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Catalyst - Winter 2009 - Welcome

The second half of 2008 has become significantly challenging in the macro-economic markets. This downturn is expected to continue throughout 2009, and perhaps into early 2010, according to several economists. The life sciences sector is not immune to this economic crisis, evidenced by massive workforce reductions by big pharma, the elimination of many early stage development programs, and many bio-tech companies announcing that they were undertaking a review of "strategic options."

Our life sciences sector has changed its focus from expansion to survival. I want to be an optimist, but can I?

EisnerAmper has been advising entrepreneurs for over 45 years, and we have seen their relentless optimism propel their dreams into thriving, successful companies. The life sciences industry entrepreneur has an even greater goal; to improve the quality of life for the global population --- so our industry needs to not only survive, but to continue its innovative drive to develop life-improving products. It is the optimism of these entrepreneurs that creates my passion for this industry.

As a community, we need to re-double our efforts to collaborate and share information among our entire constituency. Both our local trade associations and individual advisory groups have been offering programs designed to provide companies with tools and ideas to weather the storm, and then push forward with their critical development pathways, and EisnerAmper is actively involved in many of these programs.

It seems that the full-time occupation of the entrepreneur is to raise funds and find the proper resources and partners to advance key programs. We all are aware of the challenges in the current market to raise funds. This edition of Catalyst includes the insights of several leading investors and advisors on this topic.

We have seen many creative financing solutions evolving, linking both development and financing partnerships between owners of IP and CRO's, CMO's and other development service providers. We have also seen many companies trying to monetize IP and other assets in their portfolios. And certainly, we have seen several companies decide to dive into their bunker awaiting capital markets to improve. M&A interest in quality assets has been strong, and those companies with capital are looking to round out their portfolios --- but of course at good valuations.

We focused this issue of Catalyst on financing topics, including a wonderful story on PTC Therapeutics, which has secured a number of dilutive and non-dilutive financings, and some quality collaboration transactions. The response of the life sciences community has been strong, and consistent with their beliefs that "their programs must find a way into our healthcare system to enrich the quality of life."

We know the next year will be tough, but we are re-assured that the vibrant life-science community will join together and support the cause! We will all take a few hits along the way, but the industry will weather the storm and we will emerge stronger. So yes, I will renew my membership in my local Optimist Club.

 

EisnerAmper's Catalyst: Winter 2009

Welcome to Catalyst

Nurturing New Businesses
New Jersey's Thriving Incubator System Aids Entrepreneurs


A New Way of Thinking
Varied Funding Strategy Gives PTC Therapeutics 'Multiple Shots on Goal'


Alternative Financing:
Fresh Ideas in Times of Economic Uncertainty


Life Science Financing: A Needle in a Haystack?
Investment Experts Weigh in on Myriad Funding Strategies


Venture Capital and Private Equity: Influencing Growth and Exit 

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