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Monthly Vibe Bio Newsletter - September 2023
Every Cure for Every Community - Building the AngelList for Biotech
Welcome to ’s Monthly Newsletter! Stay up-to-date with our latest company updates and insights into the ever-evolving biotech funding landscape.
Securing funding for a startup is a formidable challenge, particularly in today's bearish market conditions. When it comes to biotech startups, which often anticipate no revenue streams until post-FDA approval, the task takes on an entirely new layer of complexity.
For entrepreneurs seeking to surmount these obstacles, equity crowdfunding platforms offer an increasingly tempting avenue for expanding both their investor network and initial customer communities.
Equity crowdfunding platforms such as AngelList (now Wellfound), StartEngine, WeFunder, and many others aim to create a marketplace for investors and startups where they can find each other more effectively. However, most existing marketplaces do not deeply understand the complex nature of biotech innovation and drug development. There is an opportunity to reinvent the way society and communities can enable research and development activities.
In this month’s newsletter, we describe how Vibe Bio aims to develop a platform that can provide valuable scientific insights to investors while strategically supporting biotech startups navigating their companies’ inflection points.
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Upcoming Networking Event
Date and time: Tuesday, September 19 · 6 - 9pm EDT
Location: Legal Sea Foods- Harborside, 270 Northern Avenue Boston, MA 02210
Join the Vibe Bio team, along with our co-sponsor ramarketing, for a biotech networking event where you can mingle with industry experts, entrepreneurs, and investors. This is your chance to connect with like-minded individuals and have meaningful conversations about the exciting world of funding and innovation. Whether you're looking for potential investors, partners, or simply want to expand your network, this event is the perfect opportunity.
Mark your calendars and get ready to sip on cocktails while engaging in stimulating conversations. Don't miss out on this incredible chance to make valuable connections in the biotech community during Biotech Week Boston!
Industry Updates and Resources
Fierce Biotech launched their Fundraising Tracker '23 which tracks pharma/biotech acquisitions and fundraises with investors listed.
Previous VibeCast guest and bit.bio founder, Mark Kotter PhD, launches new startup with goal of extending healthspan by 20 years
Biotech layoffs and job openings 2023: A comprehensive table of 100 companies' cuts, contrasting with a surge in job openings
The squeeze on pharma begins, and the effects won’t be what President Biden claims.
Boston Business Journal: Nvidia, Gaingels, and RA Capital invest in new Boston AI drug discovery company called Superluminal Medicines Inc. which launched August 29 with a $33 million funding round.
Hear a deep dive with Vibe Bio’s CEO, Alok Tayi, discuss running several life science-focused software companies, including PreScouter, TetraScience, and the Life Sciences division at Egnyte. The Biotech Startups host, Jon Chee asks about his transition into entrepreneurship from academia and how that experience led to PreScouter. Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zdned3 and Spotify.
Building the AngelList for Biotech
The Vibe Bio model is focused on supporting drug development where a community of patients and a promising medicine have been identified. Vibe can finance a project at any stage in its lifecycle, but we’re most helpful for early-to-mid stage companies. We help by providing capital, expertise, and insight to help the biotech move towards their next inflection point.
Vibe funnels its resources towards the most promising treatment candidates through a selection process that assesses the quality of the science, the team behind it and the overall prospect. Vibe will review the company’s complete data room, including mechanism of action, its preclinical data, financial operations, and regulatory compliance, then uses its technology and collective expertise to make a decision on whether or not to invest.
“Our model is to use a combination of software and expertise to help a decentralized network of investors, which can be angel investors or also patient communities, fund the next generation of biotechs.”
-Alok Tayi, CEO of Vibe Bio
It is hard for investors to have expertise in-house in every disease, especially for rare disease drugs that can be incredibly complex. Angel investors, family offices and hedge funds aren’t domain experts, even though they might be interested in investing in new medicines. In addition to tapping into its network of scientific experts, Vibe uses historical drug data to inform the risk & rewards of new programs.
As a matchmaker, Vibe uses software to connect investors to biotechs along with the scientific insight into the potential of the drug. This increases transparency between investors and scientist founders, providing investors with reliable information they can trust while making decisions to investor in drug development programs.
We believe building the AngelList for biotech will help us accomplish our mission of facilitating every cure for every community and will give patients more options when seeking treatments for their particular diseases.
Learn about Inflection Point Financing (IPF)
📈 Vibe Bio’s strategy supports biotechs through Inflection Point Financing (IPF).
👩🔬 Utilizing our extensive network of industry experts, Vibe Bio expeditiously assesses high-potential drug programs, unlocking capital through a deferred payment arrangement.
🧬 IPF enables biotech companies to dedicate more time on science and less time fundraising, marking a shift in the biotech fundraising paradigm and prevents potentially groundbreaking research from being abandoned.
💰 If you are seeking novel and rapid financing strategies to drive you towards your next inflection point, Vibe Bio would like to speak with you. Let’s explore opportunities together.
VibeCast Updates 🎙️
On VibeCast, our Industry Engagement Manager and show host Ray Dogum, interviews Vibe Bio community experts who come from diverse backgrounds and career paths. However, one commonality that all VibeCast guests have is a passion to improve society by encouraging research and educating others by sharing their own experiences.
Collectively we have the skills. We have the technology. We have the passion. We now need the community catalyst to bring it all together. That’s Vibe.
In addition to our YouTube channel, you can listen to episodes on:
We are always looking for interesting and knowledgeable people to interview on our show. If you know of a community member who would be a great guest, please let us know. You can suggest a guest by sending us an email, leaving a Substack comment below, or reaching out via social media.
