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Interview with Michelle Chien  – National Health Research Institutes

26 May
Michelle Chien 
Interview with Michelle Chien, Manager of Technology Transfer and Incubation Center, National Health Research Institutes

By Erika Wu, Business Development Manager, Global Tech Hubs, LSN

Erika Wu

Erika Wu (EW): Please introduce us to National Health Research Institutes (NHRI). Such as mission statement and brief overview of the services offered?

Michelle Chien (MC):

The National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) is a non-profit foundation established by the government with its organization charter. NHRI is dedicated to the enhancement of medical research and the improvement of health care in Taiwan.

Scientists at the NHRI conduct mission-oriented medical research and investigate many aspects of the basic biomedical sciences, as well as specific diseases. There are several research institutes and research centers are trying to deal with common problems such as aging, cancer, infectious diseases, mental disorders, occupational diseases, to health policy. It is our hope that the knowledge, experience, and facilities at the NHRI will become important resources to the whole nation in understanding, preventing, and curing diseases.

The technology transfer and incubation center (TTIC) is as a research support unit in NHRI divided into three groups of Industry-Academia Collaboration Planning Division (IACP), Intellectual Property Management & Technology Transfer Division (IPTT) and Innovation & Incubation Center (IIC). The IACP is the window for NHRI’s industry-academia cooperation and promote NHRI’s R&D outcomes. The IPTT assists research institutes in intellectual property management and out-licensing. The IIC mainly uses platform-based coaching methods to provide new startups with various resources to help them grow and thrive.

NHRI website:

TTIC website:

EW: What are some traits of the Taiwan markets that are different from the USA or Europe markets?


1) The rapid growth of the global biopharmaceutical market has driven business opportunities for contract development and manufacturing (CDMO), while the growth of the generic drug market has driven business opportunities for joint development.

2) Taiwan has established bilateral cooperation promotion units with the United States and Japan respectively, and has listed biotechnology as a key cooperation project. At the same time, it has also signed relevant agreements on biotechnology cooperation, which will help international cooperation and market development of the domestic biotechnology industry.

3) The number of items entering late-stage clinical trials will increase, which will help opportunities for cooperation or authorization with multinational pharmaceutical companies.

4) The R&D cost of new medicines in Taiwan is lower than that in neighboring countries (such as Singapore, Japan, Australia), which helps to save drug development expenditures.

5) In addition to having publicly transparent drug review regulations that align with international standards, there are also counseling agencies that provide regulatory consultation services for products from research and development to market launch in Taiwan. Furthermore, the biomedical research and development capabilities are very strong. There are 26 medical centers and 124 clinical trial hospitals, abundant biotech R&D human resources, and high-level biotech talents familiar with the operation of European and American markets returning to Taiwan to start businesses. We have also established the Taiwan Clinical Trial Consortium (TCTC), which has sufficient capacity to conduct clinical trials for new drugs or medical devices.

EW:  What should investors look for from startups that want to enter the Taiwan/Asian markets? How does NHRI evaluate whether they made the most of it or not, and is that a good indicator for future success? How would you characterize the current startup investment scene in Taiwan? What kind of opportunities should we be aware of? 


From investors’ perspective on the biomedical industry, key success factors include market, technology, finance, and talent. In terms of the market, the total addressable market must be large enough; the technology must be innovative, feasible, and have a complete patent network protection; there must be completed financial planning and fundraising abilities; and the team must have a clear vision, determination for risk management, and technology transfer capabilities. All four elements are essential. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in investment funds being allocated to the biomedical field. 

Besides, owing to the coming aging society, the investment focus of the biomedical industry will be on medical care and technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as the international market.  

According to the Taiwanese Biotech industry report from 2022, it points out the following domains are investment scene in Taiwan.  

Firstly, under the support of favorable policies, regenerative medicine and CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations) are experiencing an investment boom. While facing the challenges of an aging population, the prevalence of chronic diseases, and the rapid advancement of medical technology, there is a growing demand for innovative disease treatments. In response to this trend, the global regenerative medicine and cell therapy companies have been increasing in number, and the market size of gene therapy continues to expand. 

