Science and industry have been working, for what seems like a lifetime, to come up with a safe and effective treatment for obesity.
I recently stepped down after a six-year stint as Chairman of uniQure (NASDAQ: QURE). In the process of interviewing potential successors, one candidate observed that “there is no manual for how to chair a biotech company.” I had never really thought about that previously, but the comment struck a chord. While I am not sure I have it in me to write a manual, a blog seemed a manageable and appropriate means to share a few learnings from my experience serving as chair of four companies (two public and two private) and working with six chairs or lead independent directors in three CEO / President roles over the past two decades.
By Philip Astley-Sparke, CEO of Replimune, as part of the From The Trenches feature of LifeSciVC.
Vigil Neuroscience is barreling forward with a strategy that will see it hop along steppingstones from rare diseases to Alzheimer’s. Having emerged with $50 million late last year, Vigil has gathered up an additional $90 million to validate its ex-Amgen asset in a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease.
It’s tempting to think that the first skill you need to learn in business development is negotiating. That’s important, of course, but it should not be your first stop. Business development, at its core, is all about building relationships. And while that may sound simple, I’ve seen many up-and-comers stumble because they fail to understand best practices and basic etiquette at the foundation of strong business relationships.
By Deanna Petersen, CBO of AVROBIO, as part of the From The Trenches feature of LifeSciVC
The opportunity for each member of a NewCo to take on multiple responsibilities selects early for people ready to help a startup get its footing. We were no exception at Spero, when we started off with a $400k seed investment a little more than 6 years ago. Funds were tight to hire a controller and we were weeks away from a go/no go data point, so I put on my green visor and volunteered (fortunately briefly!) to do the company’s accounting. Thankfully, the science advanced, we raised funds, and I was thrilled to give that responsibility up to a great team. Sometimes, though, the choice to give up a responsibility is not that easy.
By Ankit Mahadevia, CEO and Founder of Spero Therapeutics, as part of the From The Trenches feature of LifeSciVC.