VC activity is booming in healthcare, with second quarter drawing in $5.1 billion in capital. That is 22% of the total $23 billion raised by all VC-based companies in the U.S., according to latest Pricewaterhouse Coopers quarterly report.
Some of the highlights include:

  • Investments hit record-breaking numbers
  • VC-backed U.S. companies raising 45 mega-rounds (totaling more than $100 million each), up from 35 last quarter
  • 2018 is currently on pace to beat what was an unprecedented 2017, which posted 111 mega-rounds
  • Two of the seven biggest mega-rounds in Q2 were precision medicine companies
    • Allogene Therapeutics – commercializing off-the-shelf CAR-T therapies
    • GRAIL – clinical-stage early detection of cancer
    • Each raising $300 million in oversubscribed financing
  • A review by Silicon Valley Bank found that biopharma Series A investments are exploding, and by mid-year reached $2.6 billion – compared to the full-year total of $2.3 billion in 2017
  • Underscoring robust pre-IPO biopharma valuations, step-ups from Series A to B have seen a two to three-fold increases in the past 18 months
  • Major investments in synthetic biology building blocks, including computational design, CRISPR editing, DNA/RNA synthesis and organism engineering tools, have climbed both in 2017 and 2018
  • 75 VC-backed biopharma unicorns have reached valuations of $1 billion or higher since 2013 – either through acquisition or in the public markets
  • 30 biopharma companies went public already this year – compared to 31 IPOs for all of 2017

2018 is shaping up to be another strong year in healthcare. In the first six months, biopharma exits have created the momentum for strong fundraising and investment.

Source: Silicon Valley Bank
*Most Active New Investments in biopharma defined as Top 60 venture and corporate investors based on new investments in 2016–2017

Underscoring the recent influx of capital over the past two years from the most active investors, every top indication in 1H 2018 other than oncology has already surpassed investment levels for full-year 2016. Waves of new biopharma investment are pushing funding for platform companies to levels similar to oncology and driving a comeback for orphan/rare drugs.

The timely PMWC 2018 Duke conference has several exciting sessions scheduled that focus on the investment sector, new technologies, and a platform for rising startups to share their innovative ideas with the audience via the Showcase Track.

Mike Pellini (Section 32)
Dr. Pellini is Managing Partner of Section 32, a venture fund that invests in companies and inventors that are changing the way humans use technology and the way technology betters humanity. Previously, he served as CEO of Foundation Medicine.
Read his full bio and a recently conducted interview with Mike Pellini.

Arthur Pappas (Pappas Ventures)
Art founded Pappas Capital in 1994, and over the past twenty-four years the firm has managed more than $535 million in capital and invested in more than 70 companies. Art currently serves as a director for Aura Biosciences and OrphoMed, and as a board observer for Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Balance Therapeutics, Kezar Life Sciences and Real Endpoints. Read his full bio.

Dr. Mickey Kertesz (Karius Dx)
Dr. Kertesz will discuss the technology of his latest company that develops novel NGS infectious disease diagnostics methodology that detects microbial cell-free DNA in plasma from more than a thousand pathogens including bacteria. Read his full bio.

Dr. Robert S. Langer (MIT)
Dr. Langer’s major focus area is Nanotechnology. He is developing new nanoparticles to treat cancer and other diseases. Read his full bio.

Dawn Barry (LunaDNA)
Dawn Barry will dive into blockchain and how they unite personal privacy and control around genomic data with a mechanism for rewards for data sharing in research. Read her full bio.

Showcase Track
The showcase track provides a platform for funded, emerging companies to present their innovative new technologies that intend to disrupt healthcare. Showcases include:

  • AI and Data Sciences
  • Clinical Dx
  • Immunotherapy
  • Genomic profiling
  • Microbial profiling
  • Clinical and Research Tools
  • Non-clinical services
  • Emerging Therapeutics

Apply to present here

Come see these speakers and the Showcase track at
PMWC Duke Sept. 24-25

Interview with Daniel Chen from IGM Biosciences

Q: Checkpoint inhibitors, particularly with PD-L1/PD-1 targeting agents, have benefited a broad range of patients with cancer. How will we improve on this?

A: It’s true that PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitors have led to durable responses in a subset of patients, and survival benefit in many of the patients treated- either as monotherapy or combination.

Read More

Call from PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley Program Committee – We Must Accelerate and Deliver on the Promise of Precision Medicine

Precision medicine advancements are real as demonstrated by the high volume of molecular, “precise” drugs on the market, which are based on extensive molecular and translational understanding of the specific drug targets.

Read More

#AI Play in Patient Diagnosis? How Can We Prepare the Next Generation to Make Sense of Enormous Amounts of Health-related Data?

What role should artificial intelligence play in patient diagnosis? How can we best prepare the next generation to make sense of enormous amounts of health-related data? These were just a few of the questions explored at the 15th Precision Medicine World Conference held at Duke University September 24-25, 2018.

Read More

Interview with Daniella Beller, Manager, Maccabi Research Institute Biobank

Q: What makes the Maccabi Research Institute biobank unique?

A: To explain the uniqueness of the Maccabi Biobank (named “Tipa” in Hebrew which means “drop” or “just a little”), first you must know a little about Maccabi.

