AVX May 2020 Update

Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu

May 1, 2020

Welcome to May! It's been more than 6 weeks of PAUSE here in New York and I hope this email finds you well. COVID-19 continues to be top of mind as a global public health crisis, though I'm optimistic that we all will continue to persevere as we help try to get potential solutions to the world! Thank you all for your hard work, be it supporting inventors, crafting strategies to address this crisis, or simply checking in and supporting family, friends, and familiars!

With our updated interface, you can see all ventures here: AVX Feed

Conversation Statistics: We are up to 6051 total connections and conversations on the AVX network - 413 more over the last month (10% month over month growth!). We are currently tracking 9 potential match negotiations and another 66 with multi-month long discussions heading toward possible matches. We have now actively connected 406 different ventures (out of 900+ examined) with 895 different entrepreneurs and investors (out of a pool of 2400+). We are also excited to announce that Cayuga Biotech from the University of California, Santa Barbara will be joining IndieBio's first New York cohort. Congratulations to Damien!


COVID-19: Impact on the IVD Industry (May 6): AVX Member Vik Malik has shared this upcoming IQVIA Medtech webinar on the ongoing impact of COVID-19. This webinar will cover the current global state of COVID-19 testing, expectations on how the pandemic will impact the IVD industry, and share how industry dynamics will be shaped throughout 2020.

A Conversation with George Scangos, Vir Biosciences (May 6): Vir Biotechnology is at the forefront of the battle against infectious disease, including SARS-CoV-2. Join us on May 6 to hear about the latest developments at Vir from George Scangos, PhD, the company’s President and CEO, in conversation with QB3 Executive Director Reg Kelly, PhD, OBE.

University Technology Accelerators Bridging the Gap (May 7): Join us to discuss what works, what doesn’t, and how you can prepare for what’s ahead: As we can all appreciate, getting university technologies out the door for the benefit of the public good will face new challenges post-COVID. There is no better time than now to start crafting a plan as to how your university tech transfer office is going to respond to these challenges. Please join this conversation with 4 university accelerator leaders as they share their expertise and experience – both their successful models and their failures – and how they plan to build and refine their models to continue to enhance their tech transfer office’s success.

How Norwich Will Invest the Medtech Convergence Fund (May 7): Norwich Ventures, of which Aaron Sandoski is co-founder & managing director, recently closed the $90 million Medtech Convergence Fund. The firm intends to invest the fund in startups whose technologies embody the convergence of AI, data, or telehealth with traditional engineering. The pandemic, however, has changed the outlook for everyone, including VCs. Join this webinar to learn about Norwich's approach to investing in the current climate.

The Venture Investment Landscape During the COVID Era & Beyond (May 8): Concerned about the impact on venture investment during the pandemic and beyond? Please join BioCT and various investors from commercial and state VC’s, investment banking and angel investors for a discussion. This panel is hosted by AdvanceCT and moderated by Mostafa Analoui, Executive Director of Venture Development at UConn. Panelists include: Colleen Cuffaro (Partner at Canaan Partners), Jonathan Norris (Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank Life Sciences), Cynthia Green (Venture Partner at Connecticut Innovations), Chris Garabedean (CEO, Xontogeny / Portfolio Manager, PXV Fund), and Mary Anne Rooke (President of Angel Investor Forum (AIF)).

Mining Midwest Biotech Treasures (May 12): Scott Button joined Venture Investors in 1996 as a Senior Associate, and became a Managing Director of Venture Investors in 2000. Scott focuses on investments in medical devices, digital health, technology enabled services, and diagnostics, and is responsible for creating and overseeing Venture Investor’s seed investment strategy through the firm’s Venture Igniter Program.

IdeaStream 2020: Translating Research into Products (May 13 & 14): Curious to learn more about the breakthrough innovations and technologies being developed at MIT? Join the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation on May 13-14 for a showcase of life science and physical sciences projects. This digital event is free and open to all. You'll be able to engage in Q&A breakout sessions with the speakers whose expertise ranges from healthcare to devices and materials, from machine learning to energy and the environment.

Survival strategies for startups during COVID-19 (May 21): This webinar hosted by the Penn Center for Innovation will share ideas, tips, and provide a discussion of how startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs can successfully navigate these challenging times. Featuring Brett Topche (Managing Director of Red & Blue Ventures) and Andrew Hamilton (Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP).

Mammoth Biosciences: A Different Approach to CRISPR (May 21): Mammoth Biosciences, a CRISPR startup spun out of UC Berkeley, took a unique approach, initially focusing only on diagnostics, and employing the DNA and RNA-cutting proteins Cas12 and Cas13 instead of the better-known Cas9. With a recent $45 million Series B round, Mammoth is doubling down on diagnostics while also expanding into gene editing and therapeutics with additional novel enzymes they have developed like the nano-sized Cas14.

BIO Digital (June 8-12): For 2020, the BIO International Convention will transition to a new, virtual event format, BIO Digital. This virtual gathering of the global biotech industry provides access to key partners via BIO One-on-One Partnering, educational resources to help drive your business, and the insights you need to continue critical research and development. We may not be able to gather in person, but nothing stops innovation.

Equalize 2020 (June 24-25): Equalize 2020 is a pitch competition and symposium designed to take national action around the disparity of women academic inventors forming university startups - hosted by Washington University and Osage University Partners. You do not want to miss out!

Some Insights & Podcasts

And another short installment of insights and podcasts from around the network.

Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, How Is Biotech Responding? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually every facet of life is altering daily. This is true of industry as well. In biotechnology, specifically, the effects of COVID-19 are both immediate, and potentially long-lasting. Thankfully, biotech has the ability to make a meaningful impact in the current public health crisis. To explore this more, we sat down with Natalie Ma, Ph.D., synthetic biologist and a Blavatnik Fellow at Yale's Office of Cooperative Research.

The US already has the technology to test millions of people a day (MIT Technology Review): This opinion piece from Sri Kosuri, Feng Zhang, Jason Kelly, and Jay Shendure takes a little time to highlight some of the advances in biology over the past ten years that have given us the tools to quickly ramp up testing and diagnosis.

Deep Tech: From Lab to Market by SOSV has been interviewing founders and investors to get them to share how 'deep tech' innovation - from clean meat to service robots - can go from lab to market. The first four episodes have been great! Join in to hear from Matt Clifford (Cofounder of Entrepreneur First), John Ho (Partner at ANZU Partners), Manish Singal (Managing Parter of Pi Ventures), and Kelly Chen (Partner at DCVC).

How to Maintain Good Habits Now That Coronavirus Has Blown up Your Routine: Am I late in sharing this? YES. Is it still worthwhile to read and check out? DEFINITELY. (Even if it's only for the cover photo to give you a chuckle) Most of us have had a large disruption in our routines, and finding structure in the chaos to cope, process, and grow is a difficulty we are all facing at this moment.

So long for now! – Hamdi