New episode of Hedvigpodden: SwedenBIO on the new industry standard for life science companies

In today's episode of Hedvigpodden, Christina Herder and Jacob Gunterberg talk about SwedenBIO's new recommendation for life science companies in the development phase. It is about what information should be communicated, for example, before an IPO.

Hedvig Andersén, the initiator of the podcast, has worked with venture capital investments for almost 20 years and through the podcast she wants to raise interest in more complex issues in a light-hearted way.

While working as an investor, I realized how much time and money companies could save by working in a more integrated way and ensuring that fundraising went hand in hand with strategic decisions, business agreements, development work and exit preparations from day one.

Her hope is that the Hedvig podcast will help more companies get a useful map and compass to navigate by, allowing them to make even more informed decisions and become better demanders when procuring different services.

– I am passionate about sharing my own and others’ experiences in entrepreneurship. But above all, I want to raise awareness of how everything is connected as a communicating vessel and how a decision in one area can have consequences in a completely different area in the future.

Hedvigpodden addresses areas such as patent strategies, IPOs, board work, financing issues, exit work, to name just a few. Today Hedvig has invited Christina Herder, future Head of Business Development at Medivir and Jacob Gunterberg, Partner at HealthCap.

Christina is the chair of SwedenBIO’s Business Development and Financing Working Group. The working group works to increase business development skills among member companies and to improve the business climate and economic conditions for the life science industry in Sweden. Both she and Jacob, who is also a member of the group, have been involved in developing SwedenBIO’s new recommendation. In the podcast, Christina explains why the recommendation is needed.

– SwedenBIO wants to ensure that the industry has good long-term access to capital. But we work in a very complex industry, and it can be difficult for both individuals and institutions to understand how these companies work.

Christina has previously combined strategic pharmaceutical development with business development during her years as CEO of a small biotech company, and now has, in addition to her future position at Medivir, board assignments for two listed companies.

– By introducing the policy, we describe the type of information that we think should be available when making shareholder distributions, i.e. when going out and seeking new capital. It is a way to make things easier for investors.

According to the prospectus rules, a public company is obliged to provide information about its activities, and SwedenBIO’s recommendation is intended to complement these prospectus rules.

Jacob Gunterberg, Partner at HealthCap, has extensive experience as an investor in life science companies.

– I believe that this is important for the long-term development of the industry – it will contribute to thoughtful and serious information provision. As Christina said, it is a complex industry, it is difficult to understand the risks. And it can be difficult for an investor to understand what it takes to get to a certain point in development. The recommendation will help companies to increase transparency.

The Recommendation invites companies to share information in six different areas. In addition to the company’s background, it covers the development phase and financing, regulatory processes, remuneration models, market assessment, and patents and other intellectual property rights.

– The stage of development is closely related to the level of risk. As the project matures, the level of risk decreases. For investors, it is important to understand that the project may reach a ‘meaningful point’ in its development, so that the project can either be further financed or sold, says Jacob Gunterberg.

The recommendation should be used to ensure that companies communicate relevant information to investors.

– You will be able to reuse the information in other contexts. Because you are forced to consider aspects that take you all the way to the market, you will learn much more about your product,” explains Christina Herder.

– However, companies may not be able to disclose all the information requested, for various reasons. In that case, you have to explain it. The point is not to leave any gaps in your information,” concludes Jacob Gunterberg.

Listen to Hedvigpodden episode #6: SwedenBIO on the new industry standard for life science companies

So how do companies adopt the new recommendation?

The recommendation can be downloaded from the SwedenBIO website: SwedenBIO also intends to organize workshops and seminars to learn more about what the new recommendation means. On Thursday 23 November, a seminar on listings will be held in Stockholm, where the recommendation is part of the program(program and registration).

The next podcast #7 with Adam Kostyál, Head of European Listings at Nasdaq will be on December 6.

The industry organization SwedenBIO’s more than 240 member companies have a total of 20,000 employees who contribute in various ways to the development of new treatments to prevent and alleviate ill health. Members include companies that are active in drug development, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics or are experts in areas such as business development, financing, intellectual property and law.