Molecules, Medicines and Money: How is medical research transformed into a biotech company?

Dr Ingmar Wahlqvist & Dr Michael Bettess, Investment Managers, Brandon Capital Partners / Medical Research Capitalisation Fund.

Australia, it is commonly said, punches above its weight in medical research, but has not traditionally turned those discoveries into actual medicines or financial rewards. That is changing, with an increasing number of Australian technologies being developed into transformative medicines and medical devices, and the emergence of an entire industry dedicated to their development. Hear how the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), of which JCSMR is a member, makes decisions about whether and how to invest in a medical technology. Could your research be a candidate?

Dr Ingmar Wahlqvist joined Brandon Capital Partners as an Investment Manager in 2009. Immediately prior to this, he worked as a Business Development Manager at Melbourne Ventures, commercialising technology from the University of Melbourne, a position which included a part-time secondment to GBS Venture Partners, a life-science venture capital group. Before that, Ingmar spent five years working in the global commercial operations of Sanofi in Paris, France, including a number of years in the cardiovascular franchise of global marketing, and in particular on Plavix, which during this time grew to be the second best-selling drug worldwide. Ingmar has also worked with a small number of early-stage companies in the health sector, and as a management consultant with The Boston Consulting Group, advising clients in a range of industries including financial services, airlines and manufacturing. He spent some years working in clinical medicine, largely in critical care (emergency, intensive care, anaesthetics) within major teaching hospitals. Ingmar earned his medical degree (MB BS) from Monash University, and his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Melbourne Business School.

Dr Michael Bettess joined Brandon Capital Partners as an Investment Manager in February 2016. Previously, Michael was the Senior Business Development Manager at Monash University where he managed the Life Science portfolio for the Faculty of Medicine. In this role he identified numerous new research opportunities and led multiple negotiations on high value licensing and partnering transactions. His prior experience in commercialisation and investment also includes 5 years as an Investment Manager (Life Sciences) at the TTCF, a small commercialisation fund focussed on investing capital in opportunities derived from academic research, where he led diligence on Life Science investee companies such as Nexvet (NASDAQ – NVET) and Heart Metabolics – both now a part of the Brandon Capital Partners portfolio. Michael’s research experience includes a Roche Research Foundation post-doctoral fellowship at the ISREC (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He holds a PhD from the University of Adelaide and an MBA specialising in technology management from La Trobe University.