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The first super session at NLSDays covered the key factor of financing

Financing Super session

The Thuesday morning of NLSDays started off with a super session on Financing and both the expert panel and the presenting companies shared valuable insights.

Starting and evolving a company requires funds and in this session, five Nordic life science companies at very different stages shared their experiences and their financing stories.

First out was the youngest company, Valo Therapeutics, a spin-out company from the University of Helsinki, Finland. And one of the questions from the expert panel was “Will you develop into a platform company or not?”

The next company to present was Brain+ who has developed apps to enhance or recover the brain. The advice to this company from the panel involved prioritizing and scaling. Carsten Borring, Head of Listing and Capital Markets, Nasdaq, also asked the CEO, Kim Baden-Kristensen, if he had though about the possibility to take in more money in order to speed up the development and stand out from the increasing number of companies in the same field.

Patrik Sobocki, Investment Manger at Industrifonden highlighted the fact that in the Nordics we have soft money available but that it takes time to develop.

Ultimovacs and Wilson Therapeutics

Next up was Ultimovacs, founded in 2011. The company now needs funding in order to enter the U.S. market. The shareholders are today mainly Norwegian and the company CEO estimated that they would need 80-85 MEUR. Carsten Borring emphasized the fact that a diversified international shareholder structure might be needed to continue the journey.

When summarizing the event Oyvind Kongstun Arnesen, CEO of Ultimovacs, said that it is also important to stick to the facts when communicating a company.

The former CFO of Wilson Therapeutics, Anders Martin-Löf, shared his former company’s success story. In April, Alexion acquired the company for $855 million. Before the acquirement several other companies had been interested in Wilson, he revealed. He also emphasized that retail investors should not be neglected.

Orexo’s journey to the U.S. market

The last company to present was Orexo, who yesterday won an appeal against Actavis on Zubsolv patents in the U.S.  Their CEO, Nikolaj Sorensen, shared Orexo’s journey to the U.S. market with its pharmaceuticals against opioid dependence. The newly won patent will give the company around 14 years of growing and expanding its commercial platform, he said. One of his take home messages was “think about patents early on and keep track of your lab reports and documentation.”

Carsten Borrings last advice during the session was that “cash is king, and get it while you can.”