U.S. biotechnology investor Versant Ventures is expecting big things from Canada in drug discovery, opening a third incubator in this country to try to find promising early stage therapies to sell to major pharmaceutical companies.
Versant’s strategy is not the standard way of investing in early stage companies. In that model, when the companies buy the company that has made the discovery, the scientists go with the company to its new owner. What’s more, sales can take a long time. Instead, Versant partners with scientists in its incubators to create drug programs that can be sold as they reach a promising milestone. When the drug development is sold, the scientists remain at the incubators working on the next discovery.