Session 9 – Biotech Business Models and Financing Strategy
Date: 23 July (Thursday) 15:40 – 17:10 (GMT+8)
Venue: 701EF, 7F, TaiNEX2 / Online event platform
Dr. Carter is a dynamic biotechnology industry executive and scientific leader with deep experience in early-stage company development. Since 2010 he has been involved in leading, advising or participating in the development of several biotechnology companies as an advisor, CEO, or member of the Board of Directors. These include Seneca, Inc., (NASDAQ: SNCA), where he currently serves as Executive Chairman, Innoforce, Inc, a China-based start-up company focused on biomanufacturing of new products for China and the world where he served as Head of Corporate Development, and NexImmune, Inc., an immuno-oncology company that he co-founded based on a novel immunotherapy technology from Johns Hopkins University and served for several years as Chairman and CEO. From 1999 to 2009, Dr. Carter was a co-founder and the CEO of Avalon Pharmaceuticals. Under his leadership, initially as both CSO and CEO, Avalon developed a pipeline of cancer drug candidates based on a novel high-throughput genomic screening technology; had successful R&D partnerships with, Merck, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis and MedImmune/AstraZeneca; and completed an IPO and listing on the NASDAQ Stock Market. Avalon merged with Clinical Data, Inc. in 2009. Earlier in his career, Dr. Carter was a scientist and group leader at Human Genome Sciences, Inc. where he was involved in the discovery of several dozen novel genes involved in human diseases, particularly cancer. During his career, Dr. Carter has also engaged in a range of educational and teaching activities and holds an adjunct faculty position at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a course entitled “Creating a Biotechnology Enterprise”. He also serves or has served on boards of directors for several industry organizations including BIO, the world's largest biotechnology trade association.
Speech title & Synopsis
Biotechnology products, particularly biopharmaceuticals, have some of the longest and most expensive product development cycles found in any industry. However, the rewards of successful product development and introducing new therapeutics to the market can be wonderful for both patients and entrepreneurs. Translating promising scientific discoveries or early stage technology into promising product candidates takes time, focus, boundless energy, and considerable financial backing. Therefore, starting and nurturing early stage biotechnology companies is fraught with technical, intellectual property, and financial challenges, not the least of which is the fact that most product candidates fail during pre-clinical or early clinical stages of testing. Business models for bridging this “valley of death” for early-stage companies ranges from cost-efficient incubation of tiny companies within academic laboratories to huge start-up companies financed by venture capital or pharmaceutical companies aimed at massive parallel technology and/or product development. Among the many challenges and opportunities for all early stage companies, regardless of size includes well-crafted licensing agreements, securing sufficient capital, establishing strategic partnerships, and building a good team of employees and advisors. Contemporary and historical examples of business models and successful examples of early-stage biopharmaceutical product development will be reviewed.