The Importance of Venture Capital in Life Sciences: Episode 01 – Discovering, Investing, and Curing.

# **Understanding the Crucial Role of Risk Capital in Life Sciences**

Welcome to the first episode of a webinar hosted by the Life Science Acceleration Alliance (LSAA), where we discuss the vital role of risk capital in developing new technologies, vaccines, and treatments to help patients. LSAA Chairman of the Board, Rainer Westermann, is joined by fellow board members Dr. Sascha Berger from TDM Capital and Cedric Moreau from Sofinnova Partners.

### Who are our Experts?

Dr. Sascha Berger is a General Partner at TDM Capital in Munich and has been with TDM Life Sciences Team since 2016. He has a strong financial background with almost 10 years of professional experience in transaction and strategy. Cedric Moreau, on the other hand, is a Partner at Sofinnova Partners in Paris, with 18 years of experience in life sciences investment banking. At Sofinnova, they focus more on late-stage BC investing, which involves buying into companies depending on their clinical stage development and proof of concept.

### The Complex Ecosystem of Life Science Startups

The life science startup ecosystem is quite complicated and not well understood by many people. In this episode, we want to describe what is happening, how we’re working, and what the benefits of risk capital are in developing new technologies, innovative treatments, and new active compounds.

One of the vivid examples of the success of risk capital in the life sciences industry is the story of Moderna and BioNTech, where we were able to develop vaccines in a very fast fashion due to mRNA technology. However, this was only possible because of the venture capital that supported the development of those technologies.

### The Importance of Risk Capital for Life Sciences

Dr. Berger highlights that the life science industry is a long-term game, and it takes a lot of determination and risk to make a difference. The focus should always be on understanding the mechanism of action, the target engagement and keeping the patient at the center, with the ultimate goal of bringing new treatments and better quality of life for patients.

Cedric Moreau emphasizes that there is a substantial amount of risk in the life science industry, and there are more failures than successes. However, the long-term partnership approach, where investors support these companies consistently for 10 years, is crucial for bringing innovation to the market. The journey is not just about capital, but also networks, interaction in the ecosystem, and bringing in additional people.

### Overcoming Barriers and Avoiding Failure

While failures in life science startups are prevalent, it all comes down to having a disruptive and strong science or an amazing management team. The science needs to be understood, with a clear mechanism of action and target engagement. Equally crucial is having a management team that knows how to turn an idea into a viable product that can benefit patients.

With a clear understanding of the role of risk capital and the challenges and opportunities in the life science industry, LSAA aims to facilitate and accelerate life science start-ups’ growth.


In this first episode, Rainer Westermann, Chairman of the Board of LSAA e.V. talks with fellow board members Dr. Sascha Berger, TVM Capital, and Cedric Moreau, Sofinnova Partners, about the vital role risk capital plays in developing new technologies, new vaccines and new treatments to help patients in need.

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