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WITI San Diego Regional Network
'Valuation of Early Stage Technology Companies'

Wednesday, May 21, 2008
11:45 AM-1:30 PM

Valuation of private, pre-revenue companies and assets is a fluid, imprecise, and often counterintuitive exercise. One might expect that it flows naturally from a fairly standard analysis from detailed financial models, revenue projects, and expected profit. But valuation is far more art than science and is subject to the whims of the times as sectors gain and lose favor. Comparing and contrasting current valuations for biotech, technology, and homeland security companies illustrate the point.

In addition to case study presentations, the panel will discuss the types of valuations used by investors, as well as differences between valuations for technology and biosciences companies.

About Our Speaker(s)

Bio of Mark J. Benedyk, Ph.D., Head, La Jolla Incubator, The Pfizer Incubator LLC:

Prior to joining The Pfizer Incubator, Dr. Benedyk was Vice President of Business Development at Ascenta Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel, pro-apoptotic small molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer. There he managed the patent estate for the company, led all contract and licensing negotiations for Ascenta, and was part of the executive team that secured $50 million for Ascenta’s Series C financing.

Before coming to Ascenta, Dr. Benedyk was Vice President of Business Development and Director of Optimer Biotechnology, an international biotechnology subsidiary of Optimer Pharmaceuticals, with operations in the U.S. , Singapore and Taiwan . While there, he managed the patent estate for the company, licensed prulifloxacin, a fluoroquinoline antibiotic from Nippon Shinyaku in Japan, led business development activities for Optimer Biotechnology in Singapore, and was part of the executive team that raised $22 million for the Series C&D financing rounds for Optimer prior to its successful IPO in February of 2007.

Previously, Dr. Benedyk held business development positions at rila bioconsulting, Farmal Biomedicines, Aurora Biosciences (now Vertex Pharmaceuticals), Élan Pharmaceuticals, and Argonex Corporation. During his tenure in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, Dr. Benedyk has personally led transactions worth over $300 million and participated in over $500 million worth of product licensing, corporate acquisition and fundraising transactions. Dr. Benedyk received his Ph.D. in Genetics and Developmental Biology from The Rockefeller University, where he was a Lucille P. Markey Graduate Fellow. He received his B.S. in Microbiology and Botany from the University of Michigan.

Bio of David M.K. Nelson, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, The Life Science Group:

David is a life science entrepreneur with a background in science, company creation, asset valuation, financial modeling, licensing, public relations, and strategic planning.

David is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Life Science Group (LSG), a consulting practice providing services to emerging biotechnology and technology companies. LSG’s current serves diverse clients in the areas of biotechnology, high technology for medical device logistics, and homeland security.

One LSG client has a naturally occurring therapeutic immunomodulatory peptide with activity in graft-vs.-host disease, Diabetes, and Multiple Sclerosis. A second client has a novel MEMS-based RFID technology (the only RFID chip that can withstand sterilization) which is of great interest to an array of healthcare companies. David is a founder and Chief Business Officer of Index Therapeutics and a founder of Amalyte Pharmaceuticals, along with a number of ex-Merck executives.

Prior to founding LSG, David was Vice President of Business Development and Biology for Acidophil, a biotechnology enterprise focused in oncology. He was Director of Corporate Development and Strategy for Anadys Pharmaceuticals with responsibilities for fundraising, business development, intellectual property, and public relations. David was a Principal Scientist at Aurora Biosciences. He was a post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH. David received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota . He has developed two products approved for human clinical trials, one of which is currently being used to treat children with the “bubble boy” syndrome.

David is a founder and organizer of SHOUT, a life science networking group comprised of VC’s, entrepreneurs, executives, scientists, and high value service providers. He has served on an NIH grant review committees, has 14 peer-reviewed publications and 3 grants.

Event Date and Venue

This event will be held from 11:45 AM-1:30 PM on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at:

    Fish & Richardson PC Campus
    12390 El Camino Real
    San Diego, California 92130



11:45 AM-12:15 PM: Registration/Networking/Lunch
12:15 PM-1:30 PM Program/Q&A


Pre-registration for this event is closed and on-site registrations will not be accepted.

Contact Us

For more info regarding registration or event details, please contact Jennifer Beckey (858-518-0859) ([email protected]).

For more details about pre-registration, contact Tech Support.