The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Pharma Day*

A challenge You are passionate about providing an intervention (drug or device) to a group of patients who can’t access the current options due to availability or pricing. You could could go the philanthropic route to pay for the interventions. You could work towards regulation to apply downward pressure on pricing. No matter what, you have to

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None Better than One? (A Brief Note on VC in Smaller Hubs)

Biotech venture funding metrics continue at historic highs, highlighting that the robust financing environment in the public markets continues to fuel the private markets as well.  – Bruce Booth, partner Atlas Venture in Data Snapshot: Venture-Backed Biotech Financing Riding High, April 2015 Here in Madison, Wisconsin, you might not know that was true if you

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Blood: Underappreciated Resource in the Health/Disease?

Alternative title: Pitching a VC on Disruption of Blood Testing You may have seen some recent editorials about the necessary frequency of blood tests for healthy individuals, many of them prompted by a series of tweets from Mark Cuban: Although there are certainly potential dangers in expecting any and all test results to be immediately

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#MHVF Approaches to Drug Development

Today I had the chance for a panel conversation with Geeta Vemuri from Baxter Ventures and Ed Silverman from Pharmalot blog (Wall Street Journal) at the Midwest Healthcare Venture Forum. Our general topic was how we (an entrepreneur and a corporate venture capitalist) look at bringing drugs/devices to market. Here are a couple of takeaways from our

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Precision in Oncology: Using the Macro and Micro

Last week, the New York Times had a nice piece “A Faster Way to Try Many Drugs on Many Cancers” on basket clinical trials, which matches patients to a therapy based on the genetics of their tumor as opposed to the site of their primary tumor. This type of trial feeds into the current excitement about precision

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Case Study: When does “technology” turn into medical device

This semester I’ve embarked on an adventure to co-teach a class in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Masters in Biotechnology program. What sold me on the experience was the majority of my responsibility is interacting with second year students on their final major project (essentially their thesis). That said, I will give one lecture, which will be “health

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What is the optimal biotech burn rate?

Ethan Perlstein, founder of Perlstein Lab, asked a question on Twitter and got some great answers from David Grainger, partner at Index Ventures and Katrine Bosley, CEO of Editas Medicine. (You can read the whole thread by clicking through.) @LifeSciVC @sciencescanner @ksbosley @scientre what's the burn rate distribution of biotech NewCos in for the first year of

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We All Need a Risk Framework

I recently read “The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor” by Howard Marks, Chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management. While I’m not an investor, Juan Serrate (@JPZaragoza1) brought the book to my attention during a Twittersation about risk. In my job developing a discovery into an actual drug, I think

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Supporting Biotech Development in Madison

As part of our follow up to our recent Biotech in Wisconsin Meetup about professional development skills, we are asking folks to fill out this poll.

How Could Science #BreaktheInternet?

I saw the Breakthrough Prizes announced this weekend and was excited to learn about the interesting scientists on the list, including Jennifer Doudna who many of us in life science recognize for her CRISPR/Cas9 work. I’ll start out saying that I am glad to see a group of such influential people (Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark

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