Sofinnova Partners Chair sees opportunity on the horizon
Antoine Papiernik emphasizes VC firm's domain expertise and team building skills
Related Deal leadAntoine Papiernik
As a difficult year for the VC industry drew to a close, Antoine Papiernik, Sofinnova Partners’ Chair and Managing Partner, sat down with Barnaby Pickering of Medtech Insight to discuss how the venture capital firm has evolved over its 50 years of existence and what the current investment environment means for the biotech and medtech industries.
Papiernik has been at Sofinnova Partners for 25 years, half the firm’s existence. During that time, as it has sharpened its focus on the life sciences, Sofinnova has:
- gone from €80 million under management to €2.5 billion
- established five dedicated strategies with specialist teams, investing across the startup life cycle from acceleration to company building to late-stage growth
- expanded the team to 64 people, now comprising 18 different nationalities, 14 languages, and present across offices in Paris, London and Milan
When Pickering asked how Sofinnova Partners had garnered the expertise to manage more than 100 portfolio investments with only 64 people, Papiernik noted that most of the staff are scientists or physicians who not only understand the science behind the technology but also have the ability to find exceptional talent to build robust teams who grasp the commercial, clinical and regulatory aspects of an investment.
Papiernik said an investor’s job was to “build great management teams and bring experienced independent directors to the boards of our portfolio companies."
"Sofinnova assembles the right set of skills," he added "either around or inside a company.”
On the question of risk, Papiernik pointed out that Sofinnova Partners had learned over the years that early-stage investment was the safest way to take risks — putting small amounts of money in to prove or disprove an idea.
Addressing the inevitable question about the challenging investment environment, at least in public markets, Papiernik pointed out that pharma was facing a “patent cliff” in six-to-seven years, with $250 billion in revenue set to vanish. So there is opportunity.
Major pharmaceutical and medtech companies "have cash in their coffers" to replenish their patent portfolios, Papiernik noted. "Of course, they’re waiting for the data. It will take 18 to 24 months, maybe 36, but it’s going to all come back.”
Read the full interview on the Medtech Insight website. Subscription required
Moon Surgical appoints Fred Moll, MD, as Board Chair and raises additional $55.4 million in new funding with leading investors Sofinnova Partners and NVIDIA
Inspirna appoints Dr. Usman “Oz” Azam, M.D., as new Chief Executive Officer
Pixium Vision announces FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for the Prima System in Dry AMD
Noema Pharma, founded by Sofinnova Partners, raises CHF 103 million (USD112million) in Series B financing
RefleXion receives FDA clearance for SCINTIX biology-guided radiotherapy; cutting-edge treatment applicable for early and late-stage cancers