Biotechnology Venture Investing and Neurodegenerative Medicine: Promise of New Approaches to Cure an Ailing Model

Neurodegenerative diseases are one of the leading public health challenges of the next 50 years. Pharmaceutical therapies have traditionally targeted the later stages of neurodegenerative diseases; however, this strategy – as the recent failures of clinical trials for Alzheimer’s drugs have highlighted – has been unsuccessful. Venture capital has underperformed as well during this time, as many new companies have been unable to maintain growth once they reach the public market and have produced less than desirable returns. As a result, venture capitalists have opted for later-stage financing. Nevertheless, new technologies are being developed to answer the question of how to best address neurodegeneration. New tools of detection will allow for much earlier diagnosis and a much greater chance of discovering and applying effective treatments. Realizing that genetic knowledge is insufficient to produce innovative treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, scientists have begun to apply the genetic knowledge attained towards a future of individualized treatments. As these new tools of detection converge with an increased ability to create very precise individual solutions, the risk of successful future investments should come down and provide the potential for outsized returns that have traditionally governed the venture capital financial model.

Russia-Focused Venture Capital Supports In-Bound Technology Transfer and Company Building: An Analysis of Investment Trends and Outcomes

This paper analyzes the approaches taken by the Russian government to promote innovation in the biotechnology sector within the country.  Russia is economically strong, currently with a trade surplus, and the country is investing broadly in initiatives that have resulted in in-bound technology transfer, as well as an expansion of the private sector.  These initiatives include government venture capital and investment funds, as well as physical technology “incubator” centers.  The result has been an increase in the number of clinical-stage biotechnology companies operating in Russia, as well as an increase in the number of pharmaceutical candidates undergoing trials in the country.  The biotechnology “boom” has also resulted in an increase in the number of early-stage companies.  This paper investigates current deal and investment trends from the funds that are the principal supporters of biotechnology companies in Russia.

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