Concluding Remarks

“It is extremely challenging to start a company from scratch, particularly if it is an R&D based company, and within R&D, particularly so for pharmaceuticals. The demands are high, but so are the financial rewards, and the psychic rewards of improving outcomes of patients suffering debilitating and potentially fatal diseases can’t be matched in any other industry.”

Brian Frenzel, President & CEO, Tosk

“The last four years have been the easiest capital environment for biotech in terms of raising capital, building companies, and most recently, taking companies public either directly or via SPACS. Capital has been available for biotech assets and science has moved forward at a breakneck speed. What is missing broadly in biotech is human capital. You cannot triple the number of publicly traded biotech companies and continue building teams. There is simply not enough talent out there. Our biggest challenge is continuing to scale and grow the company while attracting high quality talent. That has become the rate limiter to growth in the sector.”

Amit Munshi, President & CEO, Arena Pharmaceuticals

“In the US you have a lot of very dynamic biotech companies with entrepreneurial spirit and very fast decision making. There is also more risk-taking. In Europe, taking risks is less common for cultural reasons, so we have big pharma companies that typically take much longer when working together.”

Michael Quirmbach, CEO & President, CordenPharma

“We are thinking about the genomic and genetic data that is available and how to bring that back into the discovery cycle. This gives us much better insight in terms of how to predict and identify drugs that will be successful in the clinic.”

Jay A. Roberts, President & CEO, Vyant Bio

“BARDA and the Gates Foundation care about scalability, among other considerations. For a product to be considered for addition to the National Strategic Stockpile, or for use in the developing world, one has to imagine a path to produce a fairly large number of doses at a cost that is not prohibitive.”

Bernat Olle, CEO, Vedanta Biosciences

“As an entrepreneur, I was interested in how academic breakthroughs get translated from basic science to the point where they impact patients. There was an existing ecosystem in place and usually it entailed an entrepreneur or scientist advancing one specific idea. The most compelling entrepreneurs and scientists get funding and there is attrition along the way. What occurred to me was that at the beginning of the process, those individuals were advancing their own ideas but not necessarily looking broadly and asking what the best idea is.”

Daphne Zohar, Founder & CEO PureTech Health

“The impacts of COVID-19 have brought the realities of managing complex supply chains—including the potential risks and instabilities that it can present—to the forefront for life sciences companies. It created an opportunity for many businesses to re-evaluate the management of their supply chain, identify redundancies, and potentially introduce new processes or duplicate partners to create a more resilient supply chain. Across all industries, companies should be having the important conversation about how their supply chain will be managed based on a series of worst-case scenarios.”

Peter Meath, Managing Director, Co-Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences, Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries, J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking