Viva Biotech Partnering Reception – Seed and Early-Stage Biotech Investment
On Nov. 14th, 2018, Viva Biotech held its inaugural Partnering Reception in San Diego, one of the biotech hubs in the U.S, with SABPA being the event co-organizer. It was a hot ticket in the San Diego biotech community that had attracted more than 120 enthusiastic entrepreneurs, scientific and business leaders in the life science industry.
The event was chaired by Yinghong Gao, Viva Biotech’s US-based executive director of business development. Dr. Derek Ren, the president of Viva gave an excellent overview on Viva’s business model, focusing on early stage investment and incubation mechanism, which has great synergy with Viva’s early drug discovery service platforms. He also highlighted Viva Biotech’s leadership positions in the service areas of protein science, structural biology and ASMS screening, in addition to Viva’s medicinal chemistry and antibody discover platforms. Viva analyst Chloe Kamps then gave a very good introduction on the pre-screening and due diligence process of the potential investment opportunities, which had captured the audience attention.
Dr. Yimin Zou, Neurobiology Professor of University of California at San Diego (UCSD), and the founder of VersaPeutics then shared with the audience his very rewarding experience working with Viva that eventually led to the recent A round financing. The funding will allow VersaPeutics to take the technology licensed from UCSD for spinal cord injury to the clinical stage. The story would not have been complete without Dr. Ruben Flores’ sharing from a different perspective as the Director of Commercialization of the Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) of UCSD. Dr. Flores explained the importance of translating healthcare innovation from academia to industry and how his office has been able to increase the number of licensing deals in recent years. Dr. Richard Lin, Founder of Explora BioLabs and a board member of Biolabs, then provided his insights on the driving force and future outlook of the San Diego’s biotech startup ecosystem.
The fascinating stories presented by the speakers had sparked a lot of interest from the attendees with great audience participation during the Q&A and panel discussion, especially on how Viva Biotech differentiates from other biotech investment firms and incubators. Many entrepreneurs in the audience walked away being convinced that Viva Biotech’s business model is unique and sustainable, some are eager to submit their business plans to seek potential partnering opportunities with Viva. Through this reception, Viva Biotech hopes to be able to help more entrepreneurs realizing their dreams and to forge stronger partnerships with biotech startup communities in the southern California area in the future.