Secondly, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the implementation of digital healthcare and precision medicine, creating a new investment opportunity. Taiwan’s early-stage investments in digital healthcare have followed this trend. Investors see the promising future in combining Internet of Things and biomedicine. Over the past five years, the number of investments in digital healthcare has exceeded those in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, becoming a new investment frontier in the healthcare sector. 

Therefore, TTIC will look for the potential MedTech companies would offer innovative ideas and technologies, we will assist them in providing bio bank data, regulatory counsel, VC&CVC partners. 

EW: What makes Taiwan an attractive launchpad for American or international startups who are interested in entering the APAC region? Why did you choose Taiwan, and what is your plan for the Asian market hereafter?  


There are some reasons that American or international startups can start their business here. 

1) Taiwan is a democratic country and locates near major metropolises such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul in Asia. It’s appropriate for international startups to start their business in Taiwan first then extend out in other Asia countries.   

2) The National Biobank Consortium of Taiwan (NBCT) was established through the fund support and governance from the government and managed by NHRI. There are over 35 local biobanks being approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taiwan. Through the cooperation of all biobanks with uniform quality standards and clinical data content, a large and comprehensive human biobank network can be quickly established. Thus, Biobank can not only provide high-quality medical information and specimens for academic use, but also the industry for commercial use legally. It will be an advantage to appeal to more startups utilizing and having the clinical trial or further research in Taiwan. 

3) The government also focuses on the combination of Taiwan’s strengths in the ICT and biotech industries. For example, the majority of global gene testing chips are manufactured in Taiwan since Taiwanese ICT industry is already very mature. If it can be combined with the medical industry to develop medical materials and devices, medical diagnosis, digital healthcare, and use mature resources to drive new technologies and new drugs, this should be a feasible development strategy to explore. 

4) The policy is currently to boost recruitment and retention of international talents. There are a couple of actions below. 

  • Relaxing the work and visa requirements: the government is issuing Employment Gold Cards (a four-in-one work permit, resident visa, alien resident certificate and reentry permit).  
  • Relaxing residency requirements. 
  • Improving tax incentives and social protections. 
  • Relaxing entry and residence restrictions for nationals without household registration. 

To conclude, the strengths of developing ICT with bio data in Taiwan will increase more incentives for American or international startups to launch the business or have the collaboration with local clinical trial here.   

EW: What can NHRI provide for the international startups?


Technology Transfer and Incubation Center (TTIC) in NHRI can provide co-development, technology transfer, business cooperation, and international startup collaboration models which can be used to connect solutions to overseas clients.  

In 2022 NHRI has been having the innovative collaboration with ASUS Cloud and NVIDIA to create a platform. Leveraging NHRI’s biomedical research capacity, the latest generation of NVIDIA AI supercomputers and AI models, and analytical computing applications, AIHPC cloud platform developed by ASUS Cloud Infrastructure Software Center (OCIS), and operational consulting services and training from Taiwan Web Service (TWS), which creates Taiwan’s first dedicated supercomputer for healthcare and pharmaceutical purposes. Developers and data scientists can engage in tasks such as development, deployment, testing of applications, and high-speed computation of big data AI, all through a single platform. This significantly reduces the computation time for massive data and expands the capacity for pharmaceutical research and development. Hence, TTIC can help international startups connect with the biomedical supercomputers within NHRI, enabling precise research data analysis and saving time in clinical trials and validation.  

Additionally, Innovation and Incubation Center (IIC) of TTIC has collaborated with ASUS subsidiary, Taiwan Web Service (TWS), to promote the AI Biomedical Accelerator Program in 2023. Startups are recruited by developing AI technology in biotech and medical fields. This program mainly provides fundraising, regulations, business matching, and talent development, enabling startups to grow rapidly.  

EW: What are some initiatives and strategic goals in 2023 and how are you using LSN & RESI and partnerships to benefit your community? This is your opportunity to discuss strategic goals, how NHRI and other tech hubs can form strategic partnerships, etc.

MC:We hope to establish a long-term partnership with Life Science Nation. Our startups in early stage can gain exposure to international investors and have fundraising opportunities by participating in the RESI conference’s Innovative Pitch Challenge for entering overseas markets. Additionally, we hope to introduce NHRI to international startups by Tech Hub, allowing for potential collaborations with NHRI research units in cases of technology licensing needs. In meanwhile, we also welcome international biomedical startups to join IIC and launch their business in Taiwan, as well as collaborate with NHRI in terms of technology development.


