Archive | September, 2015

RESI Innovation Challenge Winners Announced

17 Sep

By Nono Hu, Senior Manager, Branding & Messaging, LSN

Nono 2

Yesterday, the sixth Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference was held at the Westin Copley Place, Boston. Featuring approximately 200 investors, 250 biotech, medtech and healthcare IT entrepreneurs, and 130 service providers, this event is the biggest RESI ever.

In the exhibit hall, 30 of the most innovative early stage life science companies at the event were chosen to participate in a virtual investment contest – The RESI Innovation Challenge, showcasing cutting-edge life science technologies in poster displays and competing to raise the most RESI Cash. Without further ado here are the top 3 contestants!

First Prize Winner: Rna Diagnostics

Rna Diagnostics is commercializing the RNA Disruption Assay (RDA™) to address the serious problem of over-treatment of cancers with ineffective chemotherapy. RDA accurately assesses effectiveness of chemotherapy in real-time. Chemotherapy effect is assessed as early as 14 days after therapy initiation by quantifying tumour RNA disruption. High RNA disruption is strongly correlated with pathological complete response and enhanced long term disease free survival. RDA assesses treatment efficacy of conventional and targeted cancer drugs in breast cancer. RDA is delivered as a lab developed test service. No FDA approval required. Collaborations and prospective trials of RDA in multiple cancers are underway / planned in North America, Europe & Asia. RDA provides patients with improved outcomes while reducing cost for healthcare payers.

As a first prize winner, Rna Diagnostics will receive complimentary subscription to the LSN Investor Platform.

Alejandro Zamorano, Director of Business Development, LSN | John Connolly, VP Corporate Development, Rna Diagnostics | Michael Quigley, Director of Research, LSN


Second Prize Winner: KIYATEC

KIYATEC prioritizes accurate ex vivo prediction of patients’ drug response, focused primarily on data correlation to human clinical outcomes. Our drug response profiling services utilize phenotypic 3D cell-based models for predicting patient response. KIYATEC’s 3D perfusion tissue microenvironments are particularly useful for investigating efficacy and modeling resistance of cancer therapeutics.

As a second prize winner, KIYATEC will receive two complimentary RESI tickets.

Alejandro Zamorano, Director of Business Development, LSN | Todd Haim, Program Director, SBIR Development Center, NCI | Matthew Gevaert, CEO, KIYATEC | Bryce Chaney, Senior Director of BD, KIYATEC | Michael Quigley, Director of Research, LSN


Third Prize Winner: Synthonics

Metal coordination, or attaching a metal to an active agent to control its absorption and release, represents a significant advance in drug delivery and development. It is a powerful, flexible and elegant means to create a new generation of safer and more effective patent protected drugs (“MCPs”). In addition to imparting a range of desired characteristics, metal coordination enjoys significant regulatory advantages. MCPs of approved drugs are eligible for approval under section 505(b)(2), which allows for faster and less expensive drug development. Moreover, they are patentable as new compositions of matter even if the parent molecule is well known. Synthonics intends to begin human trials in 2016 on its controlled release formulations of levodopa for Parkinson’s disease and liothyronine (T3) for hypothyroidism.

As a third prize winner, Synthonics will receive one complimentary RESI ticket.

Alejandro Zamorano, Director of Business Development, LSN | John Borling, Board Member, Synthonics | Michael Quigley, Director of Research, LSN

Congratulations! We hope to see you at RESI San Francisco on January 12, 2016.

Life Science Nation and MaRS Collaborate with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS to Host RESI Conference in Toronto

17 Sep

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, LSN 

Dennis book

BOSTON-September 16, 2015 – Life Science Nation (LSN) and MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) are collaborating with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS) to bring the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference to Toronto on June 23, 2016.

The RESI Conference series brings together fundraising CEOs and early stage investors from around the globe, providing the opportunity for dialogue and relationship building, with the goal of eventual capital allocations.

“MaRS supports over 250 Canadian-grown early stage health technology startups,” said Dr. Zayna Khayat, Lead, MaRS Health. “Our goal is to provide these young emerging ventures with the best connections to investors and industry to help them scale internationally. The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series has a strong track record of attracting global early stage investors. We’re delighted to bring them to MaRS in 2016 to build on the success of our HealthKick conferences and support new technologies that will achieve better health outcomes.”

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, MaRS, the Ontario Government, University of Toronto and other collaborators announced last week that JLABS will be opening its first ex-U.S. incubator in Toronto. Called JLABS @ Toronto, the site is expected to open in the Spring of 2016. JLABS @ Toronto, MaRS and RESI will connect cutting-edge health technologies with a broad audience of investors and industry leaders including: angel syndicates, family offices/private wealth firms, corporate venture capitalists, venture philanthropy groups, foundations and endowments, pharmaceutical companies, mid-level private equity firms, government organizations, and venture capital investors.

“The MaRS Centre in Toronto represents the 4th venue for our North American RESI Conference series. Now fundraising CEOs and scientist entrepreneurs can meet investors every 90 days – Boston in September (RESI Boston), San Francisco in January (RESI @ JPM), Houston in April (RESI @ TMCx) and now Toronto in June (RESI on MaRS),” said Dennis Ford, CEO of LSN and creator of the RESI Conference Series. “Fundraising is essentially a numbers game and the entrepreneur needs to get in front of as many investors as possible. Having as many as 20 investor meetings every 90 days can dramatically help with funding in the healthcare arena.”

Speakers and participating health ventures will be announced in early 2016.

