Opportunity or Apocalypse? Prophecies for 2012

On day two of the BIO Investor Forum in San Francisco, Calif., attendees were eager to participate in the Closing Plenary. Historically, this session draws the biggest crowd of the conference and this year was no exception. Speaking to a packed audience, with standing room only, the panelists engaged in a lively discussion about the state of the industry and what is in the cards for 2012.

Both Bryan Roberts, PhD, Partner, Venrock and Matthew D. Perry, Portfolio Manager, Biotechnology Value Fund, LP agreed that they are beginning to see the support again and investors are out there looking for biotech companies. Furthermore, Perry suggested that the piqued interest might be attributed to the fact that companies are increasingly moving toward a model where they will forge their own paths. Successful biotech companies have both an innovative business and science side.

In order for these new companies to experience success, Perry encourages their leadership to ask hard questions early. As Roberts said, “I want to take my risks early.” Often times, organizations find themselves with a board and investors who are not in sync, causing problems.

So just what are the predictions for 2012? Opportunities.

“I think 2012 is going to be phenomenal! Once we remove this wall of worry, things are going to fall in to place,” said Kurt von Emster, PhD, Managing Director, venBio, LLC.  As Roberts reminded the audience, in the last two weeks alone, there were two acquisitions. To which Perry quickly chimed in that he is excited about the evolution of the market.  In his opinion, now is the best time to be looking for investments.

The panel was moderated by Luke Timmerman, National Biotech Editor, Xconomy.

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