BioNetwork 2014

October 27 - 29, 2014

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, CA

Biotech Companies in California

Big Pharma and Venture Capitalists Fuel California Biotech

Biotech Companies in California

Click Here to Download the Exclusive Case History PDF


In this exclusive case history presentation from BioNetwork East in March 2012, Syed Kazmi, VP Business Development and Strategic Planning, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. takes a hard look at the state of the industry and specifically biotech companies in California (like Ligand) after the recent economic meltdown.


Kazmi provides a detailed look across 17 slides at Ligand's out-licensing, partnering and acquisition strategies and gives key takeaways from the company's experiences during the past couple of years and his recipe for success for biotechnology companies.


Click the image at left to download the exclusive PDF and use it as the basis of your next meeting or share around the office.

Venture capitalists are very shrewd about where to invest their money and 50% of the United States’ venture capital in the biotechnology industry is invested in California biotech companies. Nearly 40% of the country’s biotechnology companies are located in California. There are compelling reasons for the favorable view of California biotech companies. California university professors provided the brainpower and were instrumental in the founding of Genentech, Celgene, Amgen and Biogen, organizations that are considered the current leading biotech companies. College professors are also listed as founders in approximately 40% of the companies in California. Venture capitalists know that knowledgeable researchers are a key to finding a good company in which to invest.


The state’s support of the biotech industry in California also encourages venture capitalists. The support is evidenced through Proposition 71 that provides substantial funds for stem cell research. The state is supporting the industry with the expectation of the positive results that can be introduced from this experimentation. A company that has governmental funding is another indicator of a good investment.


The success experienced by biotech companies in California also has big pharmaceutical companies and companies involved in transgenic research willing to fund research that parallels their industries. The large organizations are willing to fund this research in exchange for having right of first refusal on licensing any successful products developed. Venture capitalists expect the successes of Mycogen that developed high yielding disease resistant farm products that motivated Dow Chemical to partner with them, and Genentech’s pharmaceutical successes which encouraged Roche Laboratories to take a stake in the company will continue. Having a large company that contributes toward a biotech’s research is a third indicator of a sound investment.


High risk speculators know that biotech companies in California have barely touched the possibilities and uses of their research. Their experimentation is helping develop innovations in health care, biofuels, agriculture and green technologies. There is awareness that the start-up costs are high, research is a lengthy process, and that there is a high probability of failure. However, the rewards for supporting a successful team are even higher and California biotech companies attract venture capitalists and the large companies that fund the research.


Venture capitalists and large companies are willing to take the risk because they understand that biotechnology is technology based on science. Innovations resulting from biotech research have provided us with products and technologies to fight rare diseases, help feed the world, provide alternative fuels and improve manufacturing processes.