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Who in the VC community is investing in pre-clinical therapeutic product development?

In our experience pharmaceutical companies are now returning to fund early stage product development as they need to bolster their development pipelines. The VC community appears to be uncertain - be interested to know people's thoughts especially in the USA.

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Michael Barnathan
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Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
I had quite the time of trying to get funding for a medical device prior to the 510k filling with the FDA. Most conventional investors seemed concerned with the risks in the early stage pipeline, and this was a far lower barrier than drug development. I'd look for dedicated medtech investors who understand drug and device development; Boston and Maryland have several firms known for this.
Shane Ballman
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Shane Ballman Entrepreneur
I make aircraft maintenance easier to manage
We used the Massinvestor database to help us target likely investors. While an annual subscription was not especially cheap (~$500 for data on 3700 investors across the US, lower prices for regional subsets), I've been fairly impressed with the quality & usefulness of the data.

It allows you to search by all the useful metadata: type of investor (angel, VC, PE, etc), stage of investment, focus of investments, etc. It also provides who the principals are, what their portfolio currently is, news about the investor, and probably other stuff I'm missing right now. Lots of ways to skin the cat.

FYI - I have no connection to them other than being a customer.
Karl Schulmeisters
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Karl Schulmeisters Entrepreneur
CTO ClearRoadmap

Michael - I recommend you come take a look at the tool we built to help medical device innovators like yourself. The brainchild of a former Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the FDA, we've documented with step by step guidance some 33 major regulatory processes for medical devices.

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And this goes to the top question this way: VCs for healthcare are a highly specialized group. Precisely because this is a heavily regulated industry, and the cycle from innovation to fruition is long, it requires a lot more expertise and thus has fewer players in it. One area to look at - particularly early stage - is for grants. Governments, both in the USA and the EU provide a lot of the seed funding that normally is associated with Angel Stage investing.

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For instance in France, the Angel stage occurs roughly when for other products you would be expecting to be doing Series A, and Series B at Series A.. and on down the line. Everything gets time shifted. So I would start looking for government grants and/or research institutions to partner with for early stage funding

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