Posts Tagged San Francisco

Life Science and Investment Partnership Opportunities with China – 2015 OneMed Forum & OneMed China Forum


Opportunities and challenges for life science companies, in working with China, was a big focus of OneMed Forum, 2015.  OneMed Forum 2015, took place at the same time JP Morgan event was happening in San Francisco.

USS San Francisco (CA-38) entering San Francis...

USS San Francisco (CA-38) entering San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge, December 1942. The structure on the lower left is Fort Point. This picture was taken December 11, 1942, as the USS San Francisco, severely damaged in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal the previous month, returns to her namesake city. The ship was en route to the Mare Island Navy Yard for repairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The OneMed Forum conference with a mission to bring healthcare companies and investors together, opened on January 12, 2015 with a panel that discussed Opportunities in China.  China has seen a very rapid economic growth that has spurred tremendous interest in investing in promising products and technologies, particularly in the healthcare arena.  This panel explored strategies to access the Chinese market.  There was a lot of stress on getting local partners early on.  The panel also discussed deal structure alternatives for companies looking to secure capital, as well as licensing and distribution opportunities in China.  (PS – please see link  http://bit.ly/Zcwxqi  for Life Science job opportunities in China)

After OneMed Conference ended on January, 13th, OneMedChina conference occurred at the same venue.  After the opening remarks by Tony Chu, Founder and Partner with The Pharma Partners, a panel discussed a topic of great general interest “Investing in America”.  It is no more that American companies are chasing Chinese investors, but also many Chinese investors are actively seeking investment opportunities in North America and Europe, particularly in the healthcare arena.  There is a great deal of interest among Chinese investors in technologies that would address Chinese and global markets.  The panel of experts included, Mr. Kevin Chen, Partner and Head of Healthcare Investment, Sequoia Capital China, Mr. Xiangyu Ouyang, Partner & Head of Healthcare Investment, Legend Capital, Dr. David Wang, Partner, OrbiMed China and Mr. Edward Zhou, Partner and Head of Healthcare Investment, New Horizon Capital.  The panel shared insights on investment strategy to follow and shared their current global investment focus.

Next panel on “How to build a successful partnership with a Chinese company” was represented by Dr. Sanuj Ravindran, Global Head of Business Ventures, The Medicine Company and Mr. Andrew Wong, VP of Business Development at SciClone Corporation.  Both panelists stressed the need for local partners.  Wong said that hiring a local advisor will help bridge the culture gap.  Ravindran stressed the need to get on the ground and spend some time to get business and cultural understanding for such partnership to get off to a good start.

These panels were followed by lunch with extended networking time.  Rooms for one on one discussions between investors and companies were also available.

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Healthcare Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, CA


Life Science Industry gearing up for Innovation:  Code-a-thon (Health Technology Forum), TiEcon, EPPIC event

Code-a-thons are fun and also highly productive live events that bring together developers, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs, brimming with new and exciting ideas on applications and tools for any given problem.  Health Technology Forum in San Francisco was formed with a mission to improve healthcare through technology.  In 2013, HTF organized a very successful code-a-thon that focused on serving the needs of the underserved populations. This year again, HTF has organized a code-a-thon to precede (by about a week to 10 days) its annual conference focused around the theme of Pathways to Sustainable Health, on May 20, at Parc 55, Wyndham Hotel, SF.  Additionally, HTF has proposed a series of events to follow the weekend code-a-thon challenge, including a unique second phase to enable the winning team to be placed on-site at one or more safety-net hospitals.  

DC Health Week Code-a-Thon 13109

DC Health Week Code-a-Thon 13109 (Photo credit: tedeytan)

2014 HTF Innovation Conference: Pathways to Sustainable...So how do code-a-thons help spur innovation?  These short and focused events often result in the rapid development of breakthrough concepts and working prototype applications.  Code-a-thons highlight a problem in need of a solution.  This spotlighting of the problem, with clarity around its challenges and opportunities, helps the problem to remain the primary focus of innovation, and not the technology.  This is a good mental discipline for enthusiastic bright innovators who tend to fall in love with their own idea, and often fail to pay heed to the needs of the market.  The ideas and technologies that come out of code-a-thons often lead to creation of actual products that can be deployed in the marketplace.  Further, if these innovators would receive coaching from stakeholders within the hospital centers then it is inevitable that the positive impact will be enormous and immediate, in creating new innovative solutions, for sustainable healthcare. Few can argue that our healthcare system needs an overhaul, and something that will greatly impact the transformation in the healthcare system is the impact that Big Data will have.  For instance, Big Data can help empower patients to be in charge of their own health.  From providing access to their medical records, to enabling continuous health monitoring, it will help inform and empower patients to be proactive managers of their own health.  Similarly, mounds of clinical and epidemiological data can lead to greater insights in diagnosis and therapeutics of various diseases.  The requirements of this particular code-a-thon will be centered around developing and designing the prototype of an app that supports the collection and communication of health care data about key diseases and behaviors. Please stay tuned for more information, and sign up for the code-a-thon and for the annual conference at www.healthtechnologyforum.com and follow them on twitter @healthtechforum.  You can follow me on twitter @DarshanaN.

