Although investing in drug development would seem to be ideal for EIS investment, it has been a somewhat niche area. Sunil Shah is hoping to change that, with o2h Ventures having recently launched the UK's first Knowledge Intensive Fund focused on this area.
Sunil gives a great perspective on how investing in the industry has evolved over the last couple of decades, and how these changes work in the favour of early-stage investors. We also talk about the challenges of investing in this area, where specialist knowledge is needed and how the growth in private capital has affected the industry.
Any discussion in this area can’t ignore COVID and we also talk about how the industry has been rising to the challenge.
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Sunil Shah co-founded o2h Ventures with Prashant Shah in 2013. In the last few years, they have co-founded four companies with UK-based academics and entrepreneurs, provided consultancy services to five companies, held Chairman or Director level positions in nine companies, built up a portfolio of twenty early-stage investments, and executed early-stage drug discovery research projects for fifteen different companies. In 2013, bucking a pattern of UK Science going to the USA for funding, Sunil and Prashant acted quickly to lead an academic spin-out from the USA with promising data in brain cancer and proceeded to run, externally fund and locate that company, Opal Oncology, in the UK. It provided direct hands-on experience of making the scientific decisions and managing the operations of a therapeutics company.
o2h Ventures o2hventures.com
o2h Chai Time webinars youtube.com/channel/UC7YqoMJ566H7uau0E2WC3Qw
UK BioIndustry Association guide to investing in the UK biotech sector www.bioindustry.org/policy/invest-in-biotech.html