LaunchBio's Invest in Cures Forum February 13 Offers Insights, Connections into Impact Investing in Healthcare

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Representatives from 10 Disease Foundations to Discuss Investment Strategy at NY Stem Cell Foundation

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LaunchBio, Inc., a nonprofit organization that identifies, counsels, and supports high-growth, high-impact life science and biotechnology companies, announced today that it will host a forum with investment professionals representing 10 national nonprofit disease foundations and disease-focused venture funds to discuss their investment philosophies, explain their fund and deal structures, and describe how they are using scientific knowledge to validate early stage technologies and syndicate with other investors.

The program, called Invest in Cures, is scheduled for February 13 from 8 a.m. - noon at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, one of the presenting partners for the forum. BioLabs and BioLabs@NYULangone, a premier co-working space for life science innovators, also are joining LaunchBio as presenting partners for this event.

Nonprofit foundations and impact funds increasingly are making investments in life science companies to accelerate the pace of drug discovery and development, hoping to bring new therapies and cures for patients. No longer solely focused on making grants to researchers, disease foundations are creating a range of investment vehicles to achieve their missions.

“We are interested in new sources of capital for early stage life science companies, and see non-traditional investors, such as these foundations, as an important addition to the network,” says Joan Siefert Rose, CEO of LaunchBio. “As disease foundations start venture arms and add investment professionals to their teams, the organizations hosting this forum want to make sure they are meeting other investors and learning about promising companies.”

The confirmed speakers for the forum are:

Jonathan Behr, PhD
Managing Director
T1D Fund, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Michele Cleary, PhD
The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research

Bob Crutchfield
Managing Director, BrightEdge Ventures
American Cancer Society

Anka K. Ehrhardt, PhD
Science Director
CHDI Management, Inc.

Lauren Friedman, PhD
Director, Scientific Affairs
Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

Gerard Honig, PhD
Translational Research Manager
IBD Ventures, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Ken LaMontagne, PhD, MBA
VP, Research, Therapy Acceleration Program
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Debra Miller
President & CEO
Barbara Tate, PhD
Venture Partner
Dementia Discovery Fund
Ben Yerxa, PhD
Foundation Fighting Blindness

The moderators for the forum are:

Michael J. Hostetler, PhD., Esq.
Partner, Intellectual Property
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Kirstie Keller, PhD
Senior Associate, Center for Strategic Philanthropy
Milken Institute

Robert J. Schneider, PhD
Associate Dean, NYU Technology Ventures and Partnerships, Albert B. Sabin Professor of Molecular Pathogenesis, NYU School of Medicine
NYU Langone Health

Opening remarks will be delivered by:

Adam Milne
VP Operations

Nishta Rao, MBA
Site Director
Elizabeth Schwarzbach, PhD
VP, Business Development
New York Stem Cell Foundation

The Invest in Cures forum is LaunchBio’s first program in New York designed for the biotech community.

Information and registration are available at

About LaunchBio: LaunchBio is a nonprofit organization that identifies, counsels, and supports high-growth, high-impact life science and biotechnology companies. Its mission is to build an ecosystem of innovation for the benefit of human health and well-being.
LaunchBio’s impact is measured by its success in connecting entrepreneurs with knowledge, capital and talent – including each other – not only within geographic regions, but across the nation’s leading life science hubs. LaunchBio offers programs in Durham, NC; San Diego, CA; Boston, MA; and New York City.

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Joan Siefert Rose
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