Catalyst - Fall 2012 - Welcome

December 13, 2012


Many elements of our daily lives are fragile and change frequently – just ask the Yankees and Cowboys or the election pollsters. It’s  the easy access to information and speed-of-the-crowd influence that causes some of the changes (although one could argue that being unprepared and collapsing under pressure is another, but no need to go there)!

Still, we crave the latest information and want to share our thoughts and views with others. We want to find like-minded people to reinforce and deepen our thoughts, and we want to find contrarian people to debate.

Our life science community is similarly fragile, as evidenced by the highs and lows recently experienced in the marketplace. Certainly, “lows” include the facts that there continues to be tough access to funding, stringent regulatory requirements and job reductions at many of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the area. However, on the upside, there have been new product approvals by local companies: Exparel by Pacira and Stivarga by Bayer, to name two. Further, there are many ANDAs under review and approved as well as successful IPOs to celebrate. These include NYC’s  Intercept Pharmaceuticals, N.J.’s Durata Pharmaceuticals and Pennsylvania’s Globus Medical. 

Despite the views that some share about the chances – or lack thereof – of getting that elusive “playoff win,” the entrepreneurial game in our life sciences sectors has not been without some victories.

Where’s the common thread? Having a great technology and superior leadership are certainly common themes at successful companies. However, if this issue of Catalyst is any indication, success also comes from a willingness to do what it takes to get funded and that means considering all available sources of capital. This edition of Catalyst shares some wonderful  company success stories, and the paths taken on the road to success. 

Funding for our region’s life sciences companies has been a challenge, so one of the topics explored in this edition of Catalyst is funding from NIH and government grants.  Our team has been fielding numerous calls about the required internal processes of accounting for grant funding, F&A rates, and program audit requirements. There is a lot of competition for such grants, but strong applicants are receiving critical funding.

Tax credits and incentives are another popular topic, in that the states in this area are attempting to provide funding to keep promising companies from moving to other biotech hubs. New York has its refundable R&D tax credit program, New Jersey has its Net Operating Loss sale program and Pennsylvania has its R&D and Keystone Innovative Zone tax credit program.

New angel networks and loan programs such as the NJIT EDC Revolving Loan Fund and the Mid-Atlantic Bio Angels group are providing outlets for capital, as well. Incubators, accelerators and our research institutions are churning out information to help make the entrepreneurs aware of each prospective opportunity. I am  proud that our team continues to be a key content provider for such entrepreneurs. 

So, as we move toward the holidays and prepare for a new prosperous 2013, take a moment with this issue of Catalyst to enjoy some of our industry’s successes.

John R. Pennett, CPA
Partner-In-Charge of Life Sciences Practice


EisnerAmper's Catalyst: Fall 2012


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