Category: Reports and analyses


  • Life Sciences M&A Report: Half-Year 2023

    Life Sciences M&A Report: Half-Year 2023

    In the first half of 2023, the slowdown in terms of global life sciences M&A deal-making experienced in the second half of 2022 has continued to show its effects.

    Anticipated as a year of recovery, 2023 was expected to leverage M&A as a means to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions. However, while it remains to be seen how the full year will unfold, the challenging economic landscape with rising interest rates and high inflation has so far resulted in continued subdued deal activity. The number of deals has declined moderately, whereas notably fewer mega-sized transactions were completed.

    Overall, M&A are still considered a popular choice for the life sciences industry to bridge pipeline gaps and drive company growth. Looking towards the future, it is expected that the pharmaceutical industry will seek to fill potential gaps resulting from the expiring patents of numerous high-selling therapeutics in 2030. Concurrently, the lack of opportunities in the IPO market is driving small- and mid-sized biotechs to seek potential buyers, indicating that divestitures are likely to play a more prominent role in the future and M&A deal activity will rebound.

    Read our Life Sciences M&A Report for more information and statistics on the latest M&A activity in the biotechnology and digital health sectors. The report is published by Venture Valuation based on data taken from Biotechgate.

  • ライフサイエンス 企業: 欧州事業拠点の 立地選定

    ライフサイエンス 企業: 欧州事業拠点の 立地選定

    ライフ サイエンス事業を立ち上げたり拡大したりする際に、適切な場所を選択するのは簡単なことではありません。 Venture Valuation との協力により KPMG が作成したこのレポートでは、欧州における事業拠点選定プロセスの概要と、各国の包括的分析内容を提供いたします。

  • Site Selection for Life Sciences Companies in Europe

    Site Selection for Life Sciences Companies in Europe

    Choosing the right location when setting up or expanding your life science operations is no easy task. This report by KPMG, made in cooperation with Venture Valuation, will give you an overview on the site selection process in Europe, complete with insights on individual countries.

  • A Formula for Drug Licensing Deals

    A Formula for Drug Licensing Deals

    Venture Valuation’s Elias Neuendorf, Kara E. O’Connell, Patrik Frei and Kumlesh Kumar Dev recently had article published as part of Nature’s Biopharma Dealmakers publication, covering the topic of “A formula for drug licensing deals”. Find out how a mathematical model can predict the total value of licensing deals.

  • Heartseed Inc., Breakthrough cell therapy for severe heart failure.

    Heartseed Inc., Breakthrough cell therapy for severe heart failure.

    As an innovative new treatment option for heart failure, a unique cardiac remuscularization therapy has been invented by Dr. FUKUDA Keiichi, Founder & CEO, Professor at Keio University School of Medicine.

    Venture Valuation (VV) interviewed YASUI Kikuo, COO.

    Read the Interview

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  • How to assess start-up companies

    How to assess start-up companies

    Relevant soft factors to assess startup companies

    Investing in early-stage companies is a risky business. Many venture capitalists have fallen victim to the consequences of a myopic attitude towards thorough risk assessments. Although the negative experiences tend to be heard first, it’s the success stories that make it all the more worthwhile. Before taking the plunge into backing a startup company, one can never underestimate the importance of conducting a careful assessment of the company’s intricacies. Only after adequate due diligence has been performed can an investor become comfortable about their investment decision. By utilizing a consistent and step-by-step approach, an investor can attempt to find important value drivers and soft factors relevant and unique to each company.

    Before any company valuation or investment decision can begin, extracting and individually assessing each soft factor is a vital prerequisite. This is not without its challenges, as many hurdles need to be overcome in finding the right criteria and method which allow these soft factors to be assessed accurately.

    The following points contain the assessment approach which Venture Valuation has utilized for more than 800 company valuations. Although the relevant criteria may vary slightly from sector to sector, the general soft factors of focus often include the:

    1. Company mission and current condition
    2. Management
    3. Market
    4. Product and technology
    5. Financing stage

    1. The Company

    In assessing a company, two key areas require particular attention. The first centers around the company’s actual mission and strategy and aims to determine: How does the company intend to earn money, acquire customers, and intend to position itself in the market?

    The second key area of focus tries to determine the company’s current condition. Here the assessor’s focus should be on:

    Does the company have the resources to achieve stated goals? Are there any gaps?

    Who are the existing customers and/or partners?

    How much cash does the company have to achieve these goals? (e.g. cash burn rate)

    Understanding the company’s mission and current state are the initial steps that need to be determined before a detailed assessment can begin.