Read More

Why We Need Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) To Foster Drug Discovery

Investments in pharma R&D has substantially increased over the last decades. Yet there appears to be no clear correlation to the number of newly approved drugs. This fact is accompanied by ever-increasing healthcare costs, fueled by an aging population and the parallel rise in the chronic disease burden.

Read More

Precision Medicine: A Decade of Improving the Standard of Care

In January, PMWC will host its 2019 Silicon Valley event, the largest Precision Medicine conference in the world with over 2,500 attendees gathering at the Santa Clara Convention Center. We are humbled and honored to have reached this stage of growth and are looking forward to continuing our work with key stakeholders and decision makers across the industry to ever strengthen this forum for exchange of critical and timely topics, to move the field of precision medicine forward and to improve the Standard of Care.

Read More

Interview with David Hong from Karius

Q: What need is Karius addressing?

A: Physicians often have difficulty pinpointing the exact pathogen that is causing disease. Conventional diagnostics like blood cultures or PCR can have poor sensitivity due to pretreatment with antibiotics, the breadth of potential pathogens present, and the requirement for invasive procedures to access deep-seated infections.

Read More

Interview with Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD from HL7

Q: What need is HL7 addressing?

A: For more than three decades, HL7 has provided the platform to enable global health data interoperability. This is more important than ever, as the cost of healthcare has increased exponentially, and the complexity of clinical evidence has grown to an almost unmanageable state.

Read More

Interview with Eden Haverfield from Invitae

Q: What need is Invitae addressing?

A: Our mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for billions of people. Invitae is uniquely positioned to answer some of life’s most serious and complex questions with the highest quality genetics and at an affordable price.

Read More

Call by Ralph Snyderman (Duke U.) for Big Changes to Get to the Next Level of Precision Medicine

Beyond next-generation gene sequencing and developing diagnostic tools and targeted therapies, theoverall approach to clinical care has to be re-envisioned to fulfill the promise of precision medicine. Care must move from sporadic treatment of episodic disease (a reactive mode) to predicting disease and then acting to prevent and mitigate it (a proactive mode).

Read More

Interview with William Hearl From Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.

Q: What need is Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. addressing?

A: Immunomic Therapeutics’ nucleic acid vaccines have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response, including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory.

Read More

Interview with Ralph Snyderman from Duke University

Q: What are some of the critical contributions that academic institutions and medical centers are making to implement and accelerate precision medicine?

A: Over the past decade, the field of precision medicine has created technologies enabling far more personalized and effective health care delivery. Many of the most dramatic advances have come in the field of oncology but targeting care to the needs of the individual is rapidly achieving broader applications.

Read More

Interview with Catherine Reinis Lucey from UCSF

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: My work involves designing, implementing and studying innovations in medical education that allow our medical schools to fulfill our social contract to improve the health of our communities and reduce the suffering of our patients.

Read More

Interview with Gunnar Carlsson from Ayasdi

Q: What need is Ayasdi addressing?

A: Ayasdi is pioneering the application of artificial intelligence to value-based care by targeting two of the most complex problems in healthcare: population risk stratification and clinical variation management.

Read More

Interview with Nikole Kimes from Siolta Therapeutics

Q: What need is Siolta Therapeutics addressing?

A: Chronic diseases, including inflammatory diseases such as asthma, now represent the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.

Read More
Johns Hopkins
University Of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), in its 16th installment, will take place in the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley) on January 20-23, 2019. The program will traverse innovative technologies, thriving initiatives, and clinical case studies that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest developments and advancements in precision medicine and cutting-edge new strategies and solutions that are changing how patients are treated.

Agenda highlights:

  • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
    • AI & Data Science Showcase
    • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
    • Clinical Dx Showcase
    • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
    • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
    • Digital Phenotyping
    • Diversity in Precision Medicine
    • Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Early Days of Life Sequencing
    • Emerging Technologies in PM
    • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
    • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
    • Gene Editing
    • Genomic Profiling Showcase
    • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
    • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
    • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Microbial Profiling Showcase
    • Microbiome
    • Neoantigens
    • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
    • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Point-of Care Dx Platform
    • Precision Public Health
    • Rare Disease Diagnosis
    • Resilience
    • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
    • Wellness and Aging Showcase

Agenda highlights:

    • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
      • AI & Data Science Showcase
      • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
      • Clinical Dx Showcase
      • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
      • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
      • Digital Phenotyping
      • Diversity in Precision Medicine
      • Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Early Days of Life Sequencing
      • Emerging Technologies in PM
      • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
      • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
      • Gene Editing / CRISPR
      • Genomic Profiling Showcase
      • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
      • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
      • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Microbial Profiling Showcase
      • Microbiome
      • Neoantigens
      • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
      • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
      • Pharmacogenomics
      • Point-of Care Dx Platform
      • Precision Public Health
      • Rare Disease Diagnosis
      • Resilience
      • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
      • Wellness and Aging Showcase
  • Luminary and Pioneer Awards, honoring individuals who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of Precision Medicine
  • 2000+ multidisciplinary attendees, from across the entire spectrum of healthcare, representing different types of companies, technologies, and medical centers with leadership roles in precision medicine
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