Successful strategy in identifying investment in Asia

Day two of the  BioPharma Asia Convention  saw a panel discussing the issues regarding partnership being discussed at the Pharma Partnering  and Investment World Asia Day. The panel which was led by Alfred Scheidegger from NextTech Invest, consisted of of A.Sinclair Dunlop from Rock Spring Ventures, John Diekman from 5am Ventures and Lu Hong Bo from Orbimed China. This esteemed group had tremendous amount of experience in investing in bio pharma firms, therefore they were able to thoroughly address the topic of figuring out winning strategies in Asia.

Unfortunately from the  point of view of the company looking for an outright investment as the current global economic malaise meant that even venture capital firms are more likely to hold off investments for the time being. Underlined by John Diekman, who represents a company that use to invest in early stage companies but now prefer to support more mature companies that are further along in their businesses. What this meant is that start ups would find it hard in an environment where almost everybody are to a large measure risk adverse.

However, from an Asian perspective, Lu Hong Bo said that Asian companies are increasingly more to invest. She gave the example of a Chinese firm which invested heavily in a bio medicine in 2011. In fact, according to her, it is more likely that the Asian companies would adopt a more aggressive stance in terms of investing in companies. Furthermore, the cheaper valuation that is widely available now due to the depress markets only acts to spur investment activities by the Asian firms.

Despite this, the panel agree that the demand shown by Asian investment first cannot make up for the shortfall in investment appetite shown by the rest of the world. Therefore, they argue that start ups should look at forming collaborations with a variety of areas be it big pharma to educational institution. At least until the current economic malaise rides itself out.

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