What’s the point?
As of the time I wrote this, I am FAR from an expert on this topic. That needs to be emphasized. There are MUCH better, more informed, more professional biotech bloggers out there (for example, LifeSciVC). So then why keep reading here, and what’s the point?
I recently earned my PhD in biochemistry from a major Boston-area school. The whole time, I knew I wanted to go into industry; but that could have meant as a scientist, consultant, or VC associate. I spent a short time working with a boutique life science VC firm in Boston on a project where they were developing a new way for companies to submit a customized application to elucidate the data most directly relevant to eventual commercialization. I also briefly interned at a very early-stage startup where I analyzed the pros and cons of entering two previously unconsidered markets for their medical device. Both experiences exposed me to the business side of biotech and I found them both fascinating.
When I was finishing up my degree, however, I found that I really didn’t want to jump full-on into business or investing yet. I didn’t know if I would actually like that work full time, and I knew that it is much harder to go from business back into science than science into business. So, I accepted an awesome scientist position at an early-stage clinical biotech and have loved every minute of it.
But that desire to learn more about and experience the business and investing side of biotech still remains. To that end, I started reading biotech news daily (e.g., Endpoints and STAT) and listening to podcasts (e.g., The Long Run, The Readout Loud). This has led me to investigate clinical trials and company pipelines in my own time, and I find the evolving history of an experimental drug fascinating: drug X hits target Y, with these data in mouse models, these data in Phase 1 healthy volunteers or patients, and these early signs of efficacy in a Phase 2a trial. So from that information, how do we think Phase 2b will look? Phase 3? Why did that company choose that endpoint? How does this drug compare to a competitor in the same indication, versus the same mechanism of action in a different indication? All of these questions get me excited and interested. It’s like a cliff hanger in your favorite TV show; you can extrapolate what you think might happen, and you really just can’t wait for the next season premier to see if you’re right.
So that’s where my head is at. I am a scientist interested in biotech investing but am learning through a hands-on approach, rather than just reading or listening to podcasts. This blog will serve several points:
- I will share lessons I learn along the way, particularly about things they don’t just teach you in school or on a free blog/report. I know I have a lot to learn.
- I will share both my failures and successes, so that you (and I as well) can learn from my failures
- God forbid you lose your job, investing is a (very risky) way to keep earning income, so it may provide security. More people should be aware of this option.
Please check out my posts and let me know what you think, critical or not. I will be writing a new article at least once a month about what I’ve learned recently. You can also follow me at my Twitter account, @bio_engage, which I will be updating much more frequently.