Additionally, mark your calendar for 2 other interesting life science events.
May 16, 17 is #TiEcon 2014, the largest entrepreneurship conference, at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA.  The Healthcare Track on Day 2 will feature panels on exciting topics like “Harnessing Healthcare Data”, “Engaging Patients of the Future”, “Where the VCs are Investing in Healthcare” and more.  Register by May 1, for  www.tiecon.org through the link http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw as my guest and enter promo code tievalue to get $100 off.
May, 6 EPPIC event – EPPIC frequently spotlights success stories of local entrepreneurs and on My 6 at Cubberley in Palo Alto, will host Dr. Sarvajna Dwivedi, Founder of Pearl Therapeutics which was acquired last year, by Astra Zeneca for $1.15 B.  Register at www.eppicglobal.org.
http://www.bio2devicegroup.org is a group that meets every Tuesday, in Sunnyvale and hosts speakers on a wide range of healthcare topics.  Pre-registration required for “Second Tuesday of the month meetings” and all other meetings are free and open for walk-ins.  For information on any of these events, feel free to send me an email at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com.

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OneMedForum – San Francisco, 2014


The OneMed forum conference was launched in January of 2008, when economy was showing all signs of progressing to new heights, with an objective to showcase innovation in medtech.  The conference aimed to bring together the companies and investors, during the large influx of healthcare investors and executives, during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, in San Franciso.  Fast forward to 2014 and we are perhaps just emerging from one of the worst recessions; a downturn that hit the medtech sector more than any other industry segment.

This year, the location of OneMed Forum was changed and the venue was moved further away from the JP Morgan Conference.  Since the weather in SF was gorgeous, it was not a problem; but if the venue continues to be further away in future, and in the event of cold and rainy weather, it can have an impact and lower the attendance at future OneMed events.  This year also OneMed event seemed to be sparsely attended, although that appearance might also be enhanced because the meeting rooms were spread out on two different floors and there wasn’t a single spill out location for the participants to meet and network – another problem with the venue.

There was also a palpable difference between the JP Morgan conference and the OneMed Forum, this year, in terms of optimism.  While biotech and pharma sector is returning to pre-recession levels with a large number of IPOs and higher numbers of dollars raised, medical technology companies have yet to see significant investment dollars.  On talking with the participants, I heard a note of disappointment regarding low attendance from VCs and other investors, just like in the last few years.

However, despite slow pickup and staggering growth in the medtech sector, it is transforming and the companies are learning to operate more efficiently.  It is also recognized that healthcare is at a critical point and medical innovation will have to address some key challenges.  Various panels and speakers at the OneMed Forum, addressed the changing healthcare landscape and how the future of health and medicine will need to be shaped, in the coming years to address the key issues. 

Major Highlights

Personalized Medicine Panel discussed the promise offered by customized diagnosis and treatments, in lowering the cost and increasing effectiveness.  Panel sessions addressing the JOBS Act and the Affordable Care Act, explored the impact of the legislation on cost of care and access to care.  Companies and solutions that may be poised to offer effective healthcare solutions and may also present interesting investment opportunities were highlighted.  In somewhat grim medtech landscape, digital health is emerging as the hottest new trend, with much potential.  The Digital Health panel discussed the impact of Affordable Care Act in increasing information transparency and empowered consumers taking greater control of their health information.  The changing role of the patients/ consumers will require change in the healthcare delivery and transformation in the business model.

A panel addressing “reimbursement strategy after the affordable care act”, discussed impact of medicare payment rules on medtech and hospital markets.  The panel also discussed trends in coverage and payment for newly emerging molecular diagnostic tests.  One key advice from the panel was that thinking upfront about the reimbursement strategy will be increasingly more important for companies with new, innovative products.  A panelist also suggested that during clinical trials, companies can also think about reimbursement and instead of doing only what may be required by the FDA, if they can also collect reimbursement data then they would come out ahead.  During innovation, the companies should relentlessly focus on disease management, and that would lead to them to appropriate and effective reimbursement strategy, advised the panel.

