Latest Perspectives from Asian Groups on Investments and Partnerships

These days, seeking capital from Asia-headquartered investors, pharmaceuticals, and other strategic partners may seem like nothing new. Many groups continue to expand into geographies outside of Asia to set up new offices, establishing open innovation departments, etc. However, companies based in the USA, Europe, and other parts of the world without any proper connection to Asia still find themselves struggling to engage with the right groups.

This panel will discuss the following topics and more:

  • How are Asian markets and regulatory hurdles different from those of the USA/Europe?
  • What do cross-border investors seek in companies outside of Asia? How are they similar or different to their viewpoint on domestic companies?
  • How has COVID positively or negatively impacted the decision making process?
  • Aside from the effects of COVID on the industry, will cross-border investment activities continue to increase?
  • What are some common mistakes investors see from entrepreneurs, and how can they be avoided?

Panelists will discuss how they have been evaluating opportunities in the midst of the COVID pandemic and what the future holds for cross-border activities in the industry. Panelists will also uncover general topics such as navigating the Asian market and the regulatory challenges associated with market entry, how to approach Asian investors and strategic groups, and more.


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Ella Li, CEO, ZGC Capital (Moderator)

Dr. Ella Li the CEO of ZGC Capital and also the partner of ZGC U.S. Fund, leading ZGC’s team in investment and incubator operation. She’ established and managed several VC and fund of funds, including one with portfolio funds including KPCB, Menlo, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, Foundation Capital, and Institutional Venture Partners. She is also the founding partner of Medlabs Global Healthcare Accelerator, providing companies with funding, mentorship and key resources to transform healthcare. Dr. Li has 10+ years of experience in biotech research and has rich experiences in therapeutic investment opportunities from discovery and clinical proof-of-concept to commercialization. She also serves as board advisor, consultant and advisor for several global accelerators, VCs and startups. Dr. Ella Li earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Peking University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Centers. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard Medical School, where she led five independent projects exploring novel therapeutic targets for metabolic disease. Ella has extensive publications in prestigious journals with IMF over 10 including Nature Communication, Cell Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS, Molecular Cell, Diabetes etc. with 700+ citations.

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Tai Harada, Vice President, Fast Track Initiative

Tai brings the perspectives of strategic planning and external collaboration to Fast Track Initiative (FTI). FTI is a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage biotech companies. Since its inception in 2004, FTI has invested in more than 25 companies with a mission to translate academic researches into medicine, mostly as a lead investor. It has invested in companies from Japan and now starts global investment with its opening of a Boston office. At FTI, Tai spearheads the launch of the US investment as VP. He sources and evaluates early-stage investment opportunities and supports portfolio companies by bringing connections with the Japanese healthcare community. Before FTI, Tai was an Investment Consultant at ARCH Venture, where he screened and evaluated early-stage therapeutics and diagnostics companies. Previously, he helped Takeda in early-stage oncology and regenerative medicine business collaborations and was a Junior Manager at McKinsey & Company. At McKinsey, he supported pharmaceutical companies to develop new business strategies and corporate strategies. Tai received a Master’s in Molecular Biology from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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George Li, Managing Partner, Proxima Ventures

Focus Areas: Medical Device and Diagnostic Mr. George Li has over 12 years experience of incubating, coaching and investing in life science industry. He is the managing partner of Proxima Venture capital fund which focus on investment in outstanding enterprises with disruptive medical technologies or service models that can address huge unmet medical needs. Proxima is managing two RMB funds and one USD fund. Proxima has invested 20+ innovative medical technology companies covering areas of cardiovascular, oncology, respiratory and diagnostic. In 2008, Mr. Li founded Biohub which is the leading life science accelerator/incubator in China. Biohub is running 5 incubators/accelerators with equipped central labs, CFDA cleared clean rooms in core cities of Wuhan, Hangzhou, Zhengzhou, Chengdu and Suzhou in China. Biohub has built an ecosystem including leading hospitals, public listed companies and network of seasoned entrepreneurs and can provide one stop professional services for start-up companies. Since it founded, Biohub has successfully incubated over 100 innovative life science projects covering pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and services. Before Biohub, Mr. Li co-founded Bioherms and brought the first HbA1c POCT diagnostic solution to China market. Mr. Li got his MBA from Hult International Business School and bachelor degree from Zhejiang University.

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Rohit Pratap Singh, Vice President, Investments, Xeraya Capital

Rohit joined Xeraya Capital in August 2015. He has more than a decade experience in PE/VC investments and front end investment banking.

Rohit has extensive experience in the PE/ VC/ M&A space. As an investment banker, he has represented clients from Asia, Europe and the US, advising them on cross border acquisitions worth over USD 1 billion and as a VC he has been part of investments in US, W.Europe and Asia. Apart from developing skill sets in equity transactions, Rohit also brings in cross cultural work experience gained from working in different regions and jurisdictions, an understanding of local/international M&A laws and an extensive network of bankers and fund managers.

Prior to Xeraya, Rohit worked in PwC, KPMG and Rabobank in their respective M&A/ IB teams. He graduated as an engineer and has an MBA from India’s leading institution – Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

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Tim Xiao, Principal, Delos Capital

Tim Xiao, CFA, FRM, is a Principal at Delos Capital since its inception in 2014 and has over 12 years’ experience in investment banking and life sciences investment. Tim started his career as an investment banker at China International Capital and later joined the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs where he completed a series of industry-defining transactions with a total deal value of over US$4 billion. Tim serves as a Board member for Eccogene, Clover Biopharmaceuticals, OncoMyx Therapeutics, Curatia Medical, and as a Board Observer for Allecra Therapeutics and Intrinsic Therapeutics. Tim was previously a Board member for Luqa Pharmaceuticals (acquired by China Medical System HKEx: 867). Tim holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and is a CFA charterholder.

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Derek Yuan, Principal, LYFE Capital

Derek Yuan is a Principal at LYFE Capital. Prior to joining LYFE Capital, Derek was a Biotech Equity Research Associate at Credit Suisse, where he accumulated experience in biotechnology capital markets and insights into the healthcare industry. After joining LYFE Capital, Derek has focused on and covered the Sino-US biotechnology industry; he also has a deep understanding of the secondary markets. Derek obtained his Ph.D. in biology from Rockefeller University with an emphasis in microbiology and immunology; he was initially trained in chemistry and biology at Tsinghua University in Beijing.