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Fundraising CEOs and Scientist/Entrepreneurs Need To Be This Good

16 May

By Dennis Ford, Founder & CEO, Life Science Nation; Creator of RESI Conference Series

I recently interviewed Rick Berenson, CEO of Thermalin, a well-known global entrepreneur based in Boston. Thermalin has partnered with Sanofi and has a potentially breakthrough solution for a non-refrigerated insulin entering clinical trials within the next year. These non-refrigerated insulin products are getting closer to addressing the logistical cold chain issues associated with the most prevalent drug worldwide. In this interview Rick talks about what his tactics and strategies are in raising Thermalin’s series B round. Here is a minute-long clip that nets out his message,

Rick Berenson CEO, Thermalin Interview

Or click here to see one minute preview

This interview highlights what a well versed competent CEO sounds like telling the story of his company, team and product…this is great stuff! I encourage all fundraising CEOs and scientist/entrepreneurs to listen and  learn from Rick and how he positions his company to the marketplace.

In my recent series the Entrepreneur Elucidated, I have been writing about finding your entrepreneurial voice, making your story cogent and coming across as authentic. All of this makes for a compelling pitch, which leads to a dialogue that fosters a relationship on the road to capital allocations. Getting your Story Straight, Finding Your Voice, and The Battle of Balancing Authenticity.

Panel Announcement – Medical Device Investors Panel @ RESI Philadelphia

16 May

By Claire Jeong, Director of Research, Asia BD, LSN

claireRESI Philadelphia is less than 3 weeks away, and as with all of our previous conferences we will be featuring the “Medical Device Investors” panel. Out of the 4 main sectors represented at RESI (therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health), medical devices are the second most dominant. The types of technologies can range from novel biomaterials for various applications including drug delivery systems and tissue engineering, surgical devices with high potential to disrupt currently available procedures and standards of care, home-use devices that can be used by patients outside a professional care facility, etc.

The investors who will be at RESI bring forth various perspectives and strategies on investing in and partnering with medtech companies. Given the early-stage focus of RESI, we even see investors and strategic partners who welcome partnering meetings with those as early as pre-prototype. Here are the 5 panelists who will be joining the Medical Device Investors Panel at RESI Philadelphia:

  • Ibraheem Badejo, Sr. Director, New Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Matthew Cohen, Director of Technology, Pangaea Ventures
  • Ronald Dorenbos, Head, Innovation Management & Scouting, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
  • Bryan Grulke, Partner, Volcano Capital
  • Shahram Hezaji, Partner, BioAdvance

The panel will run from 2:00 – 2:50 pm on the day of RESI Philadelphia, Monday, June 3rd, 2019. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Ibraheem Badejo, Sr. Director, New Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Ibraheem (Ib) leverages his expertise in smart materials and biomaterials to support the medical device sector of Johnson & Johnson. From 2010 to 2013, Ib was a Research Fellow at Global Surgery Group of Johnson & Johnson, where he was responsible for external and front-end innovations and intellectual property for Ethicon Biosurgery. Previously, he was the Chief Scientist of Closure Medical Corp, and has held positions at Bayer, North Carolina State University, and the College of Charleston. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University.

Ibraheem has led teams in the development of biomaterials-based products and new technology / products licensed or acquired. Ib received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Toledo. Ib received the Science Alumni Award, Avila University in 2014.  Ib is also the recipient of 24 US patents, and is well published in many peer reviewed journals.

Matthew Cohen, Director of Technology, Pangaea Ventures

Matthew Cohen brings experience and a passion for working with advanced materials and medical devices in both industry and academia. Prior to joining Pangaea Ventures, Matthew worked in established and startup companies involved in printed electronics utilizing nanotechnology, biotechnology, and environmental bioremediation. He performed various functions that included R&D, business development, product development, customer technical support, and international launch strategy creation while gaining valuable start-up understanding.

Matt holds an MPhil in Micro- & Nanotechnology Enterprise from the University of Cambridge and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BSE in Materials Science & Engineering.

Ronald Dorenbos, Head, Innovation Management & Scouting, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Ronald is Head of Innovation Management & Scouting at Takeda as well as Associate Director at Takeda’s Materials & Innovation team, a group that scouts for new technologies related to drug delivery and biomaterials. During his appointment at the Life Science division of PA Consulting Group, a British Consulting firm, Ronald led projects for some of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies around strategy, commercialization and digital health. At his company BioFrontline he provides management, strategy and commercial advice to life science companies around the world. Ronald received MAs in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology and after obtaining a PhD in Pharmaceutical Biology spent six years at Harvard to study Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia and the genetics of aggressive behavior before making the transition to industry. Ronald is a keen follower of developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and regularly invited as speaker to present on topics related to pharma, healthcare and AI.

Bryan Grulke, Partner, Volcano Capital

Bryan Grulke is a Partner at Volcano Capital, an early stage health care venture capital firm based in New York City.  Volcano Capital focuses on the medical device sector and has made 15+ investments to date.  Prior to joining Volcano Capital, Mr. Grulke worked as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company and in the corporate strategy group at Philips International. Mr. Grulke graduated from Harvard Business School and Duke University, summa cum laude with a BS degree in Economics.

Shahram Hezaji, Partner, BioAdvance

Shahram Hejazi, Ph.D., is a life science investor & entrepreneur. Over his 25+ year career, Shahram has invested and/or directed more than two dozen startups.  Since 2008, he has been a Partner with BioAdvance, where he serves on the Boards of 6 portfolio companies and is responsible for leading investments in medical devices, diagnostics, digital health. Shahram has also been on the faculty of Princeton University, since 2014. Previously, Shahram was the president of Kodak’s life science division, and before that, he was the founding CEO of Zargis Medical Corporation (a Siemens’ spin off). Prior to that, Shahram was the Global Head of the Strategic Business Development at Siemens Medical. Shahram is also the Chairman of the advisory board of Integral Molecular Inc., and the Chairman of PPDC at CHOP. Shahram has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and an executive business education.

Check out the Agenda and Speaker Spotlight for 2019 Taiwan Biotech Forum

16 May

By Jessica Yang, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

The 2019 Taiwan Bio Forum is coming up on June 2nd! The forum will include some of the leading minds in innovative emerging biotechnologies within medical AI, regenerative medicine and the microbiome.

This event will feature more than 20 speakers, including experts from the biologics giant Regeneron, leading seed stage capital provider Ben Franklin Technology Partners, and next-generation AI solution builder Graphen. Join leading professionals in Philadelphia for business insights into the latest wave of advanced technology shaping the face of modern-day therapy.

Take a look at the agenda and the speaker spotlight:


Dr. Andrew E. Mulberg, Head, Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc.

Andrew E. Mulberg is currently the Head, Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs of Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. which focuses on rare disease drug development. He is the former Division Deputy Director of Gastroenterology and Inborn Errors Products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2010.

Andrew is Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine ,Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Dr. George Yancopoulos, Founding Scientist, President & Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron

George D. Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, has built and managed Regeneron alongside Dr. Schleifer since 1989. Dr. Yancopoulos is currently President and Chief Scientific Officer and has served on the board since 2001.

Dr. Yancopoulos, along with key members of his team, is the principal inventor of Regeneron’s six FDA-approved drugs and foundational technologies, including the TRAP technology, VelociGene® and VelocImmune®. He has been named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

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