Archive | February, 2017

Canvassing Globally, Keep Your Options Open – Preclinical Funding Can Morph to a Licensing Deal

23 Feb

By Lucy Parkinson, Director of Research, LSN

LSN’s Research team casts a very broad net when seeking life science investors. We speak with investors of many different types, including family offices, venture capital firms, major corporations and their VC arms, and venture philanthropy investors; we also look all over the world for investors who are interested in early stage life science deals.

From working with a very diverse crowd of investors and hearing the experiences of LSN’s clients in winning allocations from those investors, we’ve consistently found that it pays to keep your mind open about how to get your asset funded. We’ve noted before that you can’t prescribe reality when raising a round; while you might have an ideal scenario for who you’re going to get a check from and when, many of our clients have been surprised to discover who their company is truly a fit for, and timeframes also often go awry.

The reality is that many, many entrepreneurs will be pitching to the top 20 US VC funds; family offices that invest early are similarly inundated with startup pitches. In addition to these players, there are hundreds of other active investors in your space that it doesn’t make sense to ignore. Many LSN clients have received allocations from investors who were not previously on their radar.

One often overlooked pool of capital is the Asia region, where there are many venture investment firms, family offices and corporations that are looking to the US as a source of breakthrough healthcare technologies. Flexibility is a key element when engaging in dialogue with investors from Asia. Over the past few years, an increasing number of Chinese pharmaceutical corporations have set up US subsidiaries in biotech hubs such as Boston, the Bay Area, and New Jersey. Some of these outposts work strictly on their own R&D programs, while others serve as scouts for new technologies that are not expected to adhere to their core business. In many cases, a talk with the parent corporation might be delegated to its subsidiary leading to a R&D collaboration deal, for example. On the other hand, a talk with the subsidiary can be escalated to the parent corporation for potential joint venture, distribution agreement, or buyout.

It is critical to stay flexible as the negotiation unfolds. Establish a trusted channel of communication through multiple interactions. Try to understand the other party’s decision process that might go through a different structure and at a different pace.

With any strategic investor, it’s important to be open about your goals for the relationship. Many early stage therapeutic companies are largely virtual, with the company primarily centered on one asset, or a platform. In many cases a licensing deal or acquisition might be the most attractive transaction for investors; in some cases an equity stake will be attached to a licensing agreement. In addition to the big pharma corporations themselves, some firms work with certain venture funds or virtual pharma development firms; in these cases, the investment might come from a third party but could be attached to an option for the pharma to buy the asset in the future, once it’s de-risked. So while some entrepreneurs can see themselves developing their asset all the way to market and building a company with a deep pipeline around it, there are other possible outcomes that may be simpler and equally rewarding.

Keeping your mind open to a full range of options is vital when raising capital. It’s important to be flexible on your positioning too, so that you’re equally able to pitch the opportunity in scientific terms and on a business level. It’s also important to be a good listener and to pick up on what kind of pitch, and outcome, an investor is looking for. When you’re heading out on the road, best to set down your preconceptions on who’s out there.

Video: The RESI Conference Series

23 Feb

By James Huang, Research Analyst, LSN


The Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference presents many great opportunities for life science entrepreneurs looking for investors. RESI offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage in 1-on-1 meetings – up to 16 scheduled 1-on-1’s in a day and many additional ad-hoc meetings!

Life Science Nation (LSN) isn’t just RESI though. This video provides an overview of how RESI fits together with LSN’s two other services, the LSN Investor Platform and LSN Company Platform, and also with Boston Innovation Capital (BIC), a registered broker dealer who is a wholly owned subsidiary of LSN.

Come learn about how attending RESI and utilizing our other services can help you find the investors you’re looking for in the video below! Also, be sure to register for RESI on MaRS for a chance to experience how RESI can help you make the connections you need to get the investment you need.


Consumer Health in the Spotlight at RESI on MaRS

23 Feb

By Cole Bunn, Senior Research Analyst, LSN


As we move closer to the second holding of the RESI conference in Toronto at the MaRs Discovery District, we are delighted to make our first panel announcement: Consumer Health Investors.

Desire for greater autonomy in healthcare management/decision-making and healthy lifestyle trends coupled with advances in technology has created investor interest in health solutions that are provided directly to consumers, including the new consumer subsector of digital health. This panel will focus on these investors who are backing technologies that aim to empower consumers to take charge of their health. Given the region’s concentration of these types of startups, Toronto is a fantastic venue for this session exploring the unique opportunities and challenges in this emerging space.

