One Nucleus BioWednesday - How do Investors and Entrepreneurs Evaluate Intellectual Property?

We had a great time at the Bradfield Centre, Cambridge Science Park at our BioWednesday on 1 February in collaboration with Appleyard Lees IP LLP discussing 'How do Investors and Entrepreneurs Evaluate Intellectual Property?' 50 delegates joined to listen to the discussion and to enjoy some informal networking afterwards. Many thanks to our moderator Edward Rainsford, Appleyard Lees and our expert panellists: Alison McGhee, AstraZeneca; Mike Romanos, Imperial College London; Anne Horgan (nee Nguyen), Cambridge Innovation Capital and Iain Thomas, Cambridge Enterprise.

I am pleased to share with you some of the key takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • It is important to have a solid business strategy and align this with an IP strategy to have a successful company.
  • Academia may approach IP differently and spend more time on defining USP.  More budget and resource considerations exist in comparison to a corporate pharma.
  • Patent strategy and filing can evolve over time and it is also important to consider different forms of protection, e.g., know-how vs. trade secrets vs. patents, and the advantages of each for different business models, e.g., platform vs product and the transition between the two.
  • The rise of platform biotechs and new modalities brings more complexity to developing a robust IP strategy.
  • IP is of significant value to investors who will want to understand how any assets will develop and will look to assess for opportunities and vulnerabilities. Red flags include discussion disclosure and difficulty with freedom to operate.
  • Due diligence can be a two-way exchange. Investors can also act as a sanity check/sounding board to ensure defensible IP or know-how is in place.  It is not always possible to go back and fix this at a later stage.
  • As a company grows, then scaling up your IP approach may involve thinking about in-house vs out-sourced IP services, thinking on a more global scale and identifying any overlooked gaps and building protection where necessary.


As always, our BioWednesday meetings are aimed at bringing together a broad spread of our network to listen, learn and discuss relevant and current topics. You needn’t be an expert in the topic under discussion! They also represent member benefit events and are free for members to attend, but non-members are welcome to join for a small fee.  We’d love to meet you at one of our future events!