Check Out the Lineup at RESI Boston June 2023Program Guide

25 May

By Dennis Ford, Founder and CEO of Life Science Nation, Creator of the RESI Conference Series

I am thrilled to present LSN’s Program Guide for RESI Boston, June 5-7, at the Westin Copley, Back Bay, Boston. This will be a hybrid RESI event, face2face June 5, followed by international virtual partnering June 6-7. The Program Guide takes you through our investor panels, sponsor workshops, exhibitors, and 50+ Innovator’s Pitch Challenge companies participating in this RESI.

LSN will debut a leading-edge platform called the “Global Partnering Campaign (GPC), Fundraising & Licensing Partner Roadshow Management” at this conference.


The GPC integrates LSN’s Investor and Licensing Partner Database and the Salesforce CRM. Subscribing companies receive a vetted Global Target List (GTL) of likely capital investors and licensing partners garnered through one-on-one interviews with the LSN research team, which can be organized into three tiers of Investor Priority:

  • Tier 1: Partner is matched on a specific mandate.
  • Tier 2: Partner is matched on an opportunistic mandate seeking compelling technology assets.
  • Tier 3: Partner is matched as a potential fit based on past or recent actions. This is where the numbers game comes into play.

LSN will also announce a partnership with Big4Bio, whom we have teamed with to create a daily news aggregator for the global startup community called LifeSci Startup.


RESI is a dedicated global partnering event, and the international attendees are the leaders, innovators, and who’s-who of early-stage drugs, devices, diagnostics, and digital health (the 4 Ds).

It is not too late to attend if you seek capital investment or licensing opportunities. RESI offers a 3-day hybrid ticket (June 5-7), a 2-day virtual ticket (June 6-7) and an Audience Access Pass option. Learn more about our registration options here. We hope to see you next June 5th at the Westin Copley Boston!


RESI-Boston-June-2023-Program-Guide_5192023_v1Click to View RESI Boston June Program Guide


Life Science Nation New Product Announcement

18 May

Global Partnering Campaign (GPC), Fundraising & Licensing Partner Roadshow Management.”

GPC-logoFundraising & Licensing Partner Roadshow Management

By Dennis Ford, Founder and CEO of Life Science Nation, Creator of the RESI Conference Series

 Karen Deyo, Director of Investor Research, Israel BD, LSN

LSN will debut a leading-edge platform called the “Global Partnering Campaign (GPC), Fundraising & Licensing Partner Roadshow Management.” The GPC integrates LSN’s Investor and Licensing Partner Database and the Salesforce CRM. Subscribing companies receive a vetted Global Target List (GTL) of likely capital investors and licensing partners garnered through one-on-one interviews with the LSN research team, which can be organized into three tiers of Investor Priority:

  • Tier 1: Partner is matched on a specific mandate.
  • Tier 2: Partner is matched on an opportunistic mandate seeking compelling technology assets.
  • Tier 3: Partner is matched as a potential fit based on past or recent actions. This is where the numbers game comes into play.

Information on these profiles is automatically updated daily, and user outreach and tasks can be tracked intuitively with CRM components, including the following:

  • Status of Outreach (Lead, Reviewing Materials, Call/Meeting Scheduled, etc.)
  • Materials Sent (Executive Summary, Pitch Deck, etc.)
  • Notes (NDA status, DD, and data room)
  • Reporting (investor/licensing pipeline)

LSN customized this platform, leveraging years of experience as a broker/dealer helping early-stage life sciences companies attract capital. Fundraising is a numbers game, and as companies transition from the regional to the global arena, difficulty juggling outreach with many different companies and contacts worldwide is inevitable. Managing your fundraising campaign adroitly is essential, and with the GPC platform, LSN makes it simple. The GPC product is a game changer for early-stage startups seeking between $100K and $50M (Seed-Series B).

Sign up for RESI Boston June 5th here, Request a demo of the new GPC product here.



