Charlotte Savercool

by & filed under Life Science, NVCA Blog, Public Policy.

What can NIH offer to NVCA member firm’s life science portfolio companies? How can you get access to NIH funded companies? Since when does NIH have Entrepreneurs in Residence? Check out the answers to these questions and more in our first Q&A session with NIH investment executives, Dr. Ethel Rubin and John Sullivan. To cultivate the relationship between NIH and NVCA members, Ethel and John will be publishing a variety of Q&A sessions on topics such as NIH non-dilutive funding, resources open to investors, recent VC deals from their portfolio, and more.

What is the NIH and how is NIH related to venture capital? Isn’t NIH a government research organization?
NIH is widely recognized as the world’s premier biomedical research agency. Few realize that NIH, through its Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, is also the world’s largest early stage life sciences investor. We back over 1000 companies each year with over $1B! Companies that are awarded these much-coveted, non-dilutive awards for product development cannot do it alone. We need private, institutional and venture fund partners to help these companies bring products to market. That is where the investment world comes in.

What else can NIH offer to NVCA member firm’s life science portfolio companies?
In recent years, NIH-backed portfolio companies have had opportunities to learn entrepreneurial boot camp style customer discovery, market access, and regulatory and reimbursement strategy through a variety of programs. In addition, many of the NIH institutes offer product development services that run the gamut from IND-enabling work to taking a drug all the way through late stage clinical trials – without taking any equity!

We’ve seen Entrepreneurs in Residence about town and at investor conferences. Since when does NIH have EIRs and what do they do there?
In the past year, NIH has further invested in a remarkable resource to offer strategy and investment expertise to funded companies through an in-house EIR team led by experienced industry and investment executives, (ourselves) Dr. Ethel Rubin and John Sullivan.

Much of what we do helps prepare and connect companies to capital. With hundreds of companies seeking further investment, we collaborate with investors to bring innovative medtech, digital health, healthcare services and biopharma companies across multiple disease areas to your doorstep.

How can you get access to NIH funded companies?
Last year, we embarked on a relationship with the Angel Capital Association, where we participate in monthly deal syndication calls, alert investors to opportunities for their portfolio companies, and showcase a number of our most promising companies seeking seed to series A financing. We welcome the opportunity to do something similar with the NVCA and hope to work further with your healthcare-focused investors on bringing real value to your deal flow and portfolio.

When and where can our life science members hear more?
Look forward to a series of articles on how NIH non-dilutive funding works, resources open to investors, recent VC deals from our portfolio, and more on our initiatives towards collaborating with investors to bring high value, innovative technologies addressing unmet needs in healthcare.

We are happy to talk more with our VC friends at any time and would love to hear from you. Please reach out to Dr. Ethel Rubin (ethel.rubin@nih.gov) or John Sullivan (john.sullivan2@nih.gov) to learn more.