Q&A with Harry Glorikian
General Partner of New Ventures Funds
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Family Office Insights sits down with Harry Glorikian, General Partner of New Ventures Funds, to discuss New Ventures III, a venture capital firm with a unique investment model focused on identifying innovative healthcare and pharmaceutical opportunities with a main fund investing 60% in venture/40% in pharma royalties, as well as, a sidecar available for investors solely interested in venture.
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Tell us about your background and your company, New Ventures Funds.
I have been in the healthcare industry for 27 years. I started my career in pathology, specifically in personalized medicine, where tools can help better identify disease and identify the correct therapy for a patient. Through some entrepreneurial jaunts of starting my own companies, I ended up at Applied Biosystems where we made all the instrumentations for the Human Genome Project. We spun out a company, Celera Genomics, that was instrumental in producing the code for the first human genome that was published in Science in 2001. Soon afterwards, I started Scientia Advisors, a strategy-consulting firm focused on healthcare, which I grew over 8 years, and was acquired by Precision for Medicine in November of 2012. As in many acquisitions, I stayed on for 18 months and then left when GE Ventures contacted me to help them ideate and spin out new companies. Although I was lucky to have worked with a great group at GE and to create 2 new companies, I was excited to join New Ventures Funds where I could continue doing what I was doing, except through this Fund.
At New Ventures, we focus on healthcare’s big problems and work with companies that are very unique and innovative. We use a barbell strategy—where 40% of our investments are in pharmaceutical royalties while 60% of the Fund focuses on unique and innovative venture opportunities. Pharmaceutical royalties on approved products offer high quality cashflows over long period of time. A diversified portfolio of royalties on leading products in critical care indications has the ability to produce lucrative rates of return. We have access to the best in class royalty opportunities through Royalty Pharma fund, the leading royalty fund in the world. It owns approximately $16B of royalty assets and generates about $2.8B in revenue annually, with a margin of ≥95% and a visibility on revenue out more than 10 years. We simultaneously consider unique and innovative companies where the science and technology are solid and where we feel we can add value. We are not passive investors, but rather, committed to making a revolutionary difference in our industries. We predominately invest in therapeutic drug companies and the intersections of Artificial Intelligence and digital technologies with healthcare, where we think the biggest impacts will be felt by patients and also the industry itself.
What type of companies does New Ventures Funds like to invest in?
The target companies we look for are science-driven with the right metrics that we can objectively assess provide a unique position and opportunity. Because one of our partners, Richard Warburg, has a PhD in Molecular Biology and is a leading IP attorney, we are able to add value to a company by evaluating their science strategy, business strategy and also their IP strategy. I think it’s all about how to strategically position the company to go to market and how we can open doors for them. We leverage our decades of experience and connections in the industry for our clients.
What are some of the challenges you face in this market?
Assembling the right team around different opportunities is probably the number one challenge, as it takes time to get the right people to gel around a particular idea. But, there’s so much experience amongst the 5 partners that one of us can usually come to the table with something that can help move things forward. The risk in this business is when the science doesn’t do what you believe it should do. Science has a way of failing on you once in a while—either the drug doesn’t do what you want it to, or the technology doesn’t work. Other typical challenges are that it takes longer than expected or it turns out costing more than the company anticipated. The team at New Ventures takes that into account early on in the process, which is something that only comes with experience. Because the five of us have been involved in many ventures and have experience with many different technologies, we think our team is able to look at something and gauge how much time and money something will actually take. It’s about being realistic when you look at opportunities that come across your desk.
How are you different from your key competitors?
Our team sets us apart from our competition. Everyone on the team has real world experience, launching successful companies and decades of experience in a wide variety of organizations and roles. We’re not pure financial investors. We all come to this with science and financial backgrounds. We’ve all stubbed our toes many times over in the past, in these particular areas, so each one of us is seen as a leader in each of our respective fields. For me personally, I have 2 books out, Commercializing Novel IVDs: A Comprehensive Manual for Success, and MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market. Richard Warburg is the IP prowess with a list of successful endeavors under his belt. Rory Riggs is the founder of Royalty Pharma and other innovative companies. We have people around the table that are insightful and experienced.