How to Improve your Partnering Metrics at RESI Boston

18 May

By Candice He, Vice President of Business Development, Global Investment Strategist, LSN

Partnering opened for our upcoming RESI, Boston, taking place June 5-7, this past Monday. Every RESI, LSN staff are approached by startups asking what they should do to best maximize their experience with partnering. LSN’s unique partnering platform allows companies to make a targeted effort in their outreach, arranging meetings that are much more likely to be a good fit, based on technology, indication and stage of development. Partnering is a lot of work, if done right, but the steps below, when followed, can lead to many productive meetings with investors.

Step 1: Fill in your profile and set your schedule.

Filling out your profile makes it easy for investors to see what you do and reach out to you if they are interested. Furthermore, as you do your outreach, investors can come to your profile to seek more information as they decide if your company is a good fit. A complete profile can help you stand out. Filling out your schedule to match your availability is also important, especially with the virtual partnering available 24 hours a day. As your meetings get scheduled, it could create a negative impression if you miss a meeting, not realizing it was scheduled at an inconvenient time.

Step 2: Do your research; identify the partners who are a good fit

LSN goes to a lot of effort to make sure that the partner profiles are current before registering investors and licensing partners. Using the filters to narrow down the pool to those who are a fit is a great start, but more work is required before you begin outreach. Make an effort to read each profile and further narrow down who is a fit, and who is not. Do not simply reach out to all investors – it makes a negative impression, especially as investors know the information they provided LSN. Investors talk to each other frequently – you don’t want a negative impression of you to spread. With that, you want to make sure to reach out to everyone who is a potential fit – partnering is a numbers game, and the more meetings you request, the more meetings you will get.

Step 3: Do your initial outreach

Your intro message should be prepared before you start your partnering efforts. It should be crisp and concise, giving investors a clear picture of what you do, what makes your company unique, what milestones you’ve hit and what you are looking to raise. It is preferable to customize each message a bit to the specific partner you are reaching out to – by doing so, you will make your message stand out.

Step 4: Follow up!

One of the biggest mistakes we see companies make is to send one message to each investor target and consider their job done. We recommend preparing a series of 4 messages when you prep your marketing collateral, each one highlighting a different aspect of your company – you can never be sure what will spark the partner’s interest. Send them out in the weeks leading up to the conference, following up every few days.

Following these steps will make a difference in your partnering outcomes – we have seen companies go from 1-2 meetings to over 20 by using these steps. Feel free to reach out to your LSN BD representative as well – we are happy to help!

Other resources you can use to help navigate the partnering platform are a detailed tutorial of how to use the system and this RESI Survival Guide. It is not too late to register for RESI and request meetings with the 300+ investors registered for RESI Happy Partnering!



Interview with RESI Boston Sponsor – Burns & Levinson

18 May
Shawn P. Foley
Interview with Shawn P. Foley, Partner, Burns & Levinson

By Caitlin Dolegowski, Marketing Manager, LSN

Caitlin Dolegowski

Caiti Dolegowski (CD): Introduce us to Burns & Levinson and your Life Science industry focus.

Shawn P. Foley (SF): As a Boston-based firm with more than 125 attorneys, we are large enough to represent clients in complex and sophisticated matters, yet small enough to be very responsive, providing direct partner-level, proactive advice. Burns & Levinson provides sophisticated legal and business advice to life sciences companies throughout their life cycle – from technology and product licensing, patent and trademark procurement and enforcement, and strategic partnering and acquisitions to public and private financings, cross-border transactions, and export regulation compliance. We represent life sciences companies and entrepreneurs around the globe in diverse industries including biotechnology, clinical diagnostics, colleges and universities, health care IT, health care providers, medical devices, medical equipment providers, and pharmaceuticals.

CD: Burns & Levinson has been to several RESI conferences across the country. What do you find meaningful from your time spent with us at RESI?

SF: RESI has given me real life exposure to how venture capital and early-stage life sciences companies find and do business with each other. As arcane a legal specialty as intellectual property law is, having even a fundamental knowledge of the mechanics of how my clients can get funded puts me ahead of the curve.

CD: Thank you to Burns & Levinson for being a Gold Sponsor at RESI Boston June. Could you tell us about the workshop you’re preparing for the early-stage companies who are participating?

SF:  My workshop is an encore of the virtual presentation I gave in March. I stress the fundamentals and familiarize the audience with what patents are, how the Patent Office works, the duration and expense of the process, and what proactive steps an Applicant can take to accelerate the process in order to obtain an issued patent that might be necessary to secure critical funding.

