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Catalyst - Summer 2009 - Welcome

John PennetCatalyst Summer 2009

Over the past few months, we have seen the storm clouds lingering overhead continuously, but rays of sunlight continue to emerge from the clouds – both in the form of innovative technology development and some creative deals. In this issue of Catalyst, we are featuring some terrific local companies and the interesting technologies in stem cell research that they are undertaking, as well as some of the funding opportunities and tax incentives supporting this mission – critical research.

Despite the industry overhang, we have continued to see our life sciences industry act with a strong sense of community and open communications. We should all be proud of how leaders in our industry share the secrets of their successes, and how entrepreneurs actively soak up their knowledge. The community has organized many programs to facilitate this knowledge-sharing – and attendance has been strong.

One of the things discussed frequently at these programs is some of the creative fund raising transactions that have been consummated. We have seen a tremendous increased emphasis on grant applications (and a lot of questions to us on grant compliance and allocation methodologies), add-on financings with existing investors and financings between collaborative partners.

More specifically, we see licensors of technology purchase investments in earlier-stage licensees and/or provide shared financing responsibilities for specific development programs. We have also seen certain vendors provide some current funding relief, often in change for long-term commitments. We have all seen an emphasis on milestonebased investing – a pay for play concept that mitigates risk for the investors and keeps the entrepreneurial company laser focused. This creativity is allowing programs to migrate through the clinic while the financing world continues to be a challenge. The message is to look at all of your critical partners, and communicate openly and honestly about your goals, objectives and needs.

There are quality programs and management teams getting funded. Having a credible opportunity and presenting it in a well-conceived milestone-oriented story board is critical to get invited to the dance.

With a little luck and a lot of preparation, the rains will pass you by!

 

EisnerAmper's Catalyst: Summer 2009

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