The biotech market has been growing rapidly over the past two decades, and is expected to be worth nearly $2.5 trillion by 2028. Meanwhile, the pace of technological developments and innovation have reduced barriers to entry, leading to an influx of aspiring biotech startups eager to bring their products to market. But despite the increase in available capital, early-stage biotech companies are battling harder for their share of funding. In this article, we explore the challenges, strategies, and best practices in early-stage biotech funding.
The ICR Westwicke Blog is designed to deliver information and insights into the ever-changing world of healthcare communications.
Properly handled relationships with Wall Street analysts can play a key role in a company’s investor relations plan and overall success. However, missteps can create unnecessary problems — especially considering that analysts may share anything you say with the public markets — so executives should approach these relationships carefully. Use the checklist below to maintain effective analyst communications.
Medical meetings allow analysts and investors to explore an array of public and private healthcare companies in one place and gain deeper insight into the industry’s competitive dynamics as they meet with management teams and learn about new products and strategies.
These and other industry events play an important role in enhancing Wall Street professionals’ understanding of the quickly changing healthcare landscape – helping them reinforce and update their investment ideas, conduct due diligence, evaluate new prospects, and spot emerging competitive threats.
For public and mature private companies in need of financing, finding the right investment bank is a vital early step. Choose wrong, and your deal could sour, or you could wind up accepting an unfavorable valuation. But the right banker will guide you through your IPO, follow-on investment, or other financing deal while maintaining a long-term relationship with you that could bear fruit for years to come.
So what should you be looking for? For each investment bank you consider, you’ll want to look hard at three things above all: the quality of each firm’s banking team itself, the credibility of its research team, and the relationships that you can forge with its people, as well as their own relationships with the Street.
At some point during your company’s growth, you will need to share sensitive data with investors and financial professionals by using a data room. In the old days, a data room was just that: a room filled with printed files and reams of paper containing patent descriptions, clinical data, and financial projections.
Today, data rooms are usually virtual. And with hackers increasing their efforts (and their ability) to steal sensitive data, it’s vital you consider security as well as service and convenience as you evaluate data room solutions.
With our colleagues at NASDAQ, we recently co-hosted an informational luncheon for private-company CEOs and CFOs on the IPO process. Guest speakers included a life science venture capital investor and a CFO of a company that went public in 2016.
The management teams in the audience for the well-attended event had plenty of questions for our guests, on everything from how to prepare for an IPO to avoiding pitfalls to making the transition to being a public company.
Our speakers had much to say. Below are a few of their most important pieces of advice:
Dining with one of your analysts can be nerve-racking, but it really doesn’t need to be.
Sharing a meal at a restaurant should make for a less formal meeting than one conducted in a boardroom. The mood should prove to be friendlier and less business-like, and conversations rarely venture deep into the numbers.
Over dinner, analysts frequently probe for “color” related to previously disclosed themes to gather the kind of details that can animate their coverage and talking points for investors.
Throughout my 23 years as an institutional salesperson, I had the pleasure to host many interesting and successful investor meetings.
Very few of those meetings went badly, because I always made a point to educate the companies I was traveling with in advance of the meeting. My goal was to make sure the management team had a complete background on the investor they were meeting and a deep understanding of that investor’s investment process and philosophy. I even tried to ensure that the management team knew about any investor’s personality quirks so they would not get thrown off their game during the meeting. Investors can sometimes try to intentionally rattle management teams in order to get them to say things they were not planning to say.
There’s never a better time than the present to chart your investor interaction strategy over the coming months. What investors do you still need to meet with this year – including follow-ups to initial meetings you’ve already held, and meetings with new investors with whom you haven’t yet connected?
Of course, all of this consideration needs to be prioritized within the context of your company’s upcoming catalysts: clinical trial progress, data readouts, product approvals, product launches, potential financings, growth target bogeys, and other various metrics investors will use to gauge your progress.
When you get a question from an investor or analyst that seems to be from out of left field, it makes you wonder what the underlying intention is. It may be that the questioner is just new to your story.
However, the questioner could also be heavily shorting your company or long your biggest competitor. The question could be awkwardly phrased or come across as a bit sneaky because the investor is trying to get you to elaborate on an answer or provide more detail on a topic than you have in the past.