Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 25, 2013
Today, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and the Medical Innovation and Competitiveness Coalition (MedIC) released Patient Capital 3.0: Confronting the Crisis and Achieving the Promise of Venture-Backed Medical Innovation. The report, which is in its third release, highlights the contribution of venture capital to medical innovation and provides perspective on the current investment environment in the U.S. for life sciences.
“Venture-backed medical innovations still provide the critical new drugs, medical devices and diagnostics that improve and save the lives of millions of Americans, but the environment for investing in these breakthroughs has become increasingly challenging,” said Jonathan Leff, Partner at Deerfield Management and Chairman of MedIC. “While the promise of science to help solve our most pressing medical problems is extraordinary, the time, cost and uncertainty involved in building start-up companies that advance fundamental medical innovations have all risen, driving some investors away from the life sciences arena in recent years. We continue to express to policymakers the importance of promoting an environment that encourages investment in medical innovation.”
Total investment in life sciences companies has been declining since 2007, when the report was last published. First-time fundings have suffered in particular. In the first quarter of 2013, only 20 life sciences companies received start-up venture capital funding, the lowest number seen since Q2 of 1995. This trend threatens America’s medical innovation pipeline, leading to fewer new cures for deadly diseases and delaying access to life-saving and life-changing treatments for U.S. patients. Many drugs and devices discovered and developed in the U.S. are now available in Europe but not here due to these challenges.
Despite these challenges, the venture industry has never been more bullish on innovation. Finding new treatments and cures will vastly improve patient outcomes and improve overall quality of life for all Americans. In addition, such innovations can also help reduce long-term costs to our healthcare system.
“Our most critical message is that ‘it’s not too late’ to reverse course,” said David Douglass, General Partner of Delphi Ventures and NVCA Board Member. “Astounding new breakthroughs with the potential to improve patient outcomes occur every day, and venture capitalists very much want to bring them to market to treat patients with unmet needs, improve quality of life, and support the life sciences industry.”
The NVCA and MedIC Coalition have been working closely with Congress, regulators, patients and other stakeholders on improving the path for medical innovation so that venture investment is encouraged.
“Last year’s passage of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) provided a critical step forward, but there is much more work to be done,” said Peter McNerney, Senior Advisor at Thomas McNerney & Partners and NVCA/MedIC member. “We must now focus on continuing steps needed to streamline new product development and encourage investment in medical innovations that provide value to both patients and the overall healthcare system. We look forward to working with policy makers and other stakeholders to accomplish these goals so medical innovation will continue to move forward.”
Press is invited to attend the scheduled Capitol Hill briefings taking place on Friday, April 26th and should contact Emily Mendell for times, location and details at emendell(at)nvca(dot)org. A copy of Patient Capital 3.0 can be downloaded here: http://www.nvca.org/PC3.
Venture capitalists are committed to funding America’s most innovative entrepreneurs, working closely with them to transform breakthrough ideas into emerging growth companies that drive U.S. job creation and economic growth. As the voice of the U.S. venture capital community, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers its members and the entrepreneurs they fund by advocating for policies that encourage innovation and reward long-term investment. As the venture community’s preeminent trade association, NVCA serves as the definitive resource for venture capital data and unites its nearly 400 members through a full range of professional services. For more information about the NVCA, please visit http://www.nvca.org.
About MedIC Coalition
Comprised of National Venture Capital Association member firms and their life sciences portfolio companies, the MedIC coalition advocates for policies and regulations that advance and support U.S. medical innovation. MedIC seeks to 1) educate policymakers on the critical role America’s medical innovation plays in the U.S. healthcare system, 2) establish incentives for investors and entrepreneurs to drive medical innovations in the U.S. and 3) achieve broad based FDA reform so that breakthrough technologies can be brought to market more efficiently. More information on MedIC can be found at medic.nvca.org.