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Meet with Life Science Nation @ BioJapan

26 Sep

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

claireThe Life Science Nation team is continuing active preparations for our inaugural RESI Shanghai and Taipei conferences in November 12th and 14th, respectively. We are also excited to announce that we will be attending BioJapan and Regenerative Medicine Japan at the Yokohama Pacifico from October 9th – 11th. With over 1,000 organizations from around 34 countries expected to attend, we look forward to meeting a wide range of groups including startups, research universities, large pharmaceuticals, among others.

Creating a global ecosystem for early stage healthcare funding has always been the core business objective of LSN since inception – with RESI’s expansion into Europe earlier this year and the upcoming events in Asia, our global network is only getting stronger. Japan boasts the second largest pharmaceutical and medical device markets in the world, and the startup ecosystem is continuing to grow with the support of groups like Life Science Innovation Network Japan (LINK-J), who are actively working to foster open innovation. With close to 320,000 patent applications filed in 2018 (ranking third in the world), Japan continues to be in the forefront of promoting novel innovation – translating this into new company creation among other effective commercialization strategies would be key to the industry’s growth.

Japan – Life Science Cluster Map (source: JETRO, a full chart with detailed descriptions is available here)

In terms of RESI, a significant number of global pharmaceuticals headquartered in Japan have been regularly attending RESI for years, seeking promising technologies for licensing and partnership. We have also seen a steady increase in the number of startups and service providers attending the conferences to seek new business opportunities. LSN looks forward to creating new relationships with leading industry players in Japan, as well as continuing existing relationships with groups that support our activities.

If you are attending BioJapan and interested in meeting, please feel free to contact me at

VIDEO – Medical Device BD Experts Provide Advice to Early Stage Entrepreneurs

26 Sep

By Lucy Parkinson, VP of Investor Research, LSN

Just like major pharma firms, large medical device corporations are increasingly looking to early stage startups for innovative technologies to bolster their pipelines.  At RESI Boston, four experienced business development executives from the medtech world gathered for a panel to explain how they invest strategically in new technologies.

Moderated by Geoff Dacosta (Director, Business Development and Licensing – Medtronic), the panelists were George Russo (VP, Strategic and Business Development – Hologic), James Kaiser (Director of Venture Capital – HOYA Corporation), and Nick Morwood (Director of Business Development – Philips Healthcare).

While some entrepreneurs might see strategic investors as untethered from the crowd, the panelists noted that they’re affected by the activities of other types of investors such as VCs.  George Russo said that while Hologic doesn’t have an investment fund, they can work alongside startup partners at key stages when capital is hard to come by. “The last mile in medtech – from FDA approval to the marketplace – is where it’s hardest to find investment, and some companies fall into this chasm.”

Nick Morwood discussed the importance of having the right investors at an early stage.  He noted that early stage companies are finding more creative ways to get funded, such as by healthcare systems (Geoff Dacosta also mentioned family offices as an emerging source of investment dollars for medical device startups).  While it can be helpful to have an early investor like a health system that can act as a partner, early adoptor and tester of the technology, it would be a mistake to build too closely to one customer’s specifications rather than addressing a broad market.  James Kaiser also mentioned this issue, saying that it’s important to only take on sophisticated investors who can help your company develop and provide experience and connections that will carry you forward.

One problem Geoff highlighted is that an awful lot of medtech entrepreneurs are interested in talking to a big strategic, but don’t know how best to start that conversation.  Nick stressed the importance of knowing the corporation that you’re targeting; of the early stage companies that reach out to him every day, for many it’s difficult for Nick to understand how they will fit into Philips’ portfolio.  It is helpful if the entrepreneurs do their research and can tell the story of how their product will fit.  Nick suggested that entrepreneurs look at a corporation’s annual reports and new product releases in order to build a story of how their product could be strategically relevant.

George agreed, saying that while early stage science is interesting, that’s where it ends unless you can establish a business relationship.  “Firstly, IP must be buttoned up.  Secondly, you must understand the regulatory path for your product, and preferably have already spoken to the FDA.  Third, you must have a business case that includes a strategy for payment and reimbursement.”

Geoff also asked the panel to describe their expectations for what a company needs to have in place before they reach out – not just from a development perspective, but administratively?  “Rational market projections,” James replied.  “Don’t just say ‘We have a $1 billion market’ – go deeper.  I want to see a rational dive into medial economics and reimbursement.”  To that point, George wants companies to know how their procedure will be coded, and what the current level of reimbursement is.

Investors also raised their appreciation for concise pitches.  “I want a high level deck, not 40 pages of slides that depict the science,” George said.  Nick stressed the importance of having a page in your deck that describes your regulatory and quality control strategy, as both the FDA and Philips’ due diligence process will require attention to these issues.

