An impressive group of investors and companies attended the 20th Anniversary Southeastern BIO Investor & Partnering Forum (SEBIO) on November 13-14th at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta. The Forum is the Southeast’s only regional life sciences venture capital conference.
“The success of this year’s Forum is a testament to SEBIO’s significant role in connecting investment capital from up and down the eastern U.S. with the most promising biomedical companies for our seven-state region,” said Todd Sherer, Chair of SEBIO and Emory University Interim Vice President of Research. “The conference was as exciting as it has ever been. As a networking event, the quality and high level of attendees produced a tremendous intensity of networking.”
The Forum offered something for everyone: an early-stage event which profiled the best new initial investment opportunities in the region; a presenting company event which showcased companies in the region that have already completed at least one round of institutional financing; a keynote health care technology speaker whose latest company is transforming our control of our own health; and four panels brimming over with leading investors, entrepreneurs and luminaries.
The early-stage event allowed participants to introduce their companies to selected advisory teams, which then chose the four best to participate in the Early-Stage Shootout. During the Early-Stage Shootout, the companies had the opportunity to present to the entire conference including a panel of celebrity judges. The selected participants of the Early-Stage Shootout were: Tellus Therapeutics (NC),
EternaTear (NC), Innovative Med Concepts (AL), and Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies (NC).
Wednesday’s keynote address was presented by Jeff Arnold, Chairman and CEO of Sharecare, a digital health company he founded with Dr. Mehmet Oz to help people access and manage all of their health resources in one place.
The day was kicked off by a panel entitled “Early Stage Investing: And We Do Mean Early” where industry veterans spoke on fundraising, the novel aspects of their programs and how this industry segment is evolving. Dennis Liotta, PhD of Emory Institute for Drug Development, Alan Bentley with the Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Bob Creeden of UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures and Bob Crutchfield of BrightEdge Ventures spoke on funding sources for the early stage life sciences world and so much more.
According to participants the highlight of the conference could have been the Corporate VC panel. Gladys Nunez of Amgen Ventures, Steve Hall of Lilly Ventures, Charles Kunsch with AbbVie Ventures, and Linda Lohr of Pfizer detailed their own funds and how they operate. But even more to the point, described the ins and outs, ups and downs of working with the venture arms of large corporations.
The Future of the Medical Device Industry panel featured a representative from one of the most active medical device venture funds in America. Panelists featured are Justin Klein, MD, JD of NEA, Timothy Patrick of Cartiva, Jed Cohen with Leerink, and Peter Shagory of CONMED Corporation. This afternoon panel was led by Scott Weiner of Pappas Capital.
Max Wallace of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure moderated a stimulating conversation on Neuroscience including advances and the future. Joining in the conversation were Teo Dagi, MD, an internationally recognized neurosurgeon, scholar, educator, venture investor and entrepreneur, Shawn Hingtgen, Founder, Falcon Therapeutics and Owen Samuels, M.D., Medical Director, Emory University Division of Neurointensive Care.
The Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum is pleased to announce Jeff Arnold, Chairman and CEO of Sharecare, will present the keynote address on Wednesday, November 14. Arnold is a dynamic speaker who will bring to us his story as well as the latest in health care trends.
Sharecare is a digital health company that Arnold founded with Dr. Mehmet Oz to help people access and manage all of their health resources in one place. Sharecare’s personalized and comprehensive platform connects consumers, employees and health plan members to the knowledge, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need by building each user a unique, dynamic health profile.
Under Arnold’s leadership, Sharecare has been recognized as best-in-industry by numerous organizations. For its innovations in digital health, Sharecare has received multiple Stevie® Awards – including a Silver Stevie for Company of the Year in the Health Products and Services and Pharmaceuticals category – as well as multiple honors from The Webby Awards, Appy Awards, Telly Awards and Digital Health Awards. Sharecare also has been named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, the Healthcare Informatics 100, the Association for Corporate Growth’s Fast 40, the Technology Association of Georgia’s Top 10 Innovative Technology Companies and “Emerging Company of the Year” by the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Prior to Sharecare, Arnold was chairman and CEO of HowStuffWorks.com, an award-winning online resource used by millions of people each month which he sold to Discovery Communications, where he served as chief digital strategy officer, and chief architect of The Curiosity Project until December 2011.
In 1998, he founded and served as CEO of WebMD, the first healthcare company to harness the power of the Internet to create a destination for consumers, healthcare institutions and physicians to find trustworthy medical information. Before WebMD, Arnold founded Quality Diagnostic Services (QDS), a cardiac arrhythmia monitoring company which was one of the first companies to use the concept of telemedicine over 25 years ago.
Currently chairman of Forbes Travel Guide and co-chairman of Endeavor Atlanta, he also has served on numerous boards for public, private and charitable organizations over the years.KEEP READING
The Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum is honored to present a panel of distinguished corporate venture capitalists to provide insight into how to work with corporations, the largest single source of capital for biopharma companies.
The Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum [hyperlink: https://www.southeastbio.org/] is honored to present a panel of distinguished corporate venture capitalists on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at the Loews Atlanta. Panelists, Gladys Nunez of Amgen, Steve Hall of Lilly, Charles Kunsch of AbbVie, and Linda Lohr with Pfizer will provide insight into how to work with corporations, the largest single source of capital for biopharma companies.
Starting in a bio scientist position at Anglo-Swedish drugs group AstraZeneca after graduating from Southampton University, Gladys Nunez found her home at Amgen two years later when she joined the firm as a biochemist in 1997. In 2002, Nunez joined the company’s business development unit, and has completed numerous deals for the company over the past 13 years, focused on discovery, development, and commercial applications in life sciences. She also managed Amgen’s Academic Alliance Group, an initiative to build bridges between academia and industry through the establishment of comprehensive academic alliances, for two years from 2008.