CD: Intellectual Property (IP) is a crucial issue for life science startups to understand. In addition, what other services does Burns & Levinson offer within the Life Science industry that early-stage founders and CEOs should consider?

SF: Services to consider include corporate formation, licensing, seed and angel financing, VC financing, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and collaboration, privacy and data security, employment, and tax to name a few. We introduce clients to our extensive network of life sciences executives, consultants, venture capitalists, investment bankers, accountants, and entrepreneurs – individuals who can help a company identify licensing or collaboration partners, raise capital, provide research and development services, design and perform clinical studies, and more.

CD: On top of legal services, Burns & Levinson describes themselves as connectors. Tell me about what other types of relationships you all work to facilitate for life science entrepreneurs.

SF: We have hosted rehearsals by entrepreneurs to preselected audiences that include potential investors and other interested parties and provided constructive feedback.

CD: What are some of the main challenges from a legal standpoint that first time entrepreneurs face and may not have expected?

SF: The two primary unexpected challenges include the cost of obtaining comprehensive patent coverage in the relevant market, and obstacles presented during the examination/negotiation process.

CD: Almost all early-stage life science companies are still pre-revenue, and many have raised very little funding. How can they engage top quality legal representation from Burns & Levinson? Do you have any programs for these companies?

SF: We work with these clients to identify the “core” aspect of their technology platform, evaluate it in terms of patentability, and then prepare and file a streamlined initial/priority patent application thus creating a contingent patent asset, all of which will buy the client time in which to secure revenue.


Hot Investor Mandate: Drug Development Company with Strategic Investment Arm Interested in Seed Stage Companies Raising Smaller Rounds Based in North America, Europe and Israel

18 May

The firm is a collaborative drug development company with a strategic investment arm, relying on functional outsourcing to develop novel medications. The firm uses its expertise in over 110 drug development campaigns to identify exceptional companies in which to invest. The firm is interested in seed-stage therapeutics companies, frequently investing in companies recently spun out of academia, with some proof-of-concept data that are looking to hit milestones needed for a Series A raise. The firm is looking to invest in smaller rounds, with tranches of about $200-300K per year for each portfolio company. The firm will invest in companies based in North America, Europe and Israel.

The firm is interested only in companies developing small molecules or biologics. The firm will invest in companies developing new molecules, but will also consider companies developing therapeutics in the 505(b)(2) pathway. The firm is fairly agnostic to indication, with a slight preference for infectious diseases, with the exception of COVID.

The firm looks to be an active investor, taking a board observer seat, at the minimum, and looking to be involved in the development of the product. Using their expertise, the firm can help companies identify the best partners for any studies they may need to accomplish to advance their product pipeline.

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

Hot Investor Mandate: Transatlantic Venture Capital Firm Looking for New Opportunities in Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Digital Health in US & Europe

18 May

A transatlantic investor founded in 2001 is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands with an additional operation in Boston, United States. The firm has raised more than €1.5 million across 3 of their most recently closed funds. The firm is currently investing from its latest fund with over €600M in committed capital. The investment size ranges from €10 million up to €60 million per portfolio company over the lifetime of the investment. The firm is seeking to make 2-3 investments over the next 6-9 months, targeting companies based in the U.S. and Europe.

The firm is currently looking for new investment opportunities in Diagnostics, Medical Devices and Digital Health spaces. The firm is very opportunistic in terms of subsectors and indications. The firm invests in all areas of life sciences, including therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health companies. In the past, the firm did not look at therapeutics, but is now actively investing in therapeutics companies as well. For diagnostics and medical devices, the firm is interested in companies with commercial-stage/revenue-generating products, but may also look opportunistically at earlier stage technologies. These may include 510K devices where the FDA clearance is very close and/or where reimbursement is the last hurdle and feel confident in the path to reimbursement. For digital health, the firm looks opportunistically at companies beyond the Series A stage. Historically, the firm was active in medical device companies developing orthotic and prosthetic devices, as well as peripheral vascular applications in cardiovascular diseases.

The firm focuses on investments in private companies and it will consider pre-revenue companies, depending on the opportunity. The firm prefers to invest in companies with experienced and committed management team.

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

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