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VentureHealth Blog

Trumpcare Is Dead…Or Is It?

Posted May 11, 2017

Talat Imran
Talat Imran

            The first bill designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, one of President Trump’s campaign promises, failed to gain enough support from both sides of the aisle. With the new MacArthur Amendment finally driving the bill through the House, everyone is now wondering whether health insurance will change. Over here at VentureHealth, we’re wondering too - and what it could mean for the future of healthcare investing.  

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Theranos makes no sense...at a $9B valuation

Posted Jan 14, 2016

Talat Imran
Talat Imran

You’ve probably seen coverage of Theranos in the news that has not been very positive. Theranos, an unusual unicorn in the life sciences industry, holds an impressive nine billion dollar valuation. However, as John Carreyrou wrote in his Wall Street Journal expose, the diagnostics company is not using its self-proclaimed “breakthrough” technology and products to analyze most of the blood tests the company offers to consumers. What’s lost in the discussion is an examination of the underlying assumptions of the business and its valuation. In his Forbes article, Frank David explores Theranos’ business model quite well. As life science investors, we feel the valuation is worth focusing on too.

 

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An Unforgettable Truth About Alzheimer's

Posted Nov 25, 2015

“Sonia

Alanna Shaikh spoke at TED of how she is preparing to get Alzheimer's, should it arrive in the future, after watching her father's experience with the disease. Like all of us, she is hoping she does not get it, and that we will find a cure within 20 years that will protect us.

Though the disease was first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer over 100 years ago, there is no effective treatment or cure. It is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that progressively worsens over time as brain cell connections and the cells themselves die. The disease is the leading cause of dementia, and it is estimated that there are 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s in 2015. Thankfully, advances in Alzheimer's research have revealed many hopeful clues. However, is hope enough to invest in a company working on Alzheimer's solutions?

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Why VC is Betting Big on Oral Biologics

Posted Aug 25, 2015

“Sonia

Imagine if your closest friend were a diabetic patient, and she had to inject herself with insulin multiple times a day. Would popping a pill instead be better? That's what researchers are trying to accomplish: deliver large-molecule biologic drugs such as insulin in pill form. There are over 100 venture-backed companies attempting to discover an oral delivery mechanism for biologics. One reason venture capital is betting big on new oral biologics is that it could transform compliance and improve outcomes for therapies that are taking over the industry. If oral biologics can truly replace injections, they should create tens of billions of value in a fast-growing market that is worth over $200B today. The firm with that “holy grail” innovation would be the gateway. As a starting point, let's understand the differences between conventional drugs and biologics to see what a paradigm shift this will be for the industry.

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Maximizing Social Impact: Foundations or Healthcare Venture Capital?

Posted Jul 13, 2015

Talat Imran
Talat Imran

Is it better to take the bandages off a severely burned patient quickly (with higher pain intensity for the patient) or slowly, with lower pain intensity for the patient but over a longer duration? Behavioral economist Dan Ariely personally went through this very painful ordeal, and his nurses chose the first option--to take the bandages off quickly. Turns out they were wrong. It’s better for the patient if the bandages are taken off slowly, according to Ariely's later research. The nurses' intuitive choice was wrong, but they were reluctant to consider an alternative.

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Why We Love Women's Healthcare Ventures

Posted Jun 20, 2015

“Sonia
Sonia Easaw

VentureHealth loves investing in women’s healthcare ventures, because women’s health startups are reaching an underserved market with plenty of demand. Despite the possibility of great financial return, the venture capital industry tends to overlook investing in women’s healthcare.

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Fundraising is a lot like dating; it helps to listen carefully, respond thoughtfully, and be a little indifferent

Posted Nov 18, 2014

Talat Imran
Talat Imran

If you think about it, the comparisons are actually pretty striking. You meet someone through mutual connections, filling out online profiles, or by going to events and mingling. You try to say something compelling to “recommend” yourself to them so you can get their number/email/FB/etc. That description could equally apply to fundraising or finding a mate, but hopefully not both at the same time! That would be a completely different blog post. Let’s not go there…

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What do the Hunger Games and our immigration system have in common?

Posted Oct 21, 2014

Talat Imran
Talat Imran

What do the Hunger Games and our immigration system have in common? Well, they both feature a painfully absurd lottery that pits good people against one another. Now, while the Hunger Games is an entertaining work of art set in a dystopian future, the reality of the H1B process we live with today can only be described as stranger than fiction.

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Digital Health Investment Success Catches Up to Excitement

Posted Mar 06, 2014

Andrew Farquharson
Andrew
Farquharson

We know that digital health technologies are getting a lot of interest. Of course they are. The field is rapidly evolving, with low capital requirements and uncertain outcomes – so observers can project all kinds of exciting days ahead.  

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Single Product, Single Company

Posted Feb 25, 2014

One of the reasons start-ups are successful is a single-minded focus on one problem. It is difficult to maintain the focus to achieve success if you are attempting to apply an innovative technology to solve multiple problems. One successful product can divert resources from the others, or, on the flip side, one failure can drag down the company. Often, a single focus is also more attractive to investors, who may be passionate about a particular problem, and who have often experienced disappointing results from elegant solutions that could not be matched to problems.

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