Session 5 – A New Paradigm in Biotech Innovation & Investment
Date: 22 July (Wednesday) 15:40 – 17:10 (GMT+8)
Venue: 701EF, 7F, TaiNEX2 / Online event platform
Fred is a seasoned investment professional with over 18 years of experience in the VC, PE, and investment banking, where he has assumed a number of key positions at multiple organizations. Early in his career, Fred was instrumental in setting up the biotech investment team within Marubeni USA, where he gained deep experience in sourcing, evaluating, executing and actively supporting young biotech startups through successful exits. Subsequently, Fred joined Patriarch Partners, a distressed private equity firm, where he managed a team of 14 investment professionals as the Co-Head of Credit Team, overseeing hundreds of distressed and HY credits across multiple funds totaling multi-billion dollars in AUM. Most recently, Fred served Mizuho Securities, a Japanese investment bank, as a Director in the Investment Business Department, from where he successfully launched Axil Capital, a life science VC firm, in August, 2017. Fred holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from M.I.T. He is a native and technical-level bilingual in Japanese and English, and is proficient in multiple scientific disciplines.
Speech title & Synopsis
The venture ecosystems of Taiwan and Japan struggle to mature to a level that efficiently feeds into the capital markets value chain. This is particularly pronounced in the biotech sector; the requisite scientific knowledge, regulatory hurdles, and capital intensity compounded with the long exit time horizon overshadow its attractiveness to a broad investor base. Furthermore, the conservative nature of the corporate culture in both countries have disincentivized talent mobility, impeding a robust growth of the entrepreneurial environment in both countries.
Now, the environment is shifting. As the scientific discoveries from the last few decades have transformed into practical therapies that improve quality of life, the old belief that biotech bets are protracted and risky is changing. Results in the form of tangible commercial products generating real returns are starting to prove the inherent value of biotechnology. In the wake of the post-Corona era, investors are further realizing the consistent need for biotech innovation globally. Hence, the capital markets are now compelled to accommodate more risk capital. In this awakening, regional hubs like Japan and Taiwan represent relatively untapped investment opportunities. Both countries are capable of generating breakthrough technologies, but their venture ecosystems are yet to be fully appreciated by institutional investors. Thus, by partnering and playing to their respective fortes in the innovation value chain, Japan and Taiwan could lead the way in commercializing new technology to become the innovation hub of the far east.