If you give a biotech venture capitalist $1 to invest, odds are that you will wait more than a decade, and get less than $1 back. Along the way, millions of dollars in management fees will be paid for this service. The data on financial performance of venture capital funds are clear, consistent, and lousy when compared in any realistic... Read More
Yesterday, I published the first half of a two-part series on biotech venture fund performance in the boom. That story included data from venture funds backed by public employees in three states–Pennsylvania, California, and Hawaii. Today, I’m following up with more disclosures from funds in Washington and North Carolina, plus the big California fund that invests retirement savings for schoolteachers.
The biotech boom has been good to many people, but especially to venture capitalists. Many can point to winners in their portfolios. They have seized the moment to raise new funds, collect even bigger management fees, and double down on more cool science and technology companies. As I reported here in March, a few firms, such as The Column Group... Read More
Venture capitalists are notorious for keeping their performance a secret. But an even bigger mystery is who has the power inside firms, and how that gets reflected in their pay. Compensation is a sign of who’s who inside a firm, and what it values. It’s frequently the thing that tears apart firms in both bad times and good. While much... Read More
Cash is gushing through the pharmaceutical industry at the same time its allies in academia are scraping for every nickel. The gap between these haves and have-nots is wide and getting wider. But at least in a couple recent cases, the poor people in academia have figured out clever ways to get a piece of the biotech action, at least... Read More
Big-time money managers on Wall Street have all heard of biotech giants like Amgen, Biogen, Celgene, and Gilead Sciences. Those stocks are part of many diversified portfolios. But funds with really deep pockets, as one of my editors used to say, see the rest of biotech as “a bunch of little companies nobody has ever heard of.” Not anymore. As... Read More
Mother Nature has provided scientists with a lot of odd chemical structures that work as drugs, and offers inspirational templates for new drugs. But good drugs derived from scorpion venom, tree bark, and other strange sources aren’t easily cooked up in the lab. Now a group from the University of Illinois, backed by Third Rock Ventures, says it has hit... Read More
This is the greatest bull market ever for biotech IPOs, which everyone reading this surely knows. If Dr. Seuss were around, he’d ask something like: “How long can it go? Nobody knows.” Renaissance Capital counted 102 healthcare IPOs last year, more than one-third of all the new stock offerings in the U.S. An infusion of more than $9 billion flowed to... Read More
Before becoming a venture capitalist, Jamie Topper was a cardiologist. He hasn’t had many chances over the past decade to invest in the field he knows best. Only the deepest pockets of Big Pharma could develop successful new heart drugs. But this time, Topper sees things differently at a little company called Laguna Pharmaceuticals.
Biotech is undoubtedly one of the most volatile businesses on the planet. John Maraganore of Alnylam knows that well. The CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has been there for the whole classic biotech roller coaster ride. Back in the early 2000s, scientists were electrified by the possibilities to treat the untreatable with RNA interference drug technology. Then, pharma companies ran for... Read More
The Timmerman Report Gives You Consistent In-Depth Reporting on Biotechnology. Get Your Edge.