Financing and IPO issues were addressed in various panels.  One interesting panel on Crowdfunding discussed a handful of portals that are beginning to raise some capital for emerging growth companies.  One investor who was attending the panel, later told me, that it is too early to give an opinion on what kind of success this strategy would yield, but he had some grave concerns.    AdvaMed CEO’s Unplugged Panel featured some of top leaders of the MedTech industry, who shared their insights on key challenges facing the industry.  Stuart Randle, CEO of GI Dynamics advised startups to focus on crucial healthcare issues including obesity.  He also advise companies to pursue capital intensive strategy, and at least initially sell products outside the US.  Scott Brooks, CEO of Regenesis Biomedical, advised startups to get good legal and regulatory counsel early on.  Patrick Daly, CEO of Cohera Medical was optimistic about the future of MedTech.  “IPOs are coming back, M&A is picking up, and dollars are rolling in, big companies have record levels of cash, and I feel positive”, he said.

One of the most prolific financiers, Bill Hambrecht gave a keynote address.  Hambrecht has over 500 IPO’s to his credit that include seed level funding in nascent industries.  Although I did not attend the keynote, I heard some highly positive comments from an attendee.  Steven Burrill, who has been at the helm of innovation in healthcare and shares and who regularly shares his insights through his annual reports, gave a second keynote.  Again, I missed the address but both keynotes were major highlights of the event.  Throughout the conference, over 800 emerging companies gave presentations.  Following the presentations, partnering and breakout sessions gave the opportunity for conference delegates to meet the CEO’s of these companies.

Although it may seem hard to believe, it appears that now the MedTech sector has nowhere to go but up.  The industry has learned some hard lessons, the companies are lean, operating with greater efficiency, spending cash wisely, and instead of hawking next new technology, they are focused on key problems facing the healthcare industry, and on providing effective solutions.  If the healthcare providers are not eager to incorporate some of the solutions, then it will happen out of necessity.  It will become incumbent upon the healthcare industry to implement solutions offering greater ROI in terms of improved health and lower cost.  Healthcare providers will be looking for solutions that provide digital and point of care diagnosis and health monitoring and treatment options and solutions from personalized medicine and genomic health.  Let us stay tuned for some cool innovations from the MedTech sector in 2014.  Senior Analyst at Wells Fargo, Larry Biegelsen has also observed that not only acceleration in healthcare spending is expected in 2014 but there are number of other tailwinds including, “emerging technologies and emerging markets contributing more to growth and a more industry-friendly FDA, which should lead to faster approval times for medical devices”.   

 

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Fabulous Opportunity to hear Gavin Newsom & Moira Gunn @HealthTechForum Conf.


Health Technology Forum connects people worldwide, with an aim to make affordable and quality healthcare accessible for all people.  Recently, at Innovation Conference, under the theme of “Platforms for the Underserved”, many prominent physicians and others interested and working in this arena, gathered to discuss and advance the agenda of affordable healthcare.  Below are highlights from inspiring keynote by Gavin Newosm, Lieutenant Governor of California and panel session moderated by Dr. Moira Gunn, host of National Public Radio program, The Tech Nation.

Gavin Newsom – Keynote at Health Tech Forum Innovation Conference

“Once the campaign is over, we politicians stop listening to you”, said Gavin Newsom in his luncheon keynote address at Health Technology Forum www.healthtechnologyforum.com conference.  Newsom peppered his talk with crisp sound bites, and made a case for thriving, in what is “no longer a connected world, but a hyper connected world.”  Much can be achieved if people get together with determination and commitment.  “Organized people are whole lot more powerful than organized money”, said Newsom.  Proud of his moral and ethical stand on issues, Newsom said, he voted to oppose death penalty, legalize marijuana, rescind the three strikes rule, and in support of gay marriage.  “You may not agree with me,” he said, “but I sleep well.”  He urged people to exercise their moral authority, to step up and say what they believe in, to be authentic, stand by their principles, to shake things up.  “The world demands it”, said Newsom and brought the house down.  Newsom concluded by quoting Churchill, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another, with no loss of enthusiasm”.

Gavin-newsom

Gavin-newsom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Dr. Moira Gunn of NPR’s Tech Nation at Health Technology Forum Conference

Moira Gunn

Moira Gunn (Photo credit: @bdthomas)

Dr. Moira Gunn, Host of Tech Nation, moderated the luncheon panel.  Dr. Jessica Evert, Executive Director at Child Family Health International, said, humility and technology are both essential in improving health on a global scale.  Asset based community development model is based around deploying technology and coordinating around existing cultural and geographic strengths, not around deficiencies.  Dr. Gary Heit, cofounder of AMCANI, an organization that seeks to support modern neurosurgery in developing countries, concurred.  During his numerous experiences in developing countries, he has observed, that often they are not lacking in skills or intellectual capacity but in equipment and resources. Dr. Mainul Islam is COO of Medic Mobile, a company focused improving health care in challenging settings, through the utilization of technology.  Islam shared about their work in 16 countries.  Gunn applauded all these efforts to make a difference.

 

 

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