development.

The firm has 2 main focuses within medical devices, according their stage of development:

(1) Products at early development stage: The firm is open to investing in companies at the idea-level, or those with a prototype that have not yet started clinical trials. In addition to direct equity investment in these stages, the firm is also interested in accelerating the path to market by helping with product development, regulatory and preclinical tests. The firm can act as a lead or co-investor.

(2) Products at later stage: For products that have demonstrated efficacy through clinical trials with patients, the firm is open to exploring beyond direct investment, such as joint venture, licensing, co-development, etc. The firm can provide strategic value to these companies and also assist with China market entry.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com.

Hot Investor Mandate: Newly Established Joint Venture Fund Supports Therapeutics, Devices, and Diagnostics Companies for Up to $20M Investment

28 May

An active life sciences accelerator that funds, supports and advances life science technologies from early development through clinical proof-of-concept recently established a joint venture fund to support early-stage innovation. The firm’s experienced leadership team works with scientists and entrepreneurs to provide active mentorship, financing solutions and operational guidance to increase the probability of success in early drug development. The firm has access to capital to support companies from seed investment through Series A and B financings through the firm’s internal resources and the joint venture fund.

The size of initial seed investment can range from $0.5M to $1.5M. The subsequent Series A investments will be sized to get through preclinical and IND-enabling work and/or through a clinical development study and can range between $8M-$20M, with flexibility to syndicate with investors for larger rounds. For more mature companies that don’t require a seed round or the need to do complete activities/studies prior to a Series A, the fund can invest directly as a Series A investment along with participation in related Series B investments.  Lastly, this new fund is part of the accelerator’s partner’s umbrella of funds, which can support companies in later-stage private/mezzanine/crossover financings, debt financings, and IPO/follow-on public offerings. The firm is open to global opportunities.

The firm and the newly established fund support opportunities across all therapeutic areas and drug modalities (small molecule, peptides, antibodies, genetic technologies, cell therapy, etc.).  Additionally, open to technologies beyond drug therapeutics, including medical devices, diagnostics and emerging healthtech opportunities (digital health, telemedicine, enabling technologies utilizing AI/ML, etc.). Founder and entrepreneur friendly, supportive of first-time CEOs, and works side by side to drive value inflections with the goal to optimize program development and successful outcomes.

The firm is open to working with all types of management teams, including first time entrepreneurs. The firm works hands-on with its portfolio companies by bringing a powerful network, access to resources and expertise to support their growth. The firm prefers to lead but is open to participating with likeminded co-investors to form syndicates.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com.

Hot Investor Mandate: Cross-Border Biotech Sector Fund with Incubator and CRO Businesses Invests in Seed Stage Therapeutics & Diagnostics Companies

28 May

A biotech sector fund with headquarters in China is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments housed by modern laboratories in an artistically designed building. The firm works with top ten largest global pharmaceutical companies and small to medium sized US and Europe-based businesses in studies of gene-to-structure, in vitro and in vivo assays, target ID, ADME, animal models, and more.

The firm can allocate from $200,000 to $800,000 of equity capital in seed round companies and can make investments ranging from $1 to $10 million in series A companies. The firm looks to tailor its incubator and CRO services to the needs of its partners, helping them to reach key value-added milestones. The firm will consider opportunities based in China and North America, companies within a strong China angle involvement is their sweet spot. The firm is actively seeking in-licensing opportunities and plans to make 10-12 investments next year but is flexible.

The firm focuses mostly on therapeutics, while the firm is also open to Diagnostics. The firm can utilize its CRO services to advance portfolio company’s products into or through clinical trials. The firm is currently most interested in small molecule first-in-class drugs. The firm is opportunistic in terms of subsector and indication. For therapeutics, the firm is open to invest from super early-stage to pre-clinical stage. The firm will not invest in Medical Devices Healthcare IT companies.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com.

Hot Investor Mandate: USA-Based VC Firm Invests in Early-Stage Diagnostics and Life Science Research Tools

28 May

A venture capital firm in the USA focuses on early-stage diagnostics, life science research tools, and biotech-related companies. The firm’s target initial investment size is $500K-$1M, and the firm has made one investment so far. The firm prefers to act as the co-investor with other types of investors such as strategic partners. The firm invests in companies that are based in the US. The firm is actively seeking new investment opportunities.

In the life sciences, the firm is currently seeking to invest in early-stage diagnostics, life science research tools, and biotech-related companies. The firm will invest in a limited number of therapeutic opportunities. The firm also has interests in other technology fields. The firm is opportunistic in terms of subsectors and indications. The firm will consider investing in companies that have strong intellectual property protection and provide barriers to competitive entry. The firm also seeks companies with potential large addressable markets, which typically have the potential to generate at least $100M of annual revenues.

The firm seeks a reliable and experienced management team that can bring the concept to market. The firm may take a board seat in applicable cases. The firm aims fundraising CEOs that are driven to deliver exceptional investment returns to both investors and management teams.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email mandates@lifesciencenation.com.

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