Nonprofit foundations increasingly are making investments in life science companies to accelerate the pace of commercialization of technologies that may provide new therapies and cures for patients. No longer solely focused on making grants to researchers, these foundations are creating a range of investment vehicles to achieve their missions.
LaunchBio, along with our partners BioLabs North Carolina, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, NCBIO and the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, are welcoming eight investment professionals from disease foundations to discuss their investment philosophies, explain their fund and deal structures, and describe how they are using deep scientific knowledge to validate early stage technologies and syndicate with other investors.
We encourage all who are interested in learning about this emerging community of investors to join at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (note location for this event only).
- Mark Allegretta, PhD, VP Commercial Research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- Jonathan Behr, PhD, Managing Director, T1D Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
- Bob Crutchfield, Managing Director, BrightEdge Ventures Fund, American Cancer Society
- Gerard Honig, PhD, Manager, Translational Research, IBD Ventures, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation
- Debra Miller, President & CEO, CureDuchenne Ventures
- Chris Penland, PhD, Vice President, Biopharma Programs, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- Barbara Tate, PhD, Venture Partner, Dementia Discovery Fund
- Ben Yerxa, PhD, CEO, Retinal Degeneration Fund, Foundation Fighting Blindness
The Evolving Role of Impact Investing (4:15- 5:00 p.m.)
Eric Linsley of BioInnovation Capital leads a discussion on how impact investing can advance innovative technologies at the earliest stages of development. Ben Yerxa of Retinal Degeneration Fund, Barbara Tate of Dementia Discovery Fund, and John Behr of T1D Fund weigh in with their investment philosophies.
How the Deal was Done (5:00 - 5:30 p.m.)
Bill Wofford of Hutchison PLLC leads a conversation about recent deals between disease foundations and NC-based life science companies. Debra Miller and Rich West will talk about the investment CureDuchenne made into Baebies. Chris Penland will discuss Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s investment into Spyryx last year.
Working with Disease Foundations (5:45-6:30 p.m.)
Christy Shaffer of Hatteras Venture Partners, leads an exploration into disease foundation investment priorities. Gerard Honig of IBD Ventures, Mark Allegretta of Fast Forward, and Bob Crutchfield of BrightEdge Ventures share how they identify investment opportunities.