Biotech Week Boston – One Person’s Opinion

5 Oct

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

I am not saying that Biotech Week Boston was the week that wasn’t, but for the event’s second year, the city of Boston sure didn’t feel like it was on fire. Unless of course you went to LSN’s RESI Boston event, which was certainly a beehive of activity. It seems like the thesis of Biotech Week Boston is to create a JP Morgan-like annual multi-day event in Boston, the hub of global life sciences. This is a solid goal. The problem is, it’s hard to orchestrate and copy an organic phenomenon like San Francisco’s JP Morgan week when a handful of the life science stalwarts of Massachusetts partner with an out of town conference provider and they decide who is in and who is out of Biotech Week Boston.

Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of compelling content and the event had a dynamic agenda. Unfortunately, there was more that could have been done; many other compelling players and topics were left on the sidelines. Boston is on the edge of the new drug development models; collaborative virtual pharmas abound. Where were all the incubators and accelerators who are grooming the next generation of game-changing drugs, devices, diagnostics and healthcare IT? Where were all the academic labs and research hospitals that are creating the new tech transfer paradigms and manifesting new business models? What about the other local conference providers like LSN’s RESI? LSN brought 300 global early stage investors with $3 billion in validated investor mandates to Boston last week!

My net/net on Biotech Week Boston is that it needs to be more inclusive and encourage ALL the players to get involved. If you don’t, you will have a staid and exclusionary event, and that is not how you replicate San Francisco’s annual JP Morgan week. In the meantime, I’ll be bringing RESI and my early stage investor network to NYC, November 15th at the Marriott Marquis, Times Sq, where oddly enough my Boston based company is welcomed…go figure.

RESI Innovation Challenge: Deadline Extended To October 13th

5 Oct

By Chris Cummings, Senior Marketing Manager, LSN

With just under six short weeks until the inaugural RESI NYC, LSN is getting ready to assess which health innovators will be awarded a display spot in our RESI Innovation Challenge.

If you would like to participate and get an exhibit hall display spot to market your company to life science investors, the deadline has been extended until Friday, October 13th. (Don’t worry, the LSN scientific review team deals in facts, not superstition).

The RESI Innovation Challenge covers startups in therapeutics, medtech, diagnostics and healthcare IT companies from around the globe. All applicants will be vetted based on not only the quality of the company’s scientific work, but also the strength of the management team and how well-positioned the company is to receive investment.

Previous Innovation Challenge participants have proven to be successful entrepreneurs; we have seen as many as 50% of companies in an Innovation Challenge receive funding within one year of the conference. Top competitors are able to find a balance between utilizing both the structure of RESI’s partnering system, and the ad-hoc nature of the Innovation Challenge.

On November 15th, RESI NYC’s estimated 600 attendees will receive “RESI Cash” to allocate to the entrepreneurs whose technologies they expect will be most influential. The capital invested will be tallied up and the top three winners will receive prizes and be featured in our RESI newsletter recap that will go out to LSN’s 20,000 newsletter readership. Don’t miss the opportunity to apply.

China: Land of Opportunity for Medical Devices?

5 Oct

By James Huang, Research Analyst, LSN


In my recent discussions with several investors located in China, I noticed a trend occurring in my conversations: many of them are considerably more interested in medical devices rather than therapeutics. As a result, I brought this trend up in conversation with a few of them and received a few illuminating responses:


  • An investor told me that the medical devices market had grown in China by 20% in the past year and they anticipated that this trend would continue over the next few years. The investor therefore hopes to take advantage of this trend.
  • The Chinese medical device market is currently much smaller than the therapeutics market, and an investor I spoke to said that they therefore believe that there is more potential growth in the medical device market.
  • China’s government is putting money into innovative medical device startups; investors can potentially secure additional non-dilutive funding to go with their investments in medical device companies.

Due to these factors, the investors I spoke with were all interested in investing in medical device companies based in the US with technology that they believe would be applicable to China.

I decided to investigate this trend further, and uncovered the following data points:

  • Medical Devices in China only account for 14% of the country’s local healthcare products market. In other developed nations, medical devices account for 42% of the overall healthcare products market. This suggests that China has considerable room to grow in the medical device side of the market, which reflects what I have heard from Chinese investors.
  • China’s medical device market from 2015 to 2016 increased by $53.62 billion USD (a 20.1% increase) and this growth rate is expected to be maintained into 2017 as well.

  • China’s healthcare industry growth from 2004-2014 was an astounding 492%, as compared to the global average healthcare industry growth of 60%. This growth is expected to continue as the government has put forward more initiatives to reform healthcare (13th Five Year Plan for Medical and Healthcare System Reform).
  • China only spends 5.5% of their GDFP on healthcare compared to the United States’ 17.1%
    • The total dollar amount of the discrepancy between healthcare spending in China and the US is $574 Billion in China vs. $3 Trillion in the US.
    • Given China’s large and aging population, China’s continuing development will cause this healthcare spending to increase, bringing a lot of potential growth in future years.
  • Additionally, the CFDA (China’s healthcare regulatory body) has recently released a “Guidelines for the Preparation of Special Reports on the Application of Innovative Medical Devices” to encourage medical device innovation.
    • This and other initiatives by the Chinese government really emphasize their focus on medical devices in China and suggests that the government is willing to invest money to make these changes happen.

