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Partnering with IGIA Pharmaceuticals

5 Nov

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

In this interview, I sit down to chat with Dr. Jeff Livingstone on his recent move to CEO of Igia Pharmaceuticals, and how partnering events continue to serve his companies, even as an industry veteran. Jeff shares insight into the early days of Igia, and how he uses partnering to expand their goals and reach children and families affected by rare and orphan diseases, specifically Noonan Syndrome.
Listen to the conversation and learn more about RESI November and Healthtech Partnering Week.


Digital RESI November Panel Spotlight on Early-Stage Therapeutics

5 Nov

By Joey Wong, Investor Research Analyst, LSN

The Digital RESI November Conference is less than 2 weeks away! Digital RESI is the premier partnering conference experience for the early-stage entrepreneur and their strategic partners, featuring a match-based partnering platform in addition to educational and insightful content, such as workshops, pitch sessions, and live investor panels spanning the sectors of drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health.

The Early Stage Therapeutics Investors panel will feature five investors with extensive experience in early-stage therapeutics to discuss their investment mandates and how their own investment process works.

Fundraising executives developing therapeutic assets will get an insightful look at the strategies used by early-stage therapeutic investors to assess companies at the earliest, riskiest stage of development. They can learn to position their companies as an attractive investment opportunity under the current investment landscape. The live session will feature:

Yaniv Sneor, Founding Member, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels (Moderator)

Yaniv Sneor is a (reformed) physicist, who made the transition into the business world after being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Yaniv has been involved in founding, growing, managing and re-engineering companies for the past 25+ years, in multiple industries. He ran companies of different sizes and at different life-stages, led re-structuring activities, purchased and sold multiple companies, and negotiated and integrated joint ventures and strategic relationships.Yaniv is one of the founders of MABA – Mid Atlantic Bio Angels ( a life science angel investor group. He is president of Blue Cactus Consulting (, and CEO of Native State Therapeutics, a recently-formed biotechnology company, in the neurodegenerative space.

Sascha Berger, Partner, TVM Capital Life Science

Sascha Berger, PhD, joined the TVM Capital Life Science team in Munich in 2016. He is active in deal flow generation, investment due diligence, deal and exit transactions, investor communication as well as corporate finance aspects of the fund. Sascha has a strong financial background with almost ten years of professional transaction and strategy experience. He has a track-record of concluding 20 M&A transactions, five of those he led as responsible project manager in his previous role as Senior M&A Manager in a PE backed global corporation. He was a core team member in a successful EUR 2.5bn revenue cross-border merger and successfully coordinated global merger clearance procedures (USA, China, EU, Korea). During his studies he already supported TVM Capital Life Science part-time; he supported the IPO of a German technology company at Deutsche Bank and advised Private Equity funds at Deloitte in summer internships. He lived in Singapore and New York, co-founded a student initiative on Entrepreneurship in Munich and in his spare time enjoys triathlon and world travelling.

Sunil Shah, CEO, O2h Ventures

Sunil has been active in the early stage biotech community in the UK since the mid 1990’s, his respective thesis at Cambridge addressed issues in virtualised networks in science. In 2003, following a brief period at PA Consulting Group Oxygen Healthcare was formed providing discovery services to biotech and pharma. The company grew into a team of 350 employees and was acquired by Piramal Enterprises (NSE:PEL) in 2011-2013. o2h Ventures was co-founded by Sunil in 2013. In the last 4 years, it has co-founded four companies with UK based academics and entrepreneurs, provided consultancy services to five companies, held Chairman or Director level positions in nine companies, built up a portfolio of twenty early stage investments, and executed early stage drug discovery research projects for fifteen different companies.

Travis Whitfill, Partner, Bios Partners

Travis Whitfill is a Partner at Bios Partners. His background began in molecular biology and biochemistry at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Duke University. He is the co-founder of several startup companies. He is on the board of several companies, including Incysus Therapeutics. He brings a strong background in entrepreneurship and business and was acknowledged as Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2018. He’s also the Senior Analyst at Bios Research. He also is an Associate Research Scientist in the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Yale. Mr. Whitfill has led numerous grant-funded projects, holds nearly a dozen patents, and has co-authored over 40 publications. Mr. Whitfill received degrees from Yale University (MPH) and Dallas Baptist University (BS) and is working on a PhD from University College London.

