Three strategies for attracting early-stage investment


October 27 - October 27, 2021

Virtual |

The biotech industry is currently seeing record levels of investment, presenting a clear opportunity for small and emerging biotechs to advance their innovations. Whether a company seeks to out-license, commercialize an asset, or position itself for acquisition, success often depends on early investments. And, importantly, success in securing investment drives the development of new treatments for the patients who need them most.

How can biotech companies plan their early development strategy to position themselves for investment?

This panel of industry experts from Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJDC), Health Advances, and Parexel Biotech will discuss:

  • Making your company attractive to the outside world
  • The importance of building and articulating a coherent value story early-on
  • Early clinical development strategic planning that can help companies get noticed

Key learnings include:

  • Understand what investors seek when evaluating compounds and companies for investment
  • Learn how an externally validated value story can help to raise funds from investors, make smarter development decisions, gain market share, and win reimbursement
  • Discover strategies for using expedited pathway designations to add value to products in the eyes of investors, stockholders, corporate partners, and buyers


Marian Nakada

Marian Nakada, PhD
Vice President, Venture Investments
Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJDC)

Marian has almost 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, starting her career at the laboratory bench at Centocor and moving to a research leadership role before Centocor’s acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 1999. She transitioned to Janssen Business Development where she executed deals to support the expansion of the Biologics portfolio. She joined JJDC, Johnson & Johnson’s corporate venture group in 2013. She is passionate about leveraging Johnson & Johnson’s capabilities to help her portfolio companies succeed.

Marian has a B.A. in Biology from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently on the Boards of Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Twenty-eight Seven Therapeutics, Ribon Therapeutics, Artizan Biosciences as well as the New England Venture Capital Association where she is working to champion change as an active contributor to its Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Balazs Felcsuti

Balazs Felcsuti
Vice President
Health Advances

Balazs has over 15 years of healthcare experience in corporate development, strategy, finance and operational positions. He joined Health Advances after a successful career with biopharma companies ranging from industry leading biotechnology firms to small start-up operations.

Balazs brings to Health Advances a combination of big picture strategic approach and hands-on implementation experience. Throughout his career he was responsible for solving strategic problems, executing high value business development transactions and building high-performing organizations.

Rito Bergemann

Rito Bergemann, MD, PhD, MBA ​​​​​​
VP, WW Head of Health Economics and Outcomes Research

Rito leads the HEOR team with a holistic view to be part of the wider RWE & Access Consulting group. He and his team helps clients get health technologies / drugs onto worldwide markets with a positive and best achievable reimbursement decision.

Prior to joining Parexel, Rito held leadership roles in CROs in the field of HEOR including, RWE and Network Meta-Analysis on an international scale. He was responsible for HEOR of Rare Diseases at GSK and the main architect of the health economic and evidence generation program for Humira at Abbott/AbbVie. Rito was also an Adviser for a Hedge Fund focused on biologics and gene therapies.

Skip Sands

Skip Sands, MD
SVP, Senior Medical Officer
Parexel Biotech

Skip’s 35 year professional career has spanned the biopharmaceutical, academic, and private medical practice worlds. He has led and contributed to numerous clinical programs from IND through sNDA/sBLA/MAA, including programs in neuroscience, cardio-metabolic, vaccines, cancer and others.

Skip joined Parexel Biotech as Senior Medical Officer in 2019, and prior to that served as the Chief Medical Officer at Selecta Biosciences, Targacept and Plasma Surgical. He spent time with Solvay Pharmaceuticals/Abbott Laboratories in a series of roles of increasing responsibility culminating as Executive Vice President, Market Access and Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Skip earned his Medical Doctor Degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, and has completed courses in the Executive MBA program at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.



We are always available for a conversation.


We are always available for a conversation.


Communication Preference

Communication Preference