Catalyst - Winter 2011 - Welcome

2010 has been an interesting and trying year for many of the region’s life-science companies.  A few IPO’s in our region have been successfully registered, but not a sustained valuation.  A few IPO candidates were taken off the market by M&A transactions.  And we saw a number of collaboration deals terminate, replaced by an approximate equal number of back-end weighted BIO-BUCKS (i.e. de-risked) collaborations. 

Yet the global life science community continues to look for innovation – and the efforts of our diverse and productive regional life science community are producing such innovative products. As these innovators become more critical to the life-cycle management of the larger industry leaders, the innovators are becoming more adept at sustaining and advancing their development programs.  Good quality management teams and science continues to attract the attention of financing sources – and the creativity of blending sparse angel investors, grant financing, VC and private-equity, and partnering financing has been staggering.  Clearly evidence of the “greater good” being performed by our industry.   

The appeal of these companies has sparked healthy competition and incentives from the government sector.  The Federal Research & Development tax credit was extended; state tax benefit and R&D programs in NJ and PA continue despite heavy opposition; and NY joined the ranks of states offering R&D credits.  The impact of the Healthcare reform Act was the $5 billion Federal Qualified Therapeutic Discovery Project.  Although many would argue that few dollars were spread to too many projects, that fact that a very large number of projects in our region were funded is a positive sign.  I am really proud of my team in assisting our clients and friends with their QTDP applications – and our success rate was outstanding.  I would like to mention a particular thanks to Michael Hadjiloucas, Lori Reiner, Rachel Yin and Lori  McMahon for their knowledge-sharing and hard-work during the brief application period.   

2010 has been a transformative year for our firm as well.  With the merger of Amper and Eisner, we have created a dominant force in the accounting profession in the northeast.  While this issue is focused on M&A transactions in the life science industry, I thought it would be really helpful for our readers to learn a little more about our combined firm from our senior leaders – Charly Weinstein and Howard Cohen.   I am very thankful to them for their support in expanding our life science capabilities, especially in the areas of tax incentives, government grant consulting and compliance auditing and royalty audits.  I am grateful to the some of my new partners for expanding our life science footprint into New York and Long Island.  Wishing everyone a successful 2011.  

John Pennett
Life Sciences Group
EisnerAmper LLP


EisnerAmper's Catalyst: Winter 2011

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