Z Haroon, Chairman and General Partner, Julz Co LLC

Julz Co is an investment management company focused on investing in early-stage healthcare companies in the area of therapeutics, medical devices, services and digital healthcare. The company has offices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA and Suzhou, China. Julz invests globally in companies that have novel and proprietary technology addressing a vital market need and are driven by experienced management teams.

Partnering at RESI is open! But there is still time to register to participate and join these investors at the next Digital RESI, November 17 -19. Don’t miss out on the many elements that make Digital RESI the leader in the early-stage deal-making ecosystem.

Medical Devices at Digital RESI November

29 Oct

By Claire Jeong, Vice President of Investor Research, Asia BD, LSN


Our next event, Digital Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) Conference November, is coming up in less than 3 weeks!

Medical devices are the second most represented sector in our conferences, closely following Therapeutics. Despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to see active investment into the medtech industry. According to CB Insights, medical device start-ups raised $4.35B through 371 financings, a significant increase from $3.08B through 327 financings in Q1 2020 (1).

The virtually organized Medical Device Investors Panel at RESI will feature the following panelists representing actively investing firms, including traditional venture capital and large corporations. If you are actively fundraising for your medical device company, Life Science Nation (LSN) invites you to view an insightful discussion on their perspectives on current investment trends and interests, as well as how early-stage companies can better seek to foster relationships with groups like theirs.

The panelists include:

George Li, Managing Partner, Proxima Ventures

George has over 12 years’ experience of management, start-up consulting and investment in high technology sector. He has been selected as advisory member of innovation and entrepreneurship committee of Oversea Chinese Affairs Office of The State Council, innovation talent program of Ministry of Science and Technology, Chair Judge of Chunhui competition organized by Ministry of Education. George is the founder of Biohub International (formerly known as Bridgebio International). Biohub is one of the leading medical incubators in China and currently has set up innovation bases focusing on innovative medical treatment in Wuhan, Hangzhou, Zhengzhou, Wuxi and Chengdu. Biohub provides professional carriers for innovative start-ups, has built professional laboratories and CFDA certificated clean workshop, and set up a professional team to provide one-stop service for enterprises from start-up counseling, production system construction to registration declaration. Since the establishment of the innovation incubators, hundreds of innovative medical projects have been introduced, incubated and transferred covering biomedicine, medical devices, diagnostic reagents and medical services. Before founding Biohub, George co-founded Bioherms and grew it into a leading IVD company in China. Before Bioherms venture, he served as project manager and deputy department manager role of D&P wireless department of Huawei and led the R&D and pilot production of Huawei’s wireless switcher. George got his MBA with excellence honor from Hult International Business School and bachelor degree from Zhejiang University. 

Rachel Rea, Director, Strategy & Portfolio Management, Surgical Innovations, Medtronic

Rachel is a Director of Business Development and Licensing at Medtronic. She has been with Medtronic for almost 9 years serving both its Respiratory, Gastrointestinal & Informatics division and more recently its Surgical Innovations division. As a Director of Business Development and Licensing, Rachel is focused on opportunities to bring additional innovation to Medtronic and its patients. These opportunities could consist of licensing, distribution, investment, acquisition, etc. Rachel has a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami in Miami, FL, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Gary Gershony, Medical Device Committee, Life Science Angels

Dr. Gershony grew up in Toronto, Canada and attended the University of Toronto where he graduated from medical school at age 23. He continued his training in internal medicine and general cardiology at the University of Toronto where he also served as Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Gershony continued his training in interventional cardiology, serving a fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta under the auspices of Dr. Andreas Grüntzig, the inventor of coronary and peripheral angioplasty. From 1993-1997, Dr. Gershony was Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Interventional Cardiology at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. For the past 20 years he has practiced interventional cardiology at John Muir Cardiovascular Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is currently the Director of Cardiovascular Research, Education and Technology, and has established a successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) program. Dr. Gershony’s research interests include novel devices for complex coronary and peripheral angioplasty, percutaneous valve therapies and local drug-delivery to prevent restenosis. He has participated in numerous multi-center clinical trials as a Principal Investigator. Dr. Gershony is board certified in general cardiology and interventional cardiology and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Royal College of Physicians, the American Heart Association and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Dr. Gershony has authored over 100 manuscripts and abstracts in the field of cardiology and is a regularly invited faculty lecturer to the preeminent U.S. and international interventional cardiology meetings.