    2. Management

    The company’s management team is of course one of the most relevant success drivers within any organization. The key areas of focus are the management’s qualifications and experience, namely, does the management have all the necessary skills needed to bring a product to market?

    Additional factors that must be weighted accordingly include whether adequate incentive structures for management exist or will be made available and if key management are also equity shareholders themselves in the company.

    Finally, assessors should never overlook the advantages an advisory board can add to a company’s existing skills base.

    3. Market

    Knowing and assessing the target market is another crucial area for the success of any company in a competitive marketplace. A good model that has been utilized in the past for a comprehensive market analysis of a specific industry is the five forces approach created by Michael Porter. According to Porter, relevant market forces can be assessed and grouped into five key areas, including:

    1. Existing market competition
    2. Threat of substitutes
    3. Barriers of entry for new competitors
    4. Dependency on single suppliers
    5. Dependency on single customers

    By being able to challenge specific areas of a company in a market, this helps in determining whether planned business scenarios are realistic. This further tests existing business plans and allows an assessor to make an informed decision about the strength of a company when compared to the existing industry.

    4. Product and Technology

    Assessing a company’s products or technologies are also important components of a thorough valuation. A particularly useful approach when it comes to individual product assessment is the unique selling proposition (USP). This approach aims to determine a product or service’s ability to differentiate in its market.

    The method can be best demonstrated with two questions:

    What’s the competitive advantage of the product?

    What’s the company able to offer that competitors cannot?

    Furthermore, the product or service has to match potential market demand and the pricing must be within the customer’s expectations.

    In addition to the USP, the assessor should also be cautious not to overlook intellectual property, the time for the product/service to reach market, and most importantly, the future pipeline of further company products (i.e. is there more than one product/service?).

    5. Financing Stage

    The financing stage of a company can be a good indicator of what risk level a potential investment may pose. In most instances, younger companies share a higher risk profile than longer-established companies.

    This risk, however, can disproportionally decrease as a company is successfully developed. The following table gives an overview of the traditional financing stages and the characteristics associated with these stages.

    Phase Characteristics
    Seed stage
    • Existing business idea
    • Business plan is in the process of development
    • May be first prototype
    • Foundation of company in progress
    Startup Stage
    • Company has been officially founded
    • Management team is in place
    • “Proof of concept” (does the product work?) developed
    • Preparation / start of production and first customer contacts
    First Stage
    • Marketing most relevant product/service
    • Start of production and market entry
    • “Proof of market” (has the product been accepted by the market?)
    • First sales, usually cash flow negative
    Second Stage
    • Further development of sales in home market
    • Decreasing risk
    • Market entry successful, reaching point of break even
    Later Stage
    • Diversification
    • Restructuring if necessary
    • Possibility for debt financing
    • IPO possible within one year

    Table 1: Classical Financing Stages and their Characteristics

    To get a reliable picture of a company and the risks within, a top-down company assessment involving the above-mentioned criteria has to be completed. Of course, not all factors will be equally relevant in all situations. Certain factors may also vary from industry to industry and depending on the financing stage, some criteria may even overpower others.

    Additionally, some companies may also exhibit “killer criteria” which, if not met, can outweigh any number of supposed benefits (e.g. a good management team has a product with a relevant USP available but due to a lack of patents, competition will soon overtake them). But following through on the key focus areas outlined will ensure that a balanced assessment has been performed that equally matches the risks being undertaken.

    In conclusion, even though the above-mentioned assessment criteria will help to highlight the main value drivers and risk factors in any given company, one can never be short on experience when it comes to making an informed investment decision.

  • Site Selection for Life Sciences Companies in Asia – New Report in Collaboration with KPMG

    Zurich / Singapore, July 2020 – In response to the growing need of life sciences companies for comprehensive and unbiased information on various countries and their ability to host key value drivers, KPMG, in collaboration with Venture Valuation has published its report “Site Selection for Life Sciences Companies in Asia” – the first edition. The report examines key trends and opportunities of the Asian Life Sciences sector across multiple regions, including India, China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, and the emerging markets of Southeast Asia, with a spotlight on digitalization, clinical trials, and IPOs in selected countries.

    As the latest part of KPMG’s Site Selection for Life Sciences series, the report offers a comprehensive and unique overview of the various aspects relevant to consider setting up regional headquarters, manufacturing, or R&D facilities or investing in the Life Sciences industry in Asia. Such elements include size and specialization of the Life Sciences clusters, regulatory and IPO environment, macroeconomics, and, naturally, the tax system. This combination of operational aspects and tax considerations gives life science companies a first insight into how their new or redesigned value chain could look like in Asia.