Another differentiating factor is that we require a unanimous vote from all the general partners to move forward on any opportunity—if there’s a single ‘no’ vote, then we don’t move forward. The unique deal flow that comes to us is another area that differentiates us. We’re not dealing with thousands of business plans that need to be sifted through to find the 1 gem. Our existing network and business relationships send us high quality opportunities.
How are you changing the landscape of your industry?
The healthcare landscape is in a state of considerable change right now—and the old ways of doing business will hold companies back. We help our companies identify a new way of looking at healthcare that is more data- and evidence-driven and uses technology and data to improve the processes for everyone.
How much are you looking to raise and who is your ideal investor?
In the main fund, the target is $200M where we invest 60% in venture and 40% in pharma royalties. We have a sidecar available for investors who only want exposure to the venture side, where we can deploy more capital, which is up to $300M.
What’s your mission?
Our mission is to fundamentally change and influence different pieces of healthcare. If we’re able to bring a drug to market for diseases like Parkinson’s, we will have a big impact on people’s lives. If we can cut the time to recruit people for a clinical trial from months to a few days, we can fundamentally change what’s happening in the healthcare system. Although those are our biggest philosophical goals, at the same time, we are dedicated to providing great returns to our LPs. If we can provide the returns, we can keep doing the other side of it, so they go hand-in-hand.
What’s next for you?
We have a number of really exciting opportunities in front of us. We are raising money and closing the next round as quickly as possible. We are shooting for another close at the end of January and then after that, there’s flexibility to close the next round in the spring, based on interest. The goal is to fill the fund, so we can spend our time to making decisions and investing. We invest in companies as we get funded, so we already know where the first sets of investments will go with money on reserve, assuming all the companies meet their milestones. We are also seeing some of our initial investments bear fruit and would be happy to discuss these details with interested parties.
Harry Glorikian is an influential global business expert with more than three decades of experience building successful ventures in North America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. Harry is well known for achievements in life sciences, healthcare, diagnostics, healthcare IT and the convergence of these areas. He is a sought-after speaker, frequently quoted in the media, and regularly asked to assess, influence, and be part of innovative concepts and trends. He holds four US patents in telecommunications, and has others pending.
He currently serves as General Partner at New Ventures Funds. Before joining New Ventures Funds, he served as an Entrepreneur In Residence to GE Ventures – New Business Creation Group. He currently serves on the board of GeneNews Ltd. (a molecular diagnostic company). He also serves on the advisory board of Evidation Health (a digital health startup launched with support from GE Ventures), and several other companies. He is also a co-founder and an advisory board member of DrawBridge Health (a revolutionary diagnostics startup launched with support from GE Ventures).
Previously he co-founded and held the position of managing director and head of consulting services for Scientia Advisors, a company that became the go-to provider of strategic advice and implementation services for next-generation healthcare and life science innovators and Global 25 market leaders. Scientia Advisors was acquired by Precision for Medicine in November of 2012. Among his other professional roles, Mr. Glorikian served as senior manager for global business development at PE Applied Biosystems, founded X-Cell Laboratories, managed global sales at Signet Laboratories and held various roles at BioGenex Laboratories.
Mr. Glorikian holds an MBA from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University. Harry has addressed the National Institutes of Health, Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference, World Theranostics Congress and other audiences, worldwide. He has authored numerous articles for industry publications, appeared on CBS Evening News and been quoted regularly by Dow Jones, The Boston Globe, BioWorld Today, Los Angeles Times, London Independent, Medical Device Daily, Science Magazine, Genetic Engineering News and many other media outlets. He is also the Author of two books: Commercializing Novel IVD’s; A Comprehensive Manual for Success and MoneyBall Medicine: Thriving in the New Data-Driven Healthcare Market.
For more information, please reach out to Harry at firstname.lastname@example.org.