Mishael Zohar, Associate, OrbiMed Advisors LLC

Mishael Zohar, MD MBA, is an Associate at Orbimed Israel a leading healthcare investment firm, with $13 billion in assets under management, covering venture capital investments in biotech, medical devices, and diagnostic companies. Prior to joining OrbiMed he Co-founded and managed Orion.ID – a startup company that developed and designed medical applications for mental health early prevention and management. Before establishing Orion.ID Mishael was Co-partner & Head of the Training Division at M-TACS – a company that provides tactical medical solutions services worldwide. Mishael received his BMedSc and MD from Ben-Gurion University, Faculty of Health Sciences, as well as an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Harrison School of Business. Dr. Zohar is a researcher at the Julis-Rabinowitz Data Science institute at IDC, Herzliya focusing on medical big data.

Flora Yao, Founding Partner, Ivy Elite Capital

Flora is the Founding Partner of Ivy Elite Capital. IEC is a venture capital firm investing in biotech and life science. Flora is mainly responsible for post-investment management, and the Government and investor relation management. She has an extensive global business experience in China, Canada and US. She took leadership roles in global leading marketing and consulting groups and provided business break-in and business strategies for biotech clients such as Johnson and Johnson , and LG Healthcare Solutions. Flora also has rich experiences in go-to-market strategies and investment consulting, and has a wide range of social resources and connections. Flora obtained her MBA degree from McCombs School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin.

If you are not yet registered for Digital RESI November, you can register here.

Check out a previous Medical Device investor panel from Digital RESI September! 

Digital RESI September 2020 Investor Panel – Medical Devices Investor 

Standing Out among Partnering Platforms

29 Oct

An Interview with Dennis Ford, CEO, LIfe Science Nation

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LIfe Science Nation

It’s no secret that while the traditional partnering and event model has taken a hit this year, life-saving deal-making is still in full swing. In fact, the need for innovation in life science and healthcare may be the key to a return to normalcy. As we round the corner into 2021, digital partnering conferences dot the landscape of what remains an unknown future. Armed with more data and a better understanding of what successful digital partnering looks like than we had six months ago, I sat down to speak with Life Science Nation (LSN) CEO, Dennis Ford on what makes the LSN partnering experience stand out, as well as the hidden value that makes all the difference.

Listen below to find out more about RESI Partnering Platforms

To learn more and sign up for Digital RESI November, visit Explore LSN’s upcoming Healthtech Partnering Week at

Digital RESI November Partnering Opens

29 Oct

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Partnering launched this week for Digital RESI November! Partnering is one of Digital RESI’s most exciting features, drawing investors, strategic partners, and fundraising executives in early-stage life science and healthcare from around the world into deal-making conversations.  

Digital RESI’s partnering platform is unique to others for its match-based capacity, as well as detailed profiles offering all the information a participant needs to target leads, book meetings, and open dialogs that close deals. To learn more and see it in action, check out our Partnering Tutorial Video

In preparation, Life Science Nation (LSN) is reaching into the vault to find some past partnering articles to help attendees get started and have a successful time with Digital RESI November:

There is still time to sign up and participate in Digital RESI November partnering! Visit to learn more and register to start meeting potential partners!

Start to Partner at Digital RESI November

22 Oct

By Karen Deyo, Senior Investor Research Analyst, LSN

Partnering for Digital RESI November launches next week, giving registered attendees access to RESI’s unique partnering platform. This platform allows attendees to filter search results with a high degree of precision.

At RESI, unlike other conferences, requesting a meeting with an investor does not require a company to spend most of the initial meeting finding out if they are a fit for the investor or not. Companies can easily winnow down to a list of investors who are interested in their sector, indication and stage of development before requesting a meeting, making it easier for them to identify investors who are a fit for them. Investor profiles are written by Life Science Nation (LSN)’s Investor Research team in a phone interview with each investor, as a requirement before registration.

