Aisling Capital’s Dennis Purcell on Boston, serial entrepreneurs, and leveraging the life science ecosystem

June 12, 2015 Erin Righetti

Purcell.DennisNo other industry relies on cross-pollinating collaborations that span the ecosystem like biotech. From startups to large pharma, partnerships that de-risk and accelerate novel science are paramount.

Dennis Purcell, Founder and Senior Advisor at Aisling Capital LLC in New York shares his views on how to leverage the biotech ecosystem at BioPharm America™ 2015 this September.

According to Purcell, there is no better time for biotech executives to de-risk their companies and strategize for the future. To do this, companies need to reduce financial risks, while also leveraging existing resources and even re-evaluating the composition of their board as vital needs change.

“The past two years have been the best time for biotech exits, ever,” said Purcell.

Today’s greatest risk is that company gatekeepers will relax, spend too freely and fail to leverage the wealth of resources in their surrounding ecosystems to build their companies and stretch their capital.

Purcell recommends leveraging the expertise of people with a long biotech track record. “The biotech clusters that grew the fastest were those with a pool of serial entrepreneurs.” Boston, for example, is populated by entrepreneurs from Millennium, Genzyme and other successful biotech companies. “When you talk about building a company faster, it helps to have people who’ve been there and done that before, because they’re already part of the community and have a network.

“Of course, every CEO was a first-time CEO once,” Purcell acknowledged. To succeed quickly, executives need to surround themselves with savvy, experienced people.

Obviously, the opportunities to access infrastructure and expertise are more plentiful in major biotech hubs like Boston. “It’s incredible what’s going on in Boston now,” Purcell said, pointing to the synergy unleashed by serial entrepreneurs.

Dennis is a member of the BioPharm America advisory committee. Meet investors like him at BioPharm America™ 2015 in Boston, September 15–17. Register now.

To read the full interview click here.


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