“With my location in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I have worked with multiple east coast institutions, companies and venture capitalists to be a key contact person to support our business development goals. Recently, I have shifted formally into Amgen Ventures to help advance our early-stage investments in the technology and product areas.”
For more than a decade, Amgen Ventures has invested in more than 30 emerging biotechnology companies to advance promising medicines and technologies. Amgen Ventures funds early-stage companies developing human therapeutics. The Fund was founded in 2004 with an initial $100 million investment. While the fund’s focus is primarily in areas of current therapeutic interest to Amgen, it also seeks out novel modalities with the potential to address targets in both current and emerging therapeutic areas of interest. Investments are made on a case-by-case basis, but Amgen Ventures typically invests $2 to 3 million per company per round with $10 million invested over the life of the company. Therapeutic areas of focus for Amgen include: Oncology, Inflammation, Hematology/Nephrology, Metabolic Disorders, Neuroscience and Cardiovascular. Amgen primarily invests in North America, but will consider investments in Europe and the United Kingdom.
Steve Hall brings more than 35 years of pharmaceutical experience from both multinational pharmaceutical companies and biotech organizations to Lilly Ventures. Prior to joining Lilly Ventures, Steve was SVP, Research and Development, at Serenex, Inc. where he was also a co-founder. Steve also has held operational and leadership roles at Eli Lilly, Sphinx Pharmaceuticals, and Bristol-Myers Squibb in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular disease, and lead generation technologies.
Steve currently sits on the boards of Cavion Pharma, Esanex, FORMA Therapeutics, Hydra Biosciences, Kymera Therapeutics, Lysosomal Therapeutics and Nimbus Therapeutics. In addition, Steve also serves as the CEO for Esanex.
Steve is the author of more than 40 papers and 60 patents. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Central Michigan University and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Since 2002, Lilly Ventures has focused its investments in great companies with compelling life science innovations that have the potential to create a pipeline of life-changing medicines. They partner actively with their portfolio company management teams and provide intellectual, as well as financial, resources to accelerate the path to success.
Charles Kunsch, Ph.D.is a Ventures Director with AbbVie Ventures. Dr. Kunsch has over twenty-five years of experience in biomedical R&D, business development, and corporate venture capital investing. Since 2013, he has been a member of AbbVie’s Venture team and is based in Boston, MA, where his focus is on early-stage investments in life science companies. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and transacting venture investments and early-stage business development partnerships and is a board observer to several AbbVie portfolio companies.
Prior to joining the Ventures team, Dr. Kunsch served as a Director in Abbott’s Global External Research group where he was responsible for the identification, assessment, and development of early-stage partnerships across Abbott’s therapeutic areas. Before joining Abbott in 2009, he served as Vice President of Discovery at AtheroGenics, Inc., leading teams that brought several programs into clinical development for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
Dr. Kunsch started his career in biotech as one of the first scientists with Human Genome Sciences, where he led a team of scientists to fully sequence the genomes of several medically important bacterial pathogens. Dr. Kunsch obtained his B.S. in Biological Sciences from Drexel University and Ph.D. from Penn State’s College of Medicine in Microbiology and Immunology. He performed his postdoctoral work at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology under the mentorship of Craig Rosen. Dr. Kunsch is an inventor of more than 30 patents and has authored more than 125 peer-reviewed manuscripts, scientific reviews and book chapters.
As tomorrow’s innovations are developed by today’s entrepreneurs, AbbVie Ventures invests in transformational scientific opportunities aligned with their core R&D interests to gain access to next-generation science and build relationships with proven and emerging scientific leaders.
Linda Lohr is a Portfolio Strategist for Pfizer and has worked in small and large corporate environments in the pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries. Lohr received a B.A. in Chemistry and Art History with a minor in Economics from Williams College. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Yale, where she designed solid state NMR instrumentation. Lohr next post-doc’ed at Exxon-Mobil, where she developed polymerization catalysts, increasing polymer manufacturing productivity 4-fold. At Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, she led the development of a new NMR spectrometer product line from engineering design through market launch. She later was recruited to join Pfizer as an analytical scientist. There she held positions of increasing responsibility in technology strategy, launching the division’s first NMR group, introducing solid state NMR to Pfizer, and launching the Structural Elucidation Group. Lohr was awarded Pfizer’s Global Scientific Achievement Award for unifying the technology goals of multiple lines. As a Pharm Sci Team Leader, she has won multiple awards for delivering the fastest CAN to first-in-patient in company history. Lohr later joined Materials Science to lead solid form selection and solid-state characterization and also orchestrated a panel of nation-wide experts spanning government and industry on healthcare reform and partnered with Public Affairs to impact science policy at state and federal levels. In her current role as Senior Director, she balances scientific strategy with business drivers to manage the pre-POC portfolio for Pharmaceutical Sciences. Throughout her career, Lohr has held roles on both managerial and scientific ladders and continues to be a mentor for others and is an active advocate for women’s issues and science policy. She is the author of numerous external scientific publications and presentations including four book chapters in the fields of materials science and analytical technologies.KEEP READING
Early bird pricing to attend the Southeast BIO Investor and Partnering Forum will end September 30.
Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum, the region’s premiere life sciences and medical technology conference connecting emerging companies with potential investors and corporate partners returns to Atlanta November 13-14, 2018. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Forum features a new format, new networking opportunities, and new investment prospects.
Save $100 off registration by confirming your spot to attend today [link to registration].KEEP READING
Venture capital continues to play a critical role in financing innovation in the life sciences. This panel will focus on current trends, including the unprecedented amount of capital currently flowing into the industry and the state of the public marketsKEEP READING