By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, LSN
According to many pundits at conferences and across the internet, venture capital firms in the life science space have been shifting to later-stage investments. Despite significant activity among the other categories of life science investors, industry chatter still seems to be caught up with venture activity. However, when you take into consideration the full spectrum of investors that LSN tracks, the majority of investor interest is focused on companies with assets that are pre-clinical or in Phase I of clinical trials. But wait, there’s more! In this article we’ll be taking a look at data from the LSN Investor Database to highlight the case.
The chart below shows data from an export of the 1,000 most recently updated LSN investor profiles from the LSN Investor Platform with a stated preference in terms of development phase. It is clear that the overwhelming majority of these profiles have an orientation towards emerging companies with pre-clinical or Phase I companies.
The chart below further validates this orientation towards early stage investments. It shows the distribution of 315 investors who have expressed their development phase preferences through a 1-on-1 conversation with LSN researchers.
This stands in clear contrast to what is often cited as the overwhelming trend in the space. It is often claimed that investors are shying away from the early stage segment of the life science marketplace. However, most of the time, those who are pointing out this trend are referring to the venture firms who have moved further down the development pipeline or left the space. The remaining categories of investors seem to have moved to fill this gap, and the data validates this trend.
When you begin to look closely at the foundations, family offices, venture philanthropies, virtual pharma, mid-level private equity, patient groups, hedge funds, government organizations, angel groups and various corporate venture capital firms that are also investing, the landscape improves for early stage life science companies.
The advice remains the same – be open to all categories of investors, do your research, and identify those that are the best fit for your sector, indication, and phase. This is the basis of a successful fundraising campaign in today’s investor landscape.