    Due to the heterogeneity of Asian countries in terms of the business practices, regulatory environment and maturity of the industry, the report primarily focuses on the four central scenes of the Asian Life Sciences sector: China, Hong Kong SAR, India, and Singapore; but also covers the emerging markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The chief contribution of Venture Valuation was to provide insights into Initial Public Offerings of Life Sciences companies headquartered in the four main regions.

    “We are happy to have had an opportunity to contribute to another KPMG report and believe that our proprietary database, Biotechgate, that was used to provide the data is the most comprehensive source of information about the Life Sciences industry. Thanks to partnerships with Asian organizations like TCELS, Seoul BioHub or Taiwan Bio Industry Organization we know about the latest news and developments in the region.”

     Dr. Patrik Frei, CEO of Venture Valuation / Biotechgate, Singapore/Switzerland

    To download the report please click here >> 

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  • Do Biotech Investors stick to their Home Market?

    Do Biotech Investors stick to their Home Market?

    It is no surprise that most biotech investors are based in the US. But, do they invest exclusively in American companies?

    Read the report

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  • J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Round-up by Venture Valuation / Biotechgate

    14 January 2019.

    Last week saw the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference held in San Francisco. Venture Valuation and Biotechgate was represented by CEO, Patrik Frei and Senior Business Development Executive Ray Carroll providing their insights into the industry announcements.
    It was again a busy week in San Francisco kicking off the Bio year 2019 where Venture Valuation / Biotechgate attended the BiotechShowcase as well as RESI. It was great to meet and catch-up with many known faces and meeting new companies as well. Below provides a summary of some of the key reveals given at the conference:

    IPO announcements:

    Three biotech companies made their IPO pitches during the conference; Poseida Therapeutics which is looking for USD 115m to list on the Nasdaq for its BCMA CAR-T therapy, Alector which is looking for USD 150m for immune-neurology treatments into Alzheimer’s and dementia and Anchiano Therapeutics, a bladder cancer biotech, this has filed for a USD 35m public offering.

    M&A announcements:

    During the first day of the conference, Eli Lily announced a USD 8bn acquisition of the cancer treatment company Loxo Onocoloy. Also in oncology and announced last month, GSK CEO Emma Walmsley discussed the acquisition of Tesero for USD 5bn. This deal provides GSK with access to a PD-1 inhibitor as well as a PARP inhibitor in development. Finally, the big story so far this year has been the announcement by Bristol-Myers Squibb’s of their merger with Celgene in a USD 74bn deal.

    Fund raising:

    Pear Therapeutics announced a new series C USD 64m round, led by Temasek, just as the company prepares to launch its reset-O prescription digital therapeutic for opioid use disorder. The funding will be used to support a global launch as well as planning to acquire new assets for schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis treatments.

    Partnership deals:

    Adaptive Biotech has agreed a deal with Roche’s Genetech for access to their technology platform, designed to identify T-cell receptors (TCRs) for therapeutic use. The deal includes a USD 300m up-front payment and up to USD 2bn in milestone payments. The deal is expected to close during Q1 2019, with Adaptive Biotech taking responsibility for patient specific TCR screening and Genentech managing clinical development, regulatory submissions and commercialization.

    Other news:

    Biotech Xencor announced a split from their partnership with Novartis, with the pharma company giving back rights to research and sales. The original deal was agreed in 2016 and included a USD 150m upfront payment and up to USD 2.41bn milestone payments for a pair of immune-oncology assets in development. Teva also reported on it cost-saving progress, the company has suffered from top-line pressure due to price declines and is currently on-track to deliver USD 3bn in cost cutting.

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  • The Mandarin translation of Site Selection Report for Life Sciences Companies in Europe 2018

    Site Selection Report for Life Sciences Companies in Europe 2018 is now available in Mandarin and can be downloaded free by clicking at the link below:


    The report, compiled by KPMG in association with Venture Valuation, explores the when, where and how of successful European expansion. The publication looks beyond site selection to include key work streams involved in successfully commercializing pharmaceutical products in Europe. In the 2018 edition, we identify five key work streams involved in building a successful operating model. This popular site selection analysis compares the attractiveness of different European countries, focusing on the most relevant factors such as innovation, infrastructure, taxation and incentives.

    The English version of the report:

    Site Selection Report for Life Sciences Companies in Europe 2018

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