Newsletter Editorial, April 2020
Like many of you, we at the BII have been working from home for weeks now. For me personally, this has meant being relegated to a kitchen office where my new ‘colleagues’ find it acceptable to make snacks and coffee loudly while I attempt to work.
Despite the new working conditions, we at BII are privileged as our sponsorship from the Novo Nordisk Foundation remains strong and our ability to catalyze the transformation of science to products in new start-ups is mostly intact. Our Business Acceleration Academy program continues from the new BII broadcast studio online and our diligence and selection of companies for Creation House cohort #5 has moved online as well.
I observe that our colleagues in the life science industry continue investing in deals in-progress. BioCentury reports that total Seed and Series A financing in 1Q2019 was $1.24 Billion vs $1.27 Billion from a year ago.
Our portfolio still has investor interest – at least for an initial call. At some point, however, we expect that this pipeline of investments will slow and that biotech – our portfolio included – will have to extend their runway and await new chances to engage with investors face to face.
Most importantly, the life science industry has taken up the challenge of tackling COVID-19. BioCentury reports at least 70 COVID-19 vaccines in development and many public-private partnerships to advance COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics.
The overwhelming response of the life science industry to COVID-19 is clearly what is needed to solve the pandemic. I believe, like HCV and AIDS before, the life science industry will once again demonstrate the power of science to improve human health. Imagine the long-term effect on innovation investment If we could relieve the world of COVID-19 ethically and with broad market access?
Personally, I hope we can finally counter anti-science and anti-pharma bias with a global public display of data and safe/efficacious treatments against COVID-19.