Check out the latest episodes, 23-27 below
Vadim Nazarov on How AI Can Help the Drug Discovery Process | VibeCast Epsiode 23
Vadim Nazarov is a AI and Life Sciences researcher turned startup founder. 2x founder in AI and Biotech: ImmunoMind (AI for Drug Discovery; CEO, current role) and Tensorpad (MLOps; ex-Chief AI Officer / Chief Product Officer). Built products used by three Top 5 Big Pharma and four Top 10 US universities to develop novel immunotherapies. MSc, PhD cand. in CS. Ex-senior scientist and group leader with 800+ scientific citations in AI and T-cell immunology. Alumnus of Berkeley SkyDeck, UCSF Innovation Ventures, accepted to Creative Destruction Lab. Alumni council board member at Berkeley SkyDeck. Venture Partner at emerging US-based VC fund for Life Sciences, responsible for European and Techbio / AI / AI for Drug Discovery investments.
Cellarity Executives on the Fascinating Realm of Cellular-Level Drug Discovery | VibeCast Episode 24
Laurens Kruidenier, PhD joined Cellarity in December 2021 as CSO. Bringing over 25 years of experience in discovery research, both in academic settings as well as in the life sciences industry, Laurens leads the continued evolution of Cellarity’s platform and pipeline. Laurens also oversees cross functional integration across all aspects of computation, drug discovery and optimization and he contributes to reinforce Cellarity’s external presence in the scientific and investor community. Laurens was previously CSO at Prometheus Biosciences (formerly Precision IBD) in San Diego CA, the first precision medicine company in the immune-mediated disease space. He completed his post-doctoral training at the University of London (UK). Over the years, his research has resulted in multiple publications in top tier scientific journals, including Nature. Laurens holds an M.Sc. in Medical Biology from Utrecht University and a Ph.D. in Mucosal Immunology from Leiden University, both in the Netherlands. In his spare time, Laurens enjoys modern & contemporary art, 1970s movies, hiking, sailing, and black & white photography.
Fabrice Chouraqui, PharmD joined Flagship Pioneering in 2020, where he serves as both CEO-Partner of Flagship Pioneering and Chief Executive Officer of Cellarity. He has deep experience across the business spectrum, from R&D to commercial leadership, business development and investor communications. Fabrice was formerly the President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals in the US. Throughout his career at Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb, he has led the launch of breakthrough treatments in several areas, including oncology, immunology, neuroscience and cardiovascular. Fabrice is also a member of the Board of Oranomed, a company specialized in the development of targeted radioligand therapies for various types of cancers.
Alice Valder Curran on Drug Pricing under the Inflation Reduction Act | VibeCast Episode 25
Alice Valder Curran is a regulatory expert, strategic business and legal advisor to multinational pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Leads commercialization, compliance, and policy matters at all stages of development. Special focus where significant public policy considerations are informed by regulatory sensitivities and strategic business priorities. Hyper-focused on innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. Converts evolving regulatory issues into opportunities, value, and competitive advantage. Designs cutting-edge regulatory pathways that bring new drug products to market -- maximizing client profits, facilitating patient access to critical therapies, and advancing important public policy objectives. Executive leadership roles have included the firm’s International Management Committee, setting, and implementing the strategic direction and business operations for the global enterprise. As the first leader of the organization’s newly combined Global Regulatory and Intellectual Property Practice, directed the integration of talent across Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions and sixteen legal disciplines, managed P&L, developed business development strategy, and delivered leading profitable and business growth results year-over-year. Passionate advocate and sponsor for women and diverse professionals. Drives DEI strategy and devotes energies to produce meaningful and industry-leading results in the advancement and retention of talent.
Ira Spector, PhD on Developing Drugs From the GI Microbiome | VibeCast Episode 26
Dr. Spector is the co-founder of SFA Therapeutics, a microbiome-derived biotech company focused on the treatment inflammatory diseases. Ira is an experienced drug developer, with over 25 years of experience. He has helped develop 33 drugs, including Enbrel, Effexor, Protonix, Prevenar-13, Mylotarg at Wyeth/Pfizer, where he was VP of Clinical Operations and Vice-Chief of Development. At Allergan he helped develop Ozurdex for Diabetic Macular Edema and Retinal Venous Occlusion, Botox for Overactive Bladder, Botox for Chronic Migraine, Juvederm XL and Botox for cerebral palsy. Prior to Wyeth, he was VP and Partner at the PA Consulting Group. Before founding SFA Therapeutics, Ira was Executive VP of Analytics & Consulting at ICON. Ira holds BS degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from Washington University, where he was a Langsdorf Fellow, an MBA from Drexel University, and a PhD from Rutgers University, with a focus on biostatistics and epidemiology.
Insider Secrets to Successful Drug Delivery: Richard Johnson's Expert Advice | VibeCast Episode 27
Dr Richard Johnson graduated from York University, UK (1982) and completed his PhD at Warwick University, UK (1986). His industrial career started at Delta Biotechnology in Nottingham, UK where he worked as a Senior Scientist working on a number of recombinant human proteins. In 1994 he jointly founded Andaris Ltd, a drug delivery company that utilised spray drying to develop novel diagnostics and and drug delivery products. Andaris was acquired in 1998 and after a successful handover he left to found Upperton Pharma Solutions in 1999. Initially Upperton focussed on developing its own, novel drug delivery products but since around 2008 the company switched its focus to become a fully focussed CDMO. In late 2021, as the company expanded he brought in a new CEO to direct continued growth and switched his role to Chief Scientific Officer.
We encourage you to explore our Discord server and learn more about our mission to accelerate the development of new treatments and cures through inflection point financing. You can also follow us on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest news and updates from our community.
Tell us what else you’d like to see in future editions of the newsletter. We’d love to hear from you!
The Vibe Bio Community Team