Given all these data points, it makes sense that China-based investors are seeking new medical device investment opportunities. However, given the large opportunity presented here, it seems curious as to why these investors aren’t looking within China to fill these needs. According to the investors, it’s simply because there aren’t enough new innovations coming out of China to fit the need. In fact, domestically made products account for less than one percent of the market value of the Chinese medical device industry. As a result of the lack of domestic innovation, Chinese investors are forced to look overseas for innovative technologies.

It’s clear that China has a large opportunity for growth within the medical device space and Chinese investors are interested in sourcing technologies from the US in order to fill the gap.  On the LSN Investor Platform, LSN Research tracks 99 China-based investors that have an interest in medical devices.  If you are a medical device entrepreneur, these investors should be on your radar.


Hot Investor Mandate 1: Global Venture Firm Raises New Fund to Invest Opportunistically in Clinical Stage Life Science Companies

5 Oct

A venture capital firm with offices throughout the USA and Asia has recently closed its fifth fund of over $220M and is actively seeking investment opportunities across a wide range of industries. 1/3 of the fund is dedicated to global/USA-based life sciences and healthcare investments, while the rest of the fund will focus on investing in China and Southeast Asia-based companies. On average, the initial size of investment is in the $2-5M range but the firm has the capacity to invest more in companies they identify as a strong fit. The firm can participate anywhere from Seed to Series B, but Series A is their sweet spot.

The firm is an opportunistic investor and will consider therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and healthcare IT companies. However, the firm will generally avoid single therapeutic assets and those that are pre-clinical or earlier. The firm is open to novel medical devices of all FDA regulatory pathways, including 510k and PMA. The firm is strongly interested in platform plays, or technologies that have implications in multiple disease areas or indications. Examples include novel drug delivery platforms, drug discovery platforms that leverage AI or machine learning, regenerative medicine, etc.

The firm considers the management team’s character and entrepreneurial spirit – more so than the team’s experience – as one of the most important factors in the investment screening process. Each partner of the firm will dedicate their time to become acquainted with the management team and determine their degree of fit. The targeted market and the company’s competitive edge are also important considerations. The firm prefers to act as the lead investor and will seek board representation, but is also open to co-investing.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 2: Europe-Based Fund Invests in Advanced Therapeutics

5 Oct

A London-based fund interested in advanced therapeutics invests in both private and public companies throughout the US, and Europe. For private deals, the firm makes equity deals in early-stage biotech therapeutic companies. The firm typically looks to make 8-10 deals in the private sector through each yearly cycle and typically allocates between $1M – $5M in each deal. The firm typically follows on these investments, preferring not to lead. The firm typically invests in seed and Series A rounds.

The firm is currently seeking biotech therapeutics that are considered advanced therapeutics. Examples of some therapies that the firm considers as advanced therapies are cell therapies and gene therapies. Currently, the firm is interested in immuno-oncology therapeutics, but is not interested in checkpoint inhibitors. For these therapeutics companies, they prefer that the asset is currently pre-clinical, in Phase I, or ready for phase II. The firm is agnostic in terms of specific indications.

The firm prefers investing in companies located in the European Union, but typically finds that a good amount of their deals are based in the United States. The firm is open to other geographies, but has yet to see a deal that is particularly interesting to them from other areas.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 3: Russia-Based Pharma Seeks Oncology, Immunology, Infectious Disease & Diagnostic Assets Worldwide

5 Oct

A large pharmaceutical company based in Russia, with additional offices worldwide is actively seeking partnering and in-licensing opportunities across all developmental stages globally.

The firm’s partnering interests are primarily in the hospital care areas. The firm is looking for collaboration in oncology (in therapeutics and diagnostics), autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, novel antibacterial products and diagnostics (particularly in application to Gram-negative organisms), anti-viral, anti-fungal therapeutics, diagnostics for acute hospital care, rare/orphan disease areas, and cell therapies. The firm is seeking to in-license early-stage assets from pre-clinical to Phase I. However, with rare and orphan disease therapeutics, the company will prefer later-stage clinical assets.

The firm seeks to work with companies developing innovative therapeutics and management teams with strong scientific expertise.

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

Hot Investor Mandate 4: $100 Million Fund Invests in Consumer-Facing Health Solutions

5 Oct

A venture capital firm based in the US Midwest is focused on early-stage health technology investments with a consumer-focus. The firm is looking for companies with solutions that drive consumer engagement and health accoutability (these do not have to sell D2C, most of their companies do not). The firm manages over $100M in capital with initial investments of $1,000,000 to $5,000,000. The firm is primarily thesis-focused and invests from Seed stage to Series B, with a focus just at or before the A round.

The firm is seeking digital health companies focused on the empowering consumers to be better stewards of their health and their healthcare expenditures. Accordingly, the firm is not interested in technology that solve problems solely within payers and providers, such as billing, care coordination for hospitals, or EHR platforms. The firm is indication agnostic, though has interest in chronic illnesses, social determinants, behavioral health, and personalized care among others.

The firm does not have set management team requirements. The firm will play a very active role post-investment, traditionally by taking board seats, providing key sales introductions, assisting with scaling, hiring, and providing network support.

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