With our transition to virtual events, the RESI Partnering Platform now has an integrated video conferencing system, allowing companies to simply log in to the platform and initiate their meetings through their schedule. Make sure to look at the tutorial video below, to see all the features offered by our system!


Digital RESI November partnering launches next week, but you can still sign up for the conference, taking place November 17-19, 2020 by visiting

An Interview with CSC Leasing on Their Custom-Built Leasing Solutions

22 Oct

Ryan Magner

An Interview with Ryan Magner, Regional Director, CSC Leasing Company

By Ashley Zborowski
Director of Business Development, LSN

As a sponsor for both Redefining Early Stage Investments (RESI) and 4D Meets AI, CSC Leasing’s Ryan Magner chats with Life Science Nation (LSN)’s Ashley Zborowski about their firm, vision, and practices around equipment leasing to early-stage companies in life science, and what makes them unique in the market.

Ashley Zborowski (AZ): Please introduce your firm, product and marketplace.

Ryan Magner (RM): CSC Leasing is a boutique family-owned equipment leasing company based in Richmond, VA, serving clients across the US and internationally. In our 35 years of business, we have financed nearly $1 billion in transactions. Our foremost goal is to help companies obtain the equipment they need to achieve their goals, at the lowest possible cost. We do this by providing innovative and competitive leasing programs—which are flexible and tailored to meet the unique needs of our clients—always with a focus on the long-term relationship. Our core business is serving emerging growth companies in life sciences with a focus on seed stage to early institutional investment rounds. Since our portfolio is owned, capitalized and managed solely by CSC Leasing, we can be agile, flexible and efficient. Clients will always work directly with our team throughout their lease term.

AZ: Why is leasing so important to early-stage firms?

RM: For early-stage firms, preserving cash and raised investor equity dollars is always paramount. By helping early-stage companies finance their equipment purchases, they can extend runway and preserve cash for higher ROI activities. Leasing is a non-dilutive vehicle which is important to many companies that are seeking financial partners. Establishing a leasing agreement is also traditionally easier to obtain than traditional lending which can require more substantial business requirements and milestones.

AZ: You seem to equate leasing with funding; can you explain that?

RM: Like equity funding, we are putting our own capital to work for a company, but it is in the form of equipment procurement vs. a direct cash injection into a business. In the case of a sale leaseback transaction for existing assets already purchased, we can help companies get cash back on their balance sheets as well. Many companies chose to establish a lease line of credit with CSC to compliment other sources of funding in order to reduce or eliminate the need for substantial one-time cash outflows for depreciating assets.

AZ: Do you have a process for assessing a client’s needs? How does that work?

RM: Always an introductory call and/or meeting to introduce CSC and learn about their company and what they are trying to accomplish by leasing equipment. After gathering some initial information, we will begin a customary due diligence which requires the same types of information many companies will have provided to equity investors or for grant funding. Depending on the size of the transaction, we can typically turn around a term sheet proposal within a week or two, sometimes requiring another round of due diligence for asks over $1M. Our credit committee meets five days a week and we have invested in expanding headcount there, so we’re able to turn around decisions much faster than others in the non-bank financial services space.

AZ: Can you please describe what a perfect life science firms looks like to your leasing firm?

RM: Like many equity investors, we will be looking at the team, technology, financials, runway and who the other investors are. We pay particularly close attention to the equipment and financials, so being organized around providing all the required information up front will expedite the process. We typically like to see 12+ months of cash on-hand but can sometimes get comfortable with less if there are additional upcoming grants, financing rounds or highly desirable equipment. Having experienced founders with a track record of building successful companies or substantial domain expertise is important, as well.

AZ: Tell me more who is a perfect target for your leasing service? Could you give us some examples of life science clients you are now working with and what the deals looked like and how they grew?

