Biotech Investing: The Current Market & Near-Term Trends

We all want to know what’s going to happen next in early-stage biotech investing. Who has the best perspective? Jon Norris, Managing Director at HSBC Innovation, is a well-known, widely-cited analyst of life science investment trends. Join us to get an overview of the current biotech investing market from Jon and enjoy a vigorous discussion in a panel format with Karl Handelsman, Founder and Managing Partner of Codon Capital and Ann Lee-Karlon, CEO of Epibiologics, moderated by HSBC’s Ryan Roller.

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About the Speakers

Karl D. Handelsman is Founder and Managing Partner of Codon Capital, and a key contributor and builder in the US biotech innovation ecosystem. Through his network and leadership, he drives Codon Capital to intensely focus on the best biotech targets for investments. The key criteria are the team, the technology, and the investment syndicate. Karl is looking for what he calls “an unfair technology advantage, a team uniquely qualified around that technology opportunity, and multiple routes to success.” Without knowing the technology and the team, he notes, the what if should look “impossible” to the outside world.

Karl’s disciplined approach includes coaching at various incubators and teaching healthcare entrepreneurs, e.g., NSF I-Corps Biotech at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Stanford, UCSF, and Imperial College London. He was a personal sponsor of SynBioBeta 1.0, and consulting advisor for Stanford SPARK, University of California Catalyst program, and the California Life Sciences Institute FAST program. He is a member of Life Science Angels. Karl has developed this process to build a better VC, and to support better entrepreneurship in biotech.

Ann Lee-Karlon, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer, President, and Board member of EpiBiologics. She previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Altos Labs, where she was instrumental in building the foundation for rapid growth to 500 employees across 3 global sites. Prior to Altos, Ann spent over 18 years at Genentech, most recently as Senior Vice President. During her tenure at Genentech, she led portfolio strategy and operations and had project leadership oversight for over 80 drug development teams from research and development through FDA approval and global launch. She led major corporate partnerships and programs, including Ocrevus for multiple sclerosis and Rituxan in immunology. Before Genentech, Ann served in the new ventures group at Lilly. Ann holds a BS in bioengineering from UC Berkeley, MBA from Stanford University, and PhD in bioengineering from UC San Diego, where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow. Ann was the president and board chair of the Genentech Patient Foundation and president and board chair of the Association for Women in Science, based in Washington, D.C. She is a board member of Eko Health and serves on the Dean’s advisory boards for UC Berkeley and UCSD schools of engineering. Ann was elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Jonathan Norris is Managing Director at HSBC Innovation. He previously was a managing director for business development in SVB’s Healthcare practice where oversaw business development efforts for banking and lending opportunities as well as spearheading strategic relationships with many healthcare venture capital firms. In addition, he speaks at major investor and industry conferences and authors widely cited analyses of healthcare venture capital trends. Norris has more than nineteen years of banking experience working with healthcare companies and venture capital firms. Norris earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Riverside and a juris doctorate from Santa Clara University.

Ryan Roller is Managing Director at HSBC Innovation. He previously was a managing director for SVB’s Healthcare practice where he was one of the leaders of the firm’s biopharma, diagnostic and tools corporate banking practice. Ryan has more than 13 years of experience working with founders, management teams and investors in the healthcare ecosystem. Roller earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Gonzaga University.