The final question Geoff put to the panelists was a simple one, which might surprise some entrepreneurs: “Sales vs clinical data – which do you invest in?”  All four investors said that clinical data was their primary focus for assessing an early stage startup, not sales traction.  As Nick pointed out, these corporations already have strong sales teams that they can leverage to sell a new product.  VCs, on the other hand, often focus on sales figures when making medtech investments.  The investors all agreed that for their firms, it was more important to invest in a clinically meaningful asset.

If you missed the panel at RESI, you can watch it here now!  Thank you to all our panelists for participating.


Life Science Nation Collaborates with McDermott Will & Emery to Host the Inaugural RESI Asia Conference

19 Sep

By Gregory Mannix, Vice President International Business Development, LSN

The Creation of a Global Fundraising Superstructure

Life Science Nation (LSN) is collaborating with McDermott Will & Emery (McDermott) to bring the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference to Asia for the first time. McDermott is a co-sponsor of RESI Asia and will be hosting the global law firm’s 3rd Annual Shanghai Life Sciences Symposium during the RESI Shanghai Event.  The McDermott Symposium will cover hot legal topics in the life sciences and health industries, including international investment, regulatory frameworks in the US and Europe, IP and data protection and “Key Legal Issues on Cross-Border M&A Transactions”. McDermott will invite industry leaders and the program will feature more than a dozen leading attorneys who specialize in the life sciences and healthcare from the US, Europe and China.

RESI Asia will be comprised of RESI Shanghai, taking place on November 12th at the Ritz-Carlton Pudong, and RESI Taipei, taking place on November 14th at the Taipei International Convention Center. These new events, combined with RESI San Francisco, RESI Europe, RESI Philadelphia and RESI Boston in 2019, create a global superstructure for funding early stage assets across the silos of drugs, devices, diagnostics and digital health. This allows fundraising CEOs, investors and channel partners to meet every few months and form global relationships with partners who fit their strategic interests.

Dennis Ford, CEO of LSN and creator of the RESI Conference Series, said that “McDermott has been a longtime partner with LSN.  McDermott was one of our biggest supporters when we launched RESI 6 years ago. Over the years, the partnership has grown to be very complementary to the LSN & McDermott early-stage life science strategies. Together, we have expanded our businesses across the U.S., Europe and now Asia.”

“We are pleased to work with our longtime partners at LSN on our third annual Shanghai Life Sciences Symposium, to be held this year as part of the first-ever RESI Shanghai,” said Michelle Gon, a McDermott Partner stationed in Shanghai .  “This collaboration will provide life sciences companies and funds in China, Europe and the US with the strategies and connections that they need to attract investment resources and grow.  We look forward to this jointly organized event on November 12th in Shanghai, and to co-sponsoring RESI Taipei two days later on November 14th.”

The Asia region has become more central to life science innovation and investment over the last several years. LSN plans to bring fundraising CEOs and investors from outside of Asia who have an interest in accessing the vast Asian marketplace, whether to take advantage of clinical trials or get new products into the key Asian markets. Taipei is a technology leader in nanotechnology, robotics and custom silicon chip monitoring and control devices that will change the fabric of the healthcare world. LSN aims to open up the Asia Pacific to our North American and European constituents fostering partnerships and investment syndicates resulting in new global alliances.

About Life Science Nation

Life Science Nation (LSN) is a global partnering ecosystem that allows early-stage companies with compelling technology assets to get plugged into the early-stage investor and channel partner’s radars with minimal cost and a big ROI. LSN is a global matching platform for early-stage buyers and sellers across the domains of Drugs, Devices, Diagnostics and Digital Health – the “4 Ds”. LSN curates two databases: a buy-side of global cross-border early-stage investors/partners and a sell-side of global cross-domain technology assets. LSN also offers a sourcing and ranking service for clients who need to source and rank technology assets for channel, pipeline and portfolio development. LSN owns and operates the Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) conference series, a funding superstructure that runs five times a year during J.P. Morgan in San Francisco (January), alongside BIO Europe (March), alongside BIO U.S (June), Boston (September) and Asia in Shanghai and Taipei (November). LSN also owns and operates the Focus on Cures Accelerator (FOC) that provides international startups a Boston-based footprint and helps them develop and execute a global investor and channel partner strategy. Learn more at

About McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott’s global Life Sciences team fuels the mission of life sciences companies, leveraging a purpose-built and dedicated group of lawyers with demonstrated strengths across intellectual property, regulatory, transactional, employment and litigation law. Combining industry leadership and passion for the work they do – and leveraging the Firm’s deep health care experience – team members are routinely listed as “Life Sciences Stars” by LMG Life Sciences. Additionally, the Firm’s Life Sciences Intellectual Property team was ranked as a leading US practice in Life Sciences on Managing IP’s “2018 IP Stars” list.  Learn more at

For more information

Contact: the RESI Team at, or McDermott at

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