RM: We take as much pleasure in helping a company preserve cash to get to their Series A round as we do in working with companies all the way up through an IPO. Our portfolio of life science clients includes companies that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars through name brand VCs, as well as emerging growth companies that have raised from friends and family. Unlike many others in the space, we’re willing to finance smaller transactions to first build the relationship and trust, with the goal of creating a longer-term partnership. Recently, we were able to approve a $10M sale leaseback for existing equipment to a leading therapeutics company in Cambridge to help them preserve cash as they worked towards Series C milestones and eventually a successful IPO. On the emerging side, another start-up therapeutics company in Cambridge required $500K in new equipment for a lab build-out after raising their Series A and not wanting to use fresh equity dollars for constantly depreciating assets.

AZ: It sounds like capital-intensive start-ups are your best customers; can you talk about the market segments these clients are in?

RM: While life science has always been a target market due to the high-capex nature of the industry, other industries like food and beverage, technology, and manufacturing and logistics have proven to be a stable client base for us, given their demand for equipment leasing. With regards to the segments within life sciences and biotech, we are commonly working with R&D-stage therapeutics companies, pharma manufacturing, 3D bio printing, shared lab space, and medical devices, to name a few. Ultimately, we are unique in that we are working with companies that are likely going to run out of cash at some time during the lease, so we are trying to identify clients that have a high likelihood of being able to raise the next financing round, or in the case of revenue generating operations, achieve profitability.

AZ: Why do you remain vendor-agnostic, as opposed to selecting the best-of-breed and staying with them?

RM: Due to the asset management nature of our business—as it’s our only collateral—we have expertise in many types of equipment, however we always let our clients determine what is the best type of equipment for them. We then simply take the purchase orders negotiated by our clients, which often can include discounts, and execute them on their behalf. Additionally, we are also able to look at used equipment purchases as a way for companies to recognize further cost savings. CSC can be additive to the procurement process via our lease administration team, and handle logistics like ordering, shipping and helping with tax exemptions for R&D.

AZ: Do you purchase and then lease, and how do you determine how to take that risk?

RM: Yes, we purchase the equipment on behalf of our clients after getting the umbrella master lease in place. There is always the risk working with early-stage companies that things won’t go according to plan and we will have to take delivery of the equipment back to our warehouse. At that point, we try and remarket the equipment using various channels in order to recoup some of our investment, which can help mitigate the risk. With that being said, one of the benefits for our clients is that CSC is not only a family-owned business, but we’re not a broker and we hold our own paper. As a non-bank leasing company, that gives us flexibility to say yes when others say no and look at our client base through a long-term lens. We saw it very recently during COVID-19 that companies couldn’t get into their lab spaces or accomplish milestones according to plan, so that required some restructuring of lease agreements and trying to be a partner to our clients during a really difficult time, which we hope is mutually beneficial in the long term.

AZ: Why do you refer to your service as non-dilutive capital when you are a leasing firm?

RM: Many early-stage lenders have what is called a warrant component to their terms. That means that at some point in the future, the lender will be able to claim a negotiated portion of equity in the business, which is dilutive by definition. While CSC is not a traditional lender in that we are leasing the equipment to our clients, we are still putting our own capital to work in order to purchase those assets in place of the company, all while being able to do it with a cleaner financing that requires no warrants.

AZ: How do you help an early-stage company with financing?

RM: Due to our structure and comfortability in the early-stage space, we can extend financing to many companies that will not qualify for traditional bank loans or vendor financing. If our capital allows a company to extend their runway, meet milestones and successfully raise the next round of capital from institutional investors, that is a mutually beneficial result. When we invest our own capital into a business, our interests will always be aligned with theirs—we don’t succeed unless they do. Additionally, if we can be helpful in using our network of clients and investors in life sciences for references or to make introductions that could influence a future financing round, that would be added value we strive to achieve.

AZ: Do you have a message for our readers about your firm?

RM: At CSC, we are always willing to speak with founders or companies that would like to learn more about equipment leasing before beginning a process with us. We also have no problem spinning up a deal to arrive at indicative pricing so you can evaluate if it makes sense for your business. We’ll be the first to tell you if we think we’re not the best fit for helping you achieve your research and development goals and will always try to point you in the right direction. Please don’t hesitate to reach out! To learn more about equipment leasing, you can contact Ryan directly at

To learn more about 4D Meets AI and sign up for the early bird rate (until October 24), visit

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