Placeholder Banner

Partnering System, Investment Climate - Big Draws for 2016 BIO Investor Forum

September 8, 2016
Before innovative therapies can start helping patients, successful matches between investors and entrepreneurs seeking to develop new medicines must occur. Without access to capital, potentially lifesaving drugs will exist only as ideas. Every fall investors looking for good prospects in the biotech sector gather at the BIO Investor Forum in San Francisco—the birthplace of biotechnology and home to over 1,600 life sciences companies. Many of these companies and others from around the country come to meet with these investors in order to access capital and form strategic alliances that will help bring their innovative products to the market. BIO One-on-One™ Partnering™ allows attendees to identify potential partners and schedule meetings prior to the conference.

This year promises a busy and productive two days with partnering activity pacing ahead of prior years. Since 2013 the number of partnering meetings has nearly doubled. Last year a total of 1,720 partnering meetings occurred during the conference—a number that reflects this meeting’s importance for both investors and companies alike.

Venture capital (VC), initial public offerings (IPOs) and follow-on public offerings (FOPOs) are the lifeblood of emerging companies working on innovative therapies. The BIO Investor Forum is the perfect event for emerging private and public companies to connect with prospective investors to make the deals that drive the biotech industry.

The investment community is already tuned in. Early registrants for this year’s conference include industry heavyweights Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MPM Capital, Frontline BioVentures, Wellington Financial, 5AM Ventures, Abingworth, Bay City Capital, MedImmune Ventures, Longitude Capital, New Enterprise Associates and Takeda Ventures. See the full list of registered investors. No doubt these investors look forward to the nearly 200 company presentations which showcase product pipelines and important milestones.

What investment trends will likely influence the meetings this year? According to a BIO industry analysis, VC investments in biotechnology peaked during 2015 which was the best year on record with just under $7 billion invested. The private investment climate remains strong for 2016 according to a Pricewaterhouse Coopers National Venture Capital Association report.

As seen in the chart below, a trend worth noting is a shift toward VC funding of treatments for rare diseases. The BIO study looked at funding over the last two five year periods (2010-2014 vs. 2011-2015) and found that the percentage change in funding for some high prevalence diseases was negative while areas like metabolic and rare diseases, oncology, and platform technologies, saw increases in VC funding.

[caption id="attachment_23186" align="aligncenter" width="400"]bio-emerging-therapeutic-company-report-2006-2015-12 The percent change in novel venture capital investment by disease between the past two-five year periods (2006- 2010 vs. 2011-2015)[/caption]

Overall, cancer treatments remain at the top of the list, consistently capturing nearly 30% of all VC funding over the last 10 years. In 2015, over $2 billion was invested in oncology companies. That doesn’t mean other diseases are not getting attention. Over the last decade, endocrine and neurology treatments have experienced a much higher percentage of improvement R&D investment than most other disease areas.

[caption id="attachment_23184" align="aligncenter" width="400"]bio-emerging-therapeutic-company-report-2006-2015-11 Total venture funding in 2015, sorted highest to lowest funding by disease. Black dots represent the previous 5-year average(2010-2014).[/caption]

On the IPO side of funding, biotech companies are still enjoying a healthy marketplace although a repeat of 2014 and 2015, which saw a total of 81 and 53 IPOs respectively, is unlikely.

[caption id="attachment_23185" align="aligncenter" width="400"]bio-emerging-therapeutic-company-report-2006-2015-18 IPOs for US R&D-stage emerging therapeutic companies, by phase, 2006-2015.[/caption]

So far in 2016 there have been 23 U.S. biotech IPOs. Recent IPO companies attending this year’s forum include:

  • Calithera Biosciences Inc.

  • Cerecor Inc.

  • Edge Therapeutics Inc.

  • Kadmon Holdings Inc.

  • Merus N.V.

  • Mirna Therapeutics Inc.

  • ProNAi Therapeutics Inc.

  • Syndax Pharmaceuticals Inc.

  • Viking Therapeutics Inc.


The 2016 BIO Investor Conference will be held Oct 18-19 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. As in prior years, the forum will include plenary sessions, business roundtables, therapeutic workshops and fireside chats featuring respected industry veterans discussing the latest trends in biotech.

Advance media registration is now available for qualified reporters working full time for print, broadcast and web publications with valid press credentials.

Visit us to learn more about the BIO Investor Forum, including registration, programming, company presentations and partnering information.