EARLY STAGE THERAPEUTICS INVESTORS

Bringing the Newest Therapies to the Clinic

This panel aims to bring a diverse group of experts & senior decision making staff from VCs, corporate pharma, and other investor types together to discuss topics such as:

  • How they make decisions
  • What can startups do to be more attractive?
  • Areas of high need
  • Overcrowded areas
  • Common mistakes/red flags

The moderator will guide the discussion through topics including how the investors source & vet novel therapeutic assets, what kinds of technology are of interest to them right now, and how they as investors work with a startup to move a new drug toward commercialization.

Moderator:

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Scott Weiner, Partner, Amzak Health

Scott joined Amzak Health in 2020 and leads the Firm’s activities to expand and manage its biotech portfolio.  Prior to that he was a Partner at Pappas Capital where he spent 13 years focused on life science venture investing.  Scott was previously an investment manager and research analyst for Silverback Asset Management’s life science fund where he focused on healthcare securities investing.  Before joining Silverback, he spent three years at Chicago Growth Partners focused on healthcare venture investments, and prior to that, he spent three and a half years in investment backing at Lehman Brothers where he worked in New York, London and Hong Kong.  Scott has been a buy side investor in the life science sector for over 18 years and has been involved in over 30 venture transactions including Achillion (NASDAQ: ACHN), Inhibitex (NASDAQ: INHX, acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb), Milestone Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MIST), Plexxikon (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), Rotation Medical (acquired by Smith & Nephew) and TESARO (NASDAQ: TSRO, acquired by GSK)
 
Scott received an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a BS in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy from Duke University. 

Panelists:

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Bettina Ernst, Partner, BERNINA BioInvest

Bettina has been investing in healthcare companies for the past 6 years. She also serves on the board of several early-stage biotech companies in Switzerland, on the board of the Swiss Biotech Association, and as a member of the advisory board of the Swiss Entrepreneur Fund and of the Innovation Council of Innosuisse. Bettina is a co-founder of two biotech companies. Prior to her investment and entrepreneurial activities, she worked for 10 years in fundamental immunology in the US (Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, CA) and in Europe. Bettina holds a PhD in immunology and an undergraduate degree in natural science from the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. Bettina resides in Switzerland.

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Bibhash Mukhopadhyay, Principal, New Enterprise Associates

Bibhash is a Principal at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), where he focuses on investing in emerging therapeutics and device companies, assisting them grow and create value. Previously, he was at AstraZeneca / MedImmune as an Associate Director of Business Development, where his responsibilities spanned end-to-end in the deal-making spectrum, from search and evaluation to transactions, with focus on the immune-oncology and immunology spaces. He started his career at Johnson and Johnson, where he held multiple Business Development roles, at different times, in Global Surgery, Oncology and Emerging Technologies. Bibhash’s doctoral research work focused on pathophysiology of retinal diseases using tools of cell biology and mathematical modeling, during which he also consulted for venture funds and start-ups.

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Jayson Punwani, Senior Partner, Takeda Ventures

Dr. Jayson Punwani joined TVI in October 2017 as Investment Director and is based in San Diego, CA. Prior to TVI, Dr. Punwani was a Senior Principal at Pappas Ventures, where he represented the firm as an observer on the Board of Directors for Balance Therapeutics, CardioDx, CoLucid (acquired by Eli Lilly), Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), and OrphoMed, among others. Prior to his six years on the investment team at Pappas Ventures, he was co-manager for the Kenan-Flagler Private Equity Fund. He also worked in the Office of Technology Development at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he developed and executed commercialization and licensing strategies for biomedical technologies.

Dr. Punwani earned his M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Utah, and his B.S. in Biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of New Jersey.

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Sascha Berger, Partner, TVM Capital Life Science

Sascha Berger, PhD, joined the TVM Capital Life Science team in Munich in 2016. He is active in deal flow generation, investment due diligence, deal and exit transactions, investor communication as well as corporate finance aspects of the fund.

Sascha has a strong financial background with almost ten years of professional transaction and strategy experience. He has a track-record of concluding 20 M&A transactions, five of those he led as responsible project manager in his previous role as Senior M&A Manager in a PE backed global corporation. He was a core team member in a successful EUR 2.5bn revenue cross-border merger and successfully coordinated global merger clearance procedures (USA, China, EU, Korea).

Prior to this recent role, Sascha successfully advised multiple renowned clients in corporate finance and strategy projects working as (senior) consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Boston Consulting Group. He was selected for the global leadership development program in his previous role and was named a global high-potential in PwC.

Sascha studied technology management in Munich, Singapore and Boston and  holds a Master from Munich University of Technology with majors in entrepreneurial finance and chemistry, magna cum laude. In his master thesis he analyzed the specific challenges of biotech VC financing rounds. Later he completed his PhD studies in banking and finance while already working for PwC. He is a regular speaker on corporate finance topics for German universities and business schools.

During his studies he already supported TVM Capital Life Science part-time; he supported the IPO of a German technology company at Deutsche Bank and advised Private Equity funds at Deloitte in summer internships. He lived in Singapore and New York, co-founded a student initiative on Entrepreneurship in Munich and in his spare time enjoys triathlon and world travelling.