The session will feature the following:

By registering for RESI on MaRS, you’ll be able to listen to the Consumer Health panel live in person, interact with the investors and experience numerous opportunities to expand your network in the life sciences.

Hot Investor Mandate 1: Healthcare & Real Estate Fund Makes Seed-Series B Biotech & Medtech Investments

23 Feb

A holding company with offices in China and the USA aims to serve human healthcare and technological development through high-tech investment and real estate investment. Through its investment arm the firm makes venture investments in healthcare. Typical allocations range from US$1-10 million in companies from Seed to Series B stages. The firm is open to leading or following in a round. The firm is looking for opportunities from US and Canada that have a China angle.

Within healthcare, the firm considers biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, and AR/VR/AI innovations in healthcare. The firm is focused on diseases with large market potential including oncology, infectious disease, diabetes, CNS, and cardiovascular diseases. The firm is opportunistic in terms of stage of development and typically participates in Seed to Series B rounds.

The firm is seeking innovative products and can aid with management, operations, and registration. Leveraging its resources in China, the firm can facilitate distribution in the China market. However, distribution rights are not a requirement for investment.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 2: China VC Raises New Fund For US Life Science Deals

23 Feb

A venture capital firm based in China has over $2 billion in total managed assets in the areas of healthcare, technology and internet, and clean tech.  The firm invests from both a USD fund and an RMB fund, and is raising a new US fund in 2017.  The firm has invested in more than 50 healthcare companies, that span most sectors of life sciences from pharmaceuticals and medical devices to healthcare IT, diagnostics and select healthcare services. The firm intends to lead, co-lead, or co-invest in US-based private companies with equity investments ranging from $3 to $12 million.

The firm is open to many sectors in the life science space – biotech therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and healthcare IT. The firm is most interested in breakthrough products and technologies that address a large unmet need. The firm seeks investments in 510K devices and we will invest in devices in the PMA pathway depending on stage, preferably clinical or later. In therapeutics, the firm is modality-agnostic, but generally seeking opportunities that are past the pre-clinical stage. The firm is also interested in enabling technologies for drug discovery and development, and other healthcare-related technologies in the “digital-health” space.

The firm is seeking to invest in companies with novel ideas and technology and experienced and passionate management. Given the firm’s slogan of “inspiring people with the wisdom to succeed with diligence”, The firm’s team is “hands-on” and typically assumes a board seat after an investment.  Investments in US companies are expected to have upside opportunities in China, and can leverage our China network and expertise.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 3: Advanced Materials Corporation Invests in Drug Discovery Tech, Precision & Cell Based Medicine, IVDs and Medtech

23 Feb

A chemical and polymer manufacturer is vigorously looking to expand its business into life sciences and seeking for inorganic growth vehicles through strategic investments and acquisitions that reinforce the company’s core competencies.

The company is interested in CDMOs for the biologics field and CRO to support new drug discovery process of pharmaceutical industry.  In addition to this, the firm is looking for disruptive technologies in the fields of precision medicine, stem cell biology & cell-based medicine, Microbiome, designed medical devices and In Vitro Diagnostics.

As for CDMO, startups which have unique value proposition for the pharmaceutical industry are of interest. Regarding CROs, the firm is interested in companies based in Europe or North America with positive operating income. For other technologies, the firm would like to contact startups with at least proof of concept and strong IP. The firm is interested in co-development of these technologies, co-distribution of the product offerings and sharing of profit based on the contribution from each player.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 4: China-based Pharma Seeks Early Stage Investments in Drugs, Nutraceuticals and Digital Health

23 Feb

A publicly traded pharma corporation based in China is actively pursuing strategic partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies, natural product producers, universities, hospitals and researchers and developers. The firm considers a board range of strategies including investment, joint venture, acquisition, licensing, and development funding. The firm is looking for opportunities in North America and Europe.

The firm is looking for strategic partnerships in prescription drugs, nutraceuticals, and digital health. Other sectors of interest include healthcare services, children’s health education, and senior care. The firm is open to products at all development stages. Within biopharmaceuticals, the firm takes an opportunistic approach to small molecules, biologics, and other modalities. Within digital health, the firm is looking for products that are complimentary to its pipeline.

The firm is looking to build collaborative partnerships with experienced teams in key strategic sectors. The firm can provide US regulatory expertise, global operation, and distribution channels and clinical trial sites across China.

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