About Life Science Nation

Life Science Nation (LSN) accelerates the funding of early stage life science firms through its sourcing platform for private investment and enables CEOs to be more efficient in their capital-raising efforts. LSN owns and operates the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series.

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District in Toronto is the one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs supporting a new generation of makers and innovators who aim to make the world a better place by creating solutions that address key societal challenges. It is a community that encourages entrepreneurial thinking through education programs and events, and helps start-ups launch, grow and scale. MaRS supports over 1,000 ventures.


PR Contacts: Nono Hu

Marketing/PR Manager, Life Science Nation

(617) 580-5011

Lara Torvi

MaRS Discovery District

(416) 673-8100

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 1: New $100 Million Fund Invests In Regenerative Medicine Globally

17 Sep

An investment and advisory firm with representatives in California, Boston, and London is managing a $100 million fund focused on regenerative medicine. The firm is looking to build a portfolio of 10-12 early stage regenerative medicine companies, investing up to $10 million per deal with an initial investment of $1-3 million. The firm prefers to lead investments, though is willing to co-invest. A government agency will provide due diligence and commercialization support to the fund’s portfolio companies. The firm invests globally in regenerative medicine.

The fund focuses exclusively on regenerative medicine, including stem cells, cell therapies, immunotherapies, and tissue engineering. The firm is interested in therapeutics, and is actively looking at several immunotherapies, such as those involving T-cells, dendritic cells, and/or checkpoint inhibitors. The firm is open to any indication in the therapeutic space, as long as the underlying regenerative medicine technology is robust, and has demonstrated efficacy that is not incremental, but rather a dramatic change in the way the disease is currently treated. The firm invests in early projects, primarily from the pre-clinical stage through Phase II.

The firm is looking for compelling regenerative medicine technologies, and is prepared to build or augment the management team and/or board of a company, if necessary.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 2: China-Based VC Seeks Early Stage Life Science Companies in the US & China

17 Sep

A China-based venture capital founded in 2006 has invested in nearly 50 healthcare companies in China and the U.S. across all sectors of life sciences from pharmaceuticals and medical devices to healthcare IT and diagnostics. The firm typically leads investments, though is also open to co-investing. The firm typically makes equity investments ranging from $1-$35 million, and currently has $1.7 billion in total assets under management, with their latest fund raised in 2014 at $500 million. The firm seeks to make 20-30 new investments within the next year in China and the USA.

The firm is open to all sectors and subsectors in the life science space – biotech therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and healthcare IT. The firm mostly invests in 510K devices due to its faster turnaround, but will also invest in devices in the PMA pathway depending on its stage. In therapeutics, the firm is interested in all subsectors including small molecule, biologics, cell therapy, and biosimilars. The fund invests in therapeutics that are past the pre-clinical stage at Phase I to on the market, as well as medical devices that are either at the clinical stage or on the market. The firm is also interested in lab equipment and drug development enabling technologies, and is open to all indications.

The firm prefers a company with a strong management team with experience in the space. The firm will help the company fill spaces in the team if necessary, and will typically take a board seat after an investment.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 3: Taiwan-Based Firm Seeks Therapeutic Opportunities In US, EU, Canada

17 Sep

A venture capital firm founded in 1988 and headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan is currently investing from its fourth fund of US$27 million that was closed in 2013. Traditionally the firm has been focused on Taiwan-based assets but is now seeking new opportunities from North America and the EU.

Within life sciences, the firm is interested in therapeutics including small molecules, biologics, cell therapy, and gene therapy. The firm is agnostic in terms of indications. The firm prefers early stage assets that have obtained proof-of-concept data in animal models or clinical trials. The firm also considers healthcare services such as hospice and hemodialysis centers.

The firm is looking for competent management teams with sector expertise. After investment, the firm seeks to play an active role in Taiwan-based businesses or to take minority stake in overseas businesses.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

Hot Life Science Investor Mandate 4: Middle East Firm Seeks Early-Stage Medical Devices

17 Sep

A holding company founded in 1962 and based in the Middle East invests in healthcare via an evergreen fund. The firm is a long term equity investor, and prefer to make their first investments into a company in early financing rounds. The firm’s allocations are therefore highly varied in size, from $100,000 to over $40 million throughout the life of an investment; financing is typically provided in tranches with milestone payments. The firm is generally a lead investor, and prefers to take a sizeable minority stake in a portfolio company (20% or more). The firm has the ability to invest globally but focuses on opportunities in Europe and the Middle East. The firm is highly selective regarding investment opportunities.

The firm invests across the medical device sector; the firm is open to considering the full range of device technologies and indications, including both diagnostic devices and devices with a therapeutic purpose. The firm is only interested in devices with the potential to target large markets and create new markets within healthcare; niche products are not of interest.

The firm works alongside medical device incubators, and is open to working with companies as early as the pre-prototype stage. The firm typically exits opportunities at or prior to commercialization stage, so in general market-stage companies are not of interest.

If you are interested in more information about this investor and other investors tracked by LSN, please email

RESI Kicks off in 6 Days – Check out the Program Guide!

10 Sep

By Nono Hu, Senior Manager, Branding & Messaging, LSN

Nono 2

With 6 days left until RESI Boston 2015, LSN is pleased to announce that this event is the largest RESI since its first kickoff. We have over 550 meetings booked through the RESI Partnering Platform, and have registered nearly 180 early stage investors and more than 400 emerging life science entrepreneurs. As our largest event yet, we have increased your odds of making a compelling connection.

Check out the RESI Program Guide with the schedule of a full day of panels, workshops, and partnering! We hope to see you on September 16 at the Westin Copley Place, Boston.