- by Rob Roberts, Kansas City Business Journal.
Dr. Nick Franano, the breakfast speaker at the 16th-annual InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum on Thursday, recalled presenting at the forum in 2003.
Like the biotech industry itself, Franano has come a long way since presenting that year for his then company, Proteon Therapeutics Inc. And, he said Thursday, the future is bright for other biotech companies that are able to raise enough venture capital to advance discoveries through successful clinical trials.
In the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, he said, more than $2 billion was invested in private U.S. biotech startups.
From January 2013 through February 2015, Franano added, 121 U.S. biotech firms completed IPOs, with 2014 generating the most biotech IPOs in history.
Franano attributed the rise in IPOs, in part, to the 2012 passage of the federal Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act. Among other things, the act allows startups designated as "emerging growth companies" to test the IPO waters confidentially by getting investor and Securities and Exchange Commission feedback before filing public registration documents.
Franano knows about IPOs and bright futures. When he first pitched at InvestMidwest in 2003, he was founder and CEO of Proteon Therapeutics, then a 2-year-old Kansas City company that had raised about $5 million to develop a drug Franano discovered during a residency at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Read the full Kansas City Business Journal article here